Remarks by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Las Vegas, Nev.
Jan. 9, 2012
RYAN SEACREST: Hello, hello, hello. Thank you for that one scream over there. I appreciate it. Welcome. It is great to be here tonight.
I have partnered with Microsoft and Bing specifically for a number of years, from Microsoft’s phone, to Xbox to Kinect to Windows PCs, I’ve truly always been impressed. And their recent innovations continue to surprise me.
They are a company with bold ambition, as you know, bringing together people, information and entertainment in ways, which, frankly, I never dreamed was possible. So, when the highly enthusiastic Steve Ballmer asked me to be a part of their final CES keynote, I obviously didn’t hesitate. I was thrilled to check it out myself, to see the latest and greatest innovations first hand with all of you this evening.
So, tonight we’ll do it a little differently. We’ll try this conversationally, where we’ll talk about what’s happening in the tech industry, where it’s headed, what’s next for Microsoft. And we’ll do that up here on the stage. It will be Steve, me, and a lot of Microsoft’s latest gear.
So, let us bring out the man in charge, Steve Ballmer. Join us once again, Steve, come on out. Let’s go. Fire it up.
It’s good to see you.
STEVE BALLMER: It’s good to be here. Thanks for doing this. We’re going to have, I think, a lot of fun tonight.
RYAN SEACREST: I need to raise my stool and raise my voice, let’s go. What can we expect? What should we be looking for this evening?
STEVE BALLMER: Tonight, I think we’ve got a really tremendous show, frankly. We have a chance in the next year to really raise our game, our product line to the next level, across phones, PCs, tablets, TV, the Xbox, and really the heart and soul of that will be our kind of featured attraction tonight, our new Metro user interface. We kind of pioneered it over the last few years, but you’ll see it tonight, fast, fluid, and dynamic across all the Microsoft experiences, and really helping people to connect directly to the people and information, music, friends that are most important to them. I think will be kind of impressed on how it lights everything up.
RYAN SEACREST: I like that. When you said Metro you looked at me in a strange way, or I thought. Is it the jacket, or the sweater, or the combination?
STEVE BALLMER: I was going to say it’s a new design and a new year, but you take it from there, for Microsoft and Ryan.
RYAN SEACREST: I’m your mascot.
All right, so it’s going to be a fun night. Let’s start with Windows Phone. Definitely different (cheers and applause.)
The design team over here.
STEVE BALLMER: Probably.
RYAN SEACREST: Certainly different than a lot of other phones. How is it going?
STEVE BALLMER: I’m really excited and upbeat about where we are. We definitely took a different approach than everybody else, and I think we’ve got a really unique and beneficial experience. All these phones these days, they all make calls, connection to the Internet, email, social networks, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. If you take a look at it, the other phones all make the sea of icons, the sea of applications the kind of view of the world. What we’ve really done with Windows Phone, I think, is have a better way but putting your people, the people who are important to you, whether it’s dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions in somebody’s case, I might think.
RYAN SEACREST: They’re watching for the judges.
STEVE BALLMER: They’re watching for the judges, but we put them right out there in front of you, and really Windows Phone is the first phone that I think puts people first. Here’s my Windows Phone, right there, if you will. You can kind of see.
RYAN SEACREST: Hit the face of Bill Gates.
STEVE BALLMER: My buddy Bill Gates. It says I missed a call from Bill. What time did he call? 6:07 p.m.
RYAN SEACREST: Go back on speaker?
STEVE BALLMER: Yes, you want us to call him back? But you can see what I have here are the things that are most important to me. There’s Bill. There’s our leadership team, the weather, my family. It’s all kind of laid out there front and center.
RYAN SEACREST: Kim Kardashian.
STEVE BALLMER: Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian. I’m with the program, bud. I’m with the program.
But what happens is, things change. Now, people tweet, they post, they email, they text. It all gets put together right there for you, right on the screen. What’s important to you isn’t lighting up emails, or lighting up the text, it’s what’s going on with brother, sister, co-worker, your Twitter feed, whatever the case may be.
And literally, in my own case, I’m in regular touch with hundreds of people, and yet I get it consolidated down to where at a glance I can really see what’s going on.
We still have apps.
RYAN SEACREST: Right.
STEVE BALLMER: As you’ll see, we still have a great browser.
RYAN SEACREST: It’s memorizing things here.
STEVE BALLMER: Yes, the names of my kids. Good job there.
The New York Times called the Windows Phone “gorgeous, classy, satisfying, fast and coherent.”
RYAN SEACREST: Coherent, I was going to say low on carbs. All right. Well, can we see the phone in action?
STEVE BALLMER: Yes.
RYAN SEACREST: Let’s welcome please Derek Snyder.
Derek, come on up Derek. (Applause.)
DEREK SNYDER: Good evening. How is everyone doing? Thank you for the cheering section for Windows Phone, those $100 bills were well spent. Perfect. Thanks. We’ll come back to you.
One of the things that we love about Windows Phone is that there is the breadth of choice. So, the same great software is running on handsets from all of our handset makers. And you can see here there’s a ton of variety. And these are just the phones that we’ve launched in the last couple months. We’ve got phones that come in different colors. They have front-facing cameras. Some of them have different screen technologies. And even some of them are actually water resistant. And so, whatever phone you’re looking for, all of them run the same great Windows Phone software.
Now, let’s actually take a look at what that software looks like. Go ahead and switch over to the phone. This is actually my Windows Phone up and running on the screen. Can we get that please?
One of the things that’s great about Windows Phone, as Steve talked about, it’s not a sea of icons, it’s not a grid of applications, but it is, in fact, celebrating all of the people and the relationships in your life. As a matter of fact, we have one place where that all comes together, and that’s called the People Hub.
Now, the People Hub brings together all of my favorite people across all of my favorite social networks. So, I don’t actually have to do any work. All of these people are coming down from my email services that I may use at work and at home, my Facebook, my LinkedIn, Twitter, all of that stuff comes together in one place. And we make it really easy to actually mirror the relationships you have in real life on your phone.
So, I’ve actually set up a bunch of these groups right here on my phone. One for my best friends, one for my family, the people I go skiing with. And, in fact, I’ve even set up a group here for everyone that’s at CES. Now, when I pop open this group, you’ll notice immediately the tiles light up with information. Who is trying to get in touch with you? Emails that are coming in, messages that are being received, lots of missed calls that are coming in at the same time. I’ll get you that Windows Phone, we’ll talk.
We also have the ability to see what’s new in your social networks for this specific group. Now, think about how valuable that can be when you have, for instance, your family, and you want to see what’s going on just with that group of people. You can see pictures just for this group of people as well, and they all come together in one place.
And so it’s really easy for me to see all that right here. And we even do group communication, both with email, and also text and chat. But unlike our competitors who have proprietary services like iMessage or Blackberry Messenger, we actually use the services that you and your friends are already using, Facebook Chat and Windows Live Messenger, together with between 500 million and three-quarters of a billion users already there today. So, no matter what screen they’re on, or what service they’re using, your message will always get through.
Now, let’s dive right into one of my contacts. I’ve been chatting with Joe Belfiore earlier today. And you’ll notice that the contact card comes alive, and it’s combined from all the different places I know Joe across all of his social networks. So, it doesn’t just have contact information, it brings in the richness of what he’s up to, the tweets that he’s been posting, and I can easily retweet those, no app required.
I can see all the pictures that he’s been posting. I like to catch up with friends sometimes and see all that in one album. And we even have conversation history. So, this keeps a full log of all the conversations we’ve had across calls, visual voice mails, text messages, and even IMs. And so, when you see here that I’ve gone into this thread, as we call them, it actually looks like a text message, but this actually started out as a Facebook chat, and so it’s really easy to seamlessly transition. So, Joe actually sent me a message here, and wanted to see if I wanted to grab dinner after the keynote. That was sent as a Facebook message. But now it shows that he’s offline, and I can very easily switch over and continue this thread by texting him on his mobile. And it all gets carried out in the same place.
Now, I can go ahead and actually type out that message on the QWERTY keyboard, but we’ve actually built voice throughout Windows Phone. So, I’m going to go ahead and respond with my voice. Sounds great. And just like that it will type in the message and we’ll have that off to Joe. So, that text message will be sent off, you can continue the IM, and everything works perfectly. (Applause.)
As Steve talked about, one of the other things that we really wanted to do was build in this Metro user interface. And we actually pioneered this on Windows Phone, and you’ll be seeing plenty of it tonight. Now, if you’re curious what Metro is all about, it really is about representing not the icon or the application, but, in fact, the people and the things that matter most about you. And so these Live Tiles are constantly lit up, not just when they link to that application, but the content that’s actually behind it.
So, you can see here I’ve got the weather for where I want to be, and actually where I live, and it’s a stock contrast. I can see my recipes here that are coming up. I can see that must-see movie Twilight Saga that I’ve been meaning to see, and all that is pinned to the start screen as well. I’ve got my expenses. I’ve got a Spotify playlist. I’ve got the Groupon of the day, so I don’t have to get those emails anymore. And I’ve even got my boarding pass for tomorrow. And unlike other phones, we shortcut straight into the part of the app you care about. So, when I tap this boarding pass, it takes me straight to that page. So, it’s really easy to get around.
Now, as you saw in that message with Joe, I actually have to pick dinner out for tonight. So, for that I’m going to actually use Bing. And Bing brings the world’s information to your fingertips. And so the cool thing here is that actually we’ll go ahead and connect up to my location, start surfacing that up, and I can actually use Local Scout, for that I’m actually going to switch over to this phone, and we’ll take a look at what that looks like right here.
Now, when we use Bing, of course, this is a decision engine. So, this is really all about making it easy to decide, and take action. And I pop into Local Scout, you’ll actually see that we’re given all sorts of information. Let’s go ahead and switch to the second phone. I can see information on what to see and do, to eat and drink. Let me go ahead and get that second phone up. Thank you.
And we can see everything that you can see and do, all of the shopping that’s nearby, and even highlights. So, this really will help you live like a local even when you’re not. I can see all the highlights in this area, and I’ve even got some of those favorites that are bookmarked. And those will actually appear automagically. We are on this phone. Sorry for the trouble tonight.
So, when I see all the shopping, and I see the highlights, everything to see and do, you’ll actually notice I’ve got a bunch favorited here. Now, I’m not going to subject Joe, possibly, to Chuck E. Cheese, but maybe the sushi sounds pretty good. And for that we’ll actually pop into this quick card. Now, the really cool thing about the quick card is that it’s scraping the Web’s information, so you don’t have to get dropped off into different websites. So, all of that information comes into one place, and I can see all the location information. I can read the reviews. We’re just compiling all those from Bing as well. And it makes it really easy, actually, to connect up to apps that are really good at handling things like restaurant reservations.
So, when I go ahead and click reserve a table, it will actually know that there is an open table automatically on my phone. And it will now pass off the information, in this case the name of the restaurant and the location, straight into open table. With one click, I can actually make that reservation and be on my way.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the Windows Phone experience. And as we said, it’s really about putting people first, and all of your relationships. Thanks very much. (Applause.)
RYAN SEACREST: Thank you, Derek. By the way, that Sushi Roku is a good spot.
So, tell us what’s going on with the phone’s hardware partners?
STEVE BALLMER: We really have an incredible amount of work going on with some really innovative companies. With Samsung, with HTC, with LG, and with Nokia, the range and diversity of devices is amazing. And the quality of work is special.
About a year ago, we announced a partnership with Nokia. They’ve already delivered Windows Phone around the world, but really now intending to go bigger here in North America this year. And I’m pleased to announce that the Nokia Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 will be coming soon to consumers in Canada on the Rogers and TELUS network. And this Wednesday, here in the U.S., T-Mobile customers can buy the Lumia 710, Nokia’s first Windows Phone in the United States. (Cheers.) The popular Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone will also be available in the growing base of Microsoft physical stores, unlocked here in the next few months.
But the thing I’m really kind of pumped up about actually is the work that’s going on on moving to 4G LTE networks. And today we had a chance with Nokia and AT&T to unveil the Nokia Lumia 900. (Cheers and applause.)
RYAN SEACREST: Ooh, aah.
STEVE BALLMER: It’s really an incredible phone. It’s blazing fast on the AT&T network. It’s got this 4.3 inch AMOLED Clear Black display, and it will be heavily promoted in all 2,400 of AT&T stores here in the U.S. in the next few months.
RYAN SEACREST: Beautiful.
STEVE BALLMER: Good move there. But wait right, how does that line go?
RYAN SEACREST: But wait, there’s more?
STEVE BALLMER: But wait, there’s more. Let me show you a new phone today.
RYAN SEACREST: That was good.
STEVE BALLMER: It was very good actually. Unrehearsed, too. Brilliant.
Anyway, this is the new HTC Titan II. This is the HTC Titan II. HTC is an incredibly innovative company. This product was also launched today. It will be available on AT&T’s 4G LTE network. It’s an even bigger 4.7-inch super LCD screen. And, amazingly, it’s got a 16-megapixel camera built in which is higher resolution than almost everybody has on their digital cameras today. (Cheers and applause.)
With new 4G LTE phones, a design, frankly, that’s winning rave reviews. Over 50,000 applications already published in our marketplace, and that’s growing about 300 a day. I think with the Windows Phone, Ryan, we’re clearly on the right track.
RYAN SEACREST: I like it. It’s very cool.
So, there is obviously so much going on in the mobile market right now, it will be an interesting year, and we’ll certainly be looking to see what happens with Windows Phone Next. So, thank you very much.
Next product, let’s go to the area and focus on Windows PCs. So, things are changing quite rapidly and you guys, you have some tough competition. Let’s talk about it.
STEVE BALLMER: Nothing better than good competition. Nothing better than good competition. It’s a great thing and I’m glad we’ve got Windows. Windows has been phenomenal. The product, the technology, the market acceptance, the brand, and in a sense one of the most amazing phenomenon in our business, whether you go back to that first CES keynote, or further back, has been the way that the Windows PC has constantly changed and reinvented, and moved forward, and spurred other technology innovations. Today over 1.3 billion Windows PCs are in use around the planet. That makes it the most popular smart device around.
RYAN SEACREST: It’s an incredible number, but things have changed, right?
STEVE BALLMER: Of course, things change. That’s the essence of this industry. In some senses maybe the only two things that are constant: No. 1 things change; and No. 2 people don’t want to compromise on what they have today. They want the best of what they have, and the best of what they want. Nobody wanted to give up anything they had on their desktop, for example, when the world moved to notebooks. It’s a wonderful thing.
The Windows PC has evolved. It was a programming machine. It was a productivity machine, a music machine, a video machine, an Internet machine, but we don’t give up anything, as we keep moving down that path. And really, with Windows 8 we’ve reimagined Windows, all the way from the chipset through to the user experience. And it will deliver a no-compromise experience. The best of the PC, and the best of the tablet, we kicked that off last year at CES, and we’re even more excited this year.
RYAN SEACREST: Hard at work and I know we’re about to see a really cool demo of Windows 8, but before that tell me about the Windows 7 hardware that’s available now?
STEVE BALLMER: There’s a really impressive lineup of machines available from our OEM partners. The spectrum of form factors is stunning. Intel has done a lot of work, very good work, making PCs smaller, sleeker, more power-efficient, longer battery life, really, really good work. And if you’ll indulge me, maybe before Tami Reller comes out and gives you a little Windows 8, I’d like to show you a little video that’s got some of my favorite thin and light Windows 7 PCs that are either available now or coming real soon. So, maybe I’ll
RYAN SEACREST: All right. Roll it.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Chief Marketing Officer Windows, Tami Reller. (Applause.)
TAMI RELLER: Good evening, hello everyone. I’m Tami Reller and I’m really thrilled to be here, to talk about Windows. I love the PCs in that video, and there really is a great lineup of Windows 7 PCs on the market right now. Let me start by talking about the next generation of Windows, Windows 8. As Steve said, we started the Windows 8 journey right here at CES in 2011. And it’s been a busy year.
Windows 8 is more than the next version of Windows. It’s a new way of thinking about your PC. Steve also talked about Windows 8 as Windows reimagined. And I want to tell you more about what that means for consumers. Windows 8 is designed to deliver a no-compromise experience. It brings together the potential of a tablet with the power of a PC. Windows 8 is going to give customers the power, the mobility, and the familiarity to effortlessly move between, not only what they want to do, but what they need to do. And the flexibility of Windows makes this possible. But, enough talk; let’s actually take a look at Windows 8.
So, here I am on the locked screen of Windows 8. And in the lower left corner I can quickly see the information that matters to me. These are my new emails, my appointments, and other notifications. I no longer need to unlock my device, open up each program to see that there are new things that I need to take care of. And I can personalize Windows 8 so that it really is my own unique experience. Even in how I unlock that device. Here I’ll use Picture Password to unlock Windows. So, in this case I simply touch the first fish, a couple of more fish heads, and I’m ready to go. And just like that here I am. (Applause.)
So, here I am at start. In Windows start is your home screen, it’s your starting point, and with Windows 8, we’ve reimagined it to be immersive, fast, fluid, personal, and dynamic. The tiles, they act as a window into your apps, without you even having to launch them. They’re alive, and they’re always up to date.
Windows 8 is designed to work with touch and with a mouse and keyboard. So, no matter how large or how small your screen or screens, you have what you need. So, whether you have a 10-inch screen, or four 30-inch HD screens, Windows 8 is going to bring you that no-compromise experience. And I can quickly get to the important thing that I need to do in Windows with one swipe of the finger. All I do is swipe in from the right edge to reveal a charm. And charms are going to connect your apps to other apps, they’re going to connect to your friends, and connect your apps to your devices. Charms provide access to key Windows features, and as you saw, they’re just one quick gesture or click away at any time.
Now, I’ll actually launch a Metro-style app. And in this case I’m going to launch a finger painting app. And see how the app uses the entire screen, literally every pixel available. Metro-style apps will have your full attention and focus. And I can easily swipe in from the top or the bottom of the screen to see the app commands. Windows 8 makes sure that the things you want to do are front and center.
Windows 8 will run on both X86 and ARM. This tablet that you’ve just seen me demo on is prototype hardware running on NVIDIA Tegra 3 chips. Silicon partners, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments are all working hard with us to bring Windows to ARM, together with our OEMs. And this all means that the widest possible range of PCs and tablets will be available for Windows 8 across architectures, giving customers more choice and more flexibility.
Of course, Windows 8 runs brilliantly on X86, both AMD and Intel. This tablet is running Intel Core i5 processor. This tablet we worked on together with Samsung, based on their shipping Series 7 design. It’s the same device that we gave out to thousands of developers last fall to enable them to start building Metro-style apps for Windows 8. And your Windows 8 Metro-style apps can be available across all of your PCs and tablets, whether they’re X86 or ARM-based. And so developers who are writing Metro-style apps can write once and have it run across both platforms. And Metro-style apps are for touch and mouse, and keyboard use.
Well, I’m ready to show you something new. So, let me head out to the Windows Store, which is the one-stop location for all my Metro-style applications. Let me actually show you a little bit more about the store. So, apps are what power the new experience in Windows 8 and it does all start here at the Windows Store. The Windows Store will be the source for free apps, trial apps, and apps you can purchase. There will be as many types of apps as there are people’s interests. We want to do the best job of connecting people to as many great apps as possible. And you can see it’s very easy to navigate in the store.
Let me click on “Cut The Rope,” this very fun and popular game from ZeptoLab. Recently we partnered with ZeptoLab to develop a new Web version of the game that’s built entirely in HTML5, and it really unleashes the power of IE9 and brings the game to everyone. So, ZeptoLab saw how easy it would be to leverage this work, this HTML5 work for Windows 8 and so they did. Well, I have “Cut The Rope” on my system, so I am going to have us play a little game of “Cut The Rope,” how about that.
All right. So, here we go. It’s safe to say I’ve mastered the first level. So, there we go. So, let me try the next level, in front of the crowd, and see how I do. Timing is everything. Yes, awesome. So, it’s a very, very fun game. I encourage you to check it out if you haven’t.
All right. So, it’s very easy to launch apps, and it’s very easy to switch between the apps, as well. So, very seamlessly I’m able to switch between all these apps. And of course, with the Windows Store, I can add new ones whenever I want. The Windows Store will initially open in late February. And it will be the first opportunity for all of you to test out a range of free apps.
The Windows Store will be global, available in every language that is offered for Windows, and that’s more than 100 languages. Free and paid apps will be available in more than 200 markets around the world, and that’s just an incredible reach. And the store it not just for consumers, if they want businesses can actually use the Windows Store to deliver their business apps and updates to employees.
The Windows Store is designed to offer something for everyone. Well, everybody loves apps and we know that they’re going to be adding a lot of them, both for fun and for work, and with Windows 8, the more apps, the richer the experience. And one of the cool things about Windows 8 is that you can take these apps and your other favorites and roam across your Windows PCs and tablets.
And Windows 8 makes it easy to stay organized with all these apps, with a feature called semantic zoom. So, I can zoom out on this collection of apps, and the tiles become small thumbnails. This is also incredibly helpful for large collections of photos, or large collections of files. And with one easy pinch gesture, I’m back.
So, Windows 8 works great with touch and with mouse and keyboard. I can pan the start screen with my keyboard, or in this case scrolling with my mouse, just as easily as using my finger with touch. Finding an app is as easy as starting to type the name of what I want for instant search results.
In this case here I’ll start to type “Cut The Rope” to find the game that I was looking at earlier. And it’s that easy. And I can rename a group, so let me actually show you semantic zoom using my mouse. And just like that I’ve brought up semantic zoom with my mouse. And I can rename a group. So, let’s say this group of applications are the apps that my kids play. And so to make it really simple, I can simply name this group “Kids” so that they can quickly know where to go to find the game that they play most often.
So one of the other things I also wanted to show is how apps can work together to create powerful experiences in Windows 8. We built technology into Windows 8 called app contracts, that lets your app opt in to access information from other apps. So, let me show you an example of this. I’ll open up a news reader app and you can see I’ve got a recipe feed in this case, and so I will select this mac and cheese recipe, that I think my kids will like, and so I want to share it with my husband so he can make that for them at home.
So, I’ll swipe my finger from the right to bring forward a charm, and I’ll use the share charm, which lets me share files and other information with apps on my PC. So, I’ll take this recipe, and using a friend send app that we created, send a message to my husband with the recipe. There’s veggies in here. So, I don’t think they’ll notice those, and off it goes. And the best part is I was able to share this recipe without leaving the apps. And it’s great for developers, because now they can write apps that work closely with Windows features, like sharing, and with other apps to make the experience better and even richer for consumers.
So, let me show you how I can work with two apps at once. So, let me bring up the familiar desktop, which is just one click away in Windows 8, and I’ll open up this Word document. So, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to do my part to help the family be even healthier this year. So, I’ve been compiling a list of recipes. I can’t cook, but I can compile, so that’s what I’m doing. So, if I want to refer back to the mac and cheese recipe from earlier, I can bring that in and use Snap, and actually view this side-by-side. And this saves me time and it lets me see these two apps at once. And apps, they know how to best display their information in this vertical format, as well as with the full screen.
There’s more information here that I want to see. So, I’ll go to this story in the newsreader app and launch the new Metro-style Internet Explorer. With Metro-style IE websites are immersive, you can see, and they use the whole screen. This site has my full attention. When I want to see my open tabs, or the address bar, I just swipe in from the bottom of the screen, just as I do with other Metro-style apps. And when I touch a Web page it is immediately responsive, it literally sticks to my finger. Panning is smooth. Zooming is easy. So, let me zoom in on this story. It’s immediate, very smooth and now in this case I’ll follow a link and actually finish this story.
And again, the site uses the full screen and has my full attention. And to go back I can just swipe and I’m back to where I was, browsing here is natural, with touch-first browsing. The Metro-style Internet Explorer delivers plug-in free browsing, relying on the power of HTML5, but it’s possible to experience the safest and most reliable browsing available.
So, for example, people spend a lot of time watching videos on the Web. Here’s that same video that we were looking at earlier on the big screen, running here in HTML5. This is the power of an HTML5 video. The new Metro-style browser takes advantage of hardware acceleration to offer a great playback experience.
So, what you just saw is a small slice of Windows 8 with so much more to come. Windows 8 will offer a no-compromise experience, the best of consumption and creation, of portability and power, of new and familiar. We’re excited to show you more as our Windows 8 work continues.
As we talked about in December, our next big Windows 8 milestone on the path to availability will come in late February. We hope you’ll download it and check it out.
So, what we have coming in the future with Windows 8 is exciting, and we also have a lot of very cool things going on today. And nowhere is this more illustrated than through the range of stunning PCs that are available right now. So, I wanted to take just a very brief moment and give you a closer look at two of these ultra-portable new PCs that Steve was talking about that were announced earlier today.
So, here is this new HP NV14 Vectra Ultra-book. And it’s very attractive, with a glass design that’s incredibly durable. And the sound, awesome, Beats audio. This is a great PC for music lovers.
And then we’ve got this next generation Samsung Series 9. It’s stunning. It’s less than 13 millimeters thick, and weighs just over 2-1/2 pounds. One great thing I’ll also add is, it’s now available in 15-inch. And this is really the first 15-inch ultra-portable that I’ve gotten to play with, and it is incredible. So, check that one out as well.
And then, in addition to the PCs we have on display here, Dell is planning an announcement tomorrow about another amazing new ultra-book. So, please watch for that and check it out.
This is the perfect time to get a new Windows PC. Windows 7 today, Windows 8 tomorrow. Thank you all so much.
Thank you, Steve, and Ryan. (Applause.)
RYAN SEACREST: Thank you very much, Tami. Thank you, thank you. Good luck with the New Year’s resolution. The mac and cheese looks good right about now, too, doesn’t it?
STEVE BALLMER: It does.
RYAN SEACREST: Amazing demos, amazing machines.
STEVE BALLMER: You know, Windows 7 is the best-selling operating system of all time. Five hundred million users on the planet for Windows 7. We’re licensing about seven new copies a second. And by my calculation, I think that means by the time we wrap up today, there are probably 25,000 new Windows 7 users on this planet. That’s pretty good, dude.
RYAN SEACREST: I’m getting it.
STEVE BALLMER: That’s pretty good, dude.
RYAN SEACREST: He’s right. That is pretty impressive.
STEVE BALLMER: That’s pretty good.
RYAN SEACREST: And all those PCs up there will run Windows 8?
STEVE BALLMER: Every Windows 7 PC will be ready for Windows 8 on day one. So, the 3 million people who have already come to our website and downloaded the Windows 8 preview, boom, they can do it from any Windows PC ever made.
RYAN SEACREST: Good news. Good news. Pretty exciting. And, we’ve covered a lot so far. So, what we should do is, time to check in with the thousands and thousands of people in the room and watching online, many of you are tweeting away, and we’re curious to know what you might be saying.
So, to interpret all of this for us, please welcome the Tweet Choir. (Applause.) Come on, let’s hear it for the Tweet Choir.
RYAN SEACREST: If you’d like to vote for the Tweet Choir, please dial 1-866-Idol wrong stage, wrong stage. Very cool, and to see them do that live is fascinating.
So, let’s keep moving. Ten years ago, Steve, if I were to walk up to somebody on the street and say “Xbox” to them, they would probably give me a blank stare. But now Xbox is at the forefront of games and entertainment. Did you expect to go from ground zero to a household name when you set out to do this a decade ago?
STEVE BALLMER: I was optimistic. I was bullish. I was patient. All of the above. In a sense, Xbox kind of represents the best of a part of our DNA that we’re really proud about. We make these big, bold bets. We invest for the long-term. And we make exciting things happen. And we’re 10 years later, we’re the world’s sales leader in the last year for consoles, which is exciting as heck. We have over 66 million Xbox users. And perhaps the most amazing thing is, we have over 40 million Xbox Live subscribers tuning in on a regular basis for a variety of different entertainment experiences. Some for games, mostly in the last year or so for a lot of family entertainment, and increasingly in the last months, and with something I’d like to show you today, really an entertainment hub for live TV, on demand, videos, movies, news, social, music, and of course still games. But morphing, changing.
So, did I expect it 10 years ago? No. But I bet on it 10 years ago, and I’m excited about that.
RYAN SEACREST: I like that. I like that. So, a little bit of everything there. Are we going to get a chance to see it?
STEVE BALLMER: I think we can show you a little bit here. You know, we’ve done some things to try to make it just beautifully easy to put you and to deliver the entertainment that you want with the people you care about, and, Ryan, and make it easy.
RYAN SEACREST: So, when you say “easy,” let’s talk about that for a second. It seems like you guys are doing new things, offering a different kind of entertainment experience. Would that be accurate?
STEVE BALLMER: I think that’s a fair way to say it. And what we’ll show you tonight, I think you’ll think it’s even more different, even more different. Kinect is certainly a big part of this. It’s a leading example of what we all like to call natural user interface where the technology kind of disappears, and it’s just you and what you say, and what you do, and how you act that the computer is interpreting and making decisions.
We’ve shipped over 18 million in essentially a little over a year, over 18 million of these Kinect sensors, and I think Kinect, particularly as we now integrate Bing, which you are so familiar with, into the Xbox and Kinect experience, it will really transform the TV experience.
You just say it, and Xbox goes and finds it for you.
RYAN SEACREST: Say it and it finds it for you. All right. Let’s take a look. Please welcome to the stage Craig Davidson from Microsoft Xbox team to show us what’s new on Xbox.
CRAIG DAVISON: Thanks, Ryan.
You’re looking at the new Xbox experience, launched in December, where all of your entertainment — games, movies, TV, music and friends — live in one place, where the new Metro design is central to the experience, where the only controller you’ll need is your voice, where you can ask Bing to quickly discover the content you want and where you’ll find on-demand and live TV. Let me show you the magic of voice with Kinect.
Xbox, apps. Video. Games. Music. Social.
There’s all the people I care about.
Games. My games.
Simply by using my voice I can quickly pull up games like Gears 3 or Kinect games where I can burn a hole in the dance floor, fly through Disneyland, or throw the touchdown pass with Kinect Sports Season 2.
And now with Bing you say it and Xbox finds it.
Xbox, Bing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two.
A single voice command and I can search across everything available now on Xbox: movies, TV shows, games, soundtracks; they’re all there.
How about another search?
Xbox, Bing Star Trek.
Yeah, it’s true, by the way, I’m a total Trekker. And there’s the movie I’m looking for.
Xbox, Star Trek.
We just searched across the entire Xbox catalogue to find the providers who offer this movie. You can’t get this kind of actionable discovery anywhere else.
But discovery on Xbox, well, it’s about more than just titles. What if you want to search by actor or director? No problem.
Xbox, Bing Josh Duhamel.
I started watching Josh in Transformers: Dark of the Moon last night, and I want to resume where I left off.
Xbox, Dark of the Moon. Zune. Xbox, resume.
I can use my voice to fast forward, pause, or rewind the movie.
But like many people, I tend to watch and play with more than one device in my living room.
Wow, check it out, it’s a new Nokia Lumia 900. (Cheers, applause.) These things are everywhere tonight.
Just as I search using my voice, now with the Xbox companion app on Windows Phone I can search across Xbox and I can control my Xbox, all with my voice — sorry, with my phone.
I can even quickly go to the BCS National Championship, live on ESPN. So, spoiler alert, if you don’t want to know the score, look away now. I can open the ESPN app — (cheers) — check in on the game where Alabama is killing it, and if I want, roll it right up on the big screen.
Now, TV is about more than just sports. On Xbox we’re partnering to bring you all your favorite TV shows. Let’s check out the Verizon FiOS app on Xbox which is now available.
Xbox, go home. Yes. Xbox, TV. Program guide.
Twenty-six of the most popular TV channels from Verizon on Xbox, what’s being broadcast live right now, with more TV, including a growing on-demand library coming soon.
And now I’m thrilled to add that Comcast will soon be launching on Xbox, providing Xfinity on-demand, huge library of top shows and movies.
I’m also pleased to announce a partnership with News Corporation that will bring Fox broadcast programming, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News Channel, and IGN to the Xbox service. The new Xbox Fox app will feature all of your favorite shows, including Family Guy, House, New Girl, the Simpsons, Fringe, Bones, and Glee, all on-demand.
All of the News Corp apps are scheduled to launch on Xbox in 2012.
These entertainment leaders join our growing lineup of great TV and entertainment partners on Xbox, including AT&T U-Verse TV, TELUS, Telefonica, and many more.
With lightning-fast voice control with Kinect, a world of entertainment content, and the ease of discovery using Bing, Xbox is your all-in-one entertainment device for the living room.
All the experiences you just saw are available now, but what comes next? At this very moment, we’re working with some of the world’s best known brands, creative artists, and production companies to create unprecedented new experiences for the TV. Soon you’ll move away from one-way experiences of just watching TV to two-way experiences where you’ll engage with the TV.
To show you what this looks like, please welcome my colleague Jaymi Bauer, and her friend Ainsley. (Applause.)
JAYMI BAUER: Hi, everyone. Today, my friend Ainsley and I are going to share with you Kinect Sesame Street TV. It’s one of our first initiatives in delivering two-way TV.
For a decade, Xbox has been a leader in delivering really engaging video game experiences. Well, today we’re going to take a little peek at something that is not a game.
In collaboration with our partners at the Sesame Workshop, we’ve taken their current episodes from their season that’s running right now and we’re turning them into fully interactive experiences. For the first time you can physically and vocally impact a TV show.
So, I have a little one, two-and-a-half-year-old Tommy, who, when he watches TV, he’s right in there. He’s dancing, he’s jumping, he’s singing, he’s talking to the characters. Do you ever do anything like this?
JAYMI BAUER: Has the TV ever responded?
JAYMI BAUER: Would you like to see what happens when it does?
JAYMI BAUER: Okay, let’s go watch and play Sesame Street.
Ah, okay, so here we are on the Street. It looks like Cookie’s getting distracted by baklava, and he’s left his skateboard on the Street. I sense something is going to happen.
Now, what was the number of the day? We knew this.
JAYMI BAUER: Yes.
And for the first time on Sesame Street Elmo introduced a move of the day, which is?
JAYMI BAUER: Okay, so let’s see how this goes in the episode.
GROVER: Oh, dear. I seem to have spilled all of my coconuts. Please help me pick up a coconut and throw it into my box.
JAYMI BAUER: Okay, so at this point I think he’s asking you to do something, Ains. What do you think?
GROVER: Come on, you can do it, throw a coconut right to me.
JAYMI BAUER: Throw a coconut.
Okay, good toss, right in the box.
GROVER: Now I have one coconut in the box. Three more coconuts to go. Get ready to throw another coconut.
JAYMI BAUER: So, now sometimes watching Sesame Street is fun when you’re just watching. So, what do you say we give it a try to not do something?
JAYMI BAUER: Yeah, sit back.
GROVER: Calling all coconuts, come in coconuts!
JAYMI BAUER: No!
COOKIE MONSTER: Oh, that’s a funny-looking rock. Hey, that’s coconuts.
AINSLEY: Cookie is helping us.
JAYMI BAUER: Yeah! Slam dunk.
GROVER: Thank you, Cookie Monster.
Now I have two coconuts in the box.
JAYMI BAUER: Two coconuts, thanks to Cookie.
GROVER: Your turn. Throw me a coconut.
JAYMI BAUER: Want to do it again?
JAYMI BAUER: Okay.
GROVER: Okay, here we go now. Throw me a coconut.
JAYMI BAUER: Do the arms. Oh, you bonked him on the head. Okay, good one.
GROVER: Nice throw. Now I have three coconuts in the box. One more coconut to go.
JAYMI BAUER: One more to go. Let’s see what happens when you really get into it, okay, like a big one, like a granny or something, something big.
AINSLEY: He caught it!
GROVER: We did it. Now there are four coconuts all together in the box. Let us count to make sure all of the coconuts are back in the box.
JAYMI BAUER: Let’s count.
AINSLEY: One, two, three, four.
JAYMI BAUER: Perfect!
GROVER: Four coconuts all together. You did it. Thank you!
JAYMI BAUER: Okay, so this is an example of totally interacting in a different way, two ways, TV way with Sesame Street where we get to throw something with our favorite characters, Cookie and Grover.
Now, there’s another kind of experience you’re going to see us deliver. What do you say we take a look at what happens when we bring Sesame Street into our living room, okay?
All right, well, we know this kid. This is Tommy’s favorite.
Where are we going, Ains?
AINSLEY: Elmo’s room.
JAYMI BAUER: You’ve got it.
AINSLEY: We’re in Elmo’s room!
JAYMI BAUER: There we are.
JAYMI BAUER: Oh, look what happens when I do that. Can you — okay, nice.
So, just play around, kiddo. Oh, can you get the tiger? Make him scared? Good job.
Oh, a monkey; what happens when you touch the monkey?
So, there you have it, a first look at Kinect Sesame Street TV. TV for your living room in the two-way fashion is coming later this year, and only on Kinect. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
RYAN SEACREST: Good job. Thank you very much, Jaymi and Ainsley. And now everybody wants to line up one by one and play with the coconuts. Very cool.
It’s so cool to not just be watching but be a part of it.
STEVE BALLMER: Absolutely.
You know, with the stuff you just saw, though, we’re just getting started. The number of things you can do with interactive entertainment, video and interactivity mixed together, it’s going to be amazing.
RYAN SEACREST: That’s what I find interesting is how people are starting to think about applying the magic of Kinect far beyond entertainment.
STEVE BALLMER: Yeah, really the ability for the computer to see you, to recognize you, to hear you, it really sparked imagination. And just as Kinect revolutionized entertainment, we’ll see it revolutionize other industries: education, health care, and many, many more.
RYAN SEACREST: That’s incredible. Let’s take a look at what people are sort of drumming up right now, shall we?
STEVE BALLMER: Great, let’s do it.
RYAN SEACREST: Watch this.
STEVE BALLMER: Tonight, I’m thrilled to announce that Kinect is coming to Windows on February 1st, in just a couple of weeks. (Cheers, applause.)
We’re already working with more than 200 companies on unique Kinect for Windows applications. The breadth of what they’re doing is mind-blowing from United Health Group, Toyota, Telefonica, Mattel, American Express, and many, many more.
RYAN SEACREST: So, we’ve seen what happens with Windows Phone, Windows PCs, and Xbox, but it’s not everything going on at Microsoft, is it?
STEVE BALLMER: Not by a long shot, Ryan, thank you for asking, thank you.
RYAN SEACREST: What else?
STEVE BALLMER: Let’s just give a couple, a couple, three things. First, let me talk a little bit about Sync, which we’ve worked on with Ford. Sync is now installed, powering intelligent experiences in over 4 million Ford vehicles since 2007, and I think we’ll reach 9 million additional cars in the course of the next three years.
Office 2010 has really shot through the roof. I mean, people ask me, is there a lot of innovation left? The fastest selling version in Office history.
And we haven’t stopped there, we pushed Office on into the cloud with Office 365, and have what I might call nothing other than a stunning success rate in competition with the other guys in cloud services.
Since the CES show last year, we acquired Skype. Skype is amazing: 200 million people who used over 300 billion — 300 billion minutes of voice and video in the last year, including I think one day we reached over a billion in the time since we first made the bid.
And, of course, the product at Microsoft, yeah, maybe you know the best even Bing, where we’ve reached 30 percent market share in combination with Yahoo! here in the United States, and we’ve really pushed on innovations to help people accomplish tasks and to help their friends help educate them in partnership with Facebook and Twitter and a number of others.
RYAN SEACREST: You are busy, big numbers there.
So, I think we’re almost out of time. So, one final question on your final keynote event this evening: What’s next?
STEVE BALLMER: There was a real level of finality in that.
RYAN SEACREST: What’s next?
STEVE BALLMER: What’s next?
RYAN SEACREST: You know something we don’t know.
STEVE BALLMER: Windows 8 is what’s next. The next milestone is in late February and then boom, on to the shipment of Windows 8.
There’s nothing more important at Microsoft than Windows, and delivering the kind of no-compromise experience with the dynamic Metro user interface that Tami described.
You saw Metro in the phone, you saw Metro in Windows, you saw Metro in Xbox. It’s everywhere: tablets, PCs, phones, TV, and Xbox. And you’ll experience more and more natural user interface through Metro, as we had a chance to see in the Kinect demonstration.
Together, all of us in this industry in thousands of new ways, even new ways that we haven’t imagined yet, we’ll use the software and services and devices to invent incredible things.
Metro will drive the new magic across all of our user experiences. In the new math at Microsoft Metro means that one plus one really does equal three.
So, in 2012 what’s next? Metro, Metro, Metro — it’s all right, I’ve got you — and, of course, Windows, Windows, Windows. (Cheers, applause.)
RYAN SEACREST: Well said. And by the way, I think that is the perfect spot to end right there with that conviction and passion. And thank you, thank you for your time, thanks for the great work that you guys are doing and sharing it with us; very exciting, and it’s a pleasure to be on the stage with you. You guys are a fantastic partner.
So, thank you very much. Thank you all for all being here.
STEVE BALLMER: Thanks to all of you and thanks to Ryan; pleasure.
RYAN SEACREST: Thanks to everybody for watching online. (Applause.)