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Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Microsoft 2012 CES Keynote


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer did a lot of talking, but didn't say anything too substantive in his final keynote address at CES.

The company chose to run through a number of its upcoming--but previously announced--projects, from Windows Phone to Windows 8.

Mr. Ballmer talked about the U.S. release Nokia's Lumia 710 with T-Mobile , Nokia's first Windows Phone in the U.S, as well as for two new LTE phones: the Nokia Lumia 900 and the HTC Titan II, both on AT&T.

He showed showed a range of new ultra-light, ultra-thin Windows 7 PCs that are already available at the market, announced several pieces of news with Xbox, including a new partnership with NewsCorp to bring new apps for Xbox LIVE that will feature content from their leading broadcast, news and Web properties, including Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Channel, IGN Entertainment and The Wall Street Journal. Microsoft also announced that the new Kinect for Windows commercial program will be available on Feb. 1st. Microsoft is taking Kinect for Windows beyond entertainment, already working companies including United Health Group, Toyota, Telefonica, Mattel, American Express and more. The Kinect for Windows hardware and software package will be available in limited at a variety of resellers and distributors for the suggested retail price of $249 (U.S.). It will be available in 12 countries - United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and United Kingdom. The price of the Kinect for Windows hardware and software package includes a one-year warranty . Later in 2012, academic pricing for Qualified Educational Users planned at $149 will be available, Microsoft added.

Microsoft also used an Nvidia Tegra 3 tablet as well as an x86 Samsung device to show off the power and dynamics of the new Windows 8 operating system. A half hour into the show, sandwiched between segments hosted by Ryan Seacrest, Windows chief marketing officer Tami Reller, spent about 15 minutes on stage showing off Windows 8. Tami demonstrated features in Windows 8 such as the Start screen, Charms, the Windows Store, and Metro-style apps - which will be available across all Windows 8 PCs and tablets. Reller used the Metro interface's tiles to flip through pictures, and a panoply of apps and images, emphasizing that Windows 8 accepts input equally well by touch, keyboard and mouse.

According to Microsoft, Xbox 360 is first in console sales with more than 66 million worldwide, and Xbox LIVE is the biggest social entertainment network in the living room with nearly 40 million Xbox LIVE members. Over the last year, more than 18 million kinect sensors have been sold.

Windows Phone has more than 50,000 published apps and games in Marketplace - with an average of 300 more added each day.

Windows 7 also remains the fastest selling operating system in history, with more than 500 million Windows 7 licenses sold (that's an average of seven every second).

Bing has more than doubled market share since launch, and with Microsoft's partnership with Yahoo, we power nearly 30 percent of the U.S. searches.

Microsoft also talked about Office 2010, which is the fastest selling version of Office in the company's history as well as the Office 365, which is being used by more than 80 million people worldwide.


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