[CES] Bill Gates Stresses Importance of Contents and UIs

Jan 8, 2008
Phil Keys, Nikkei Electronics
Bill Gates making the last keynote address at CES
Bill Gates making the last keynote address at CES
[Click to enlarge image]
Website for delivering moving images of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, developed by adopting "Silverlight."
Website for delivering moving images of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, developed by adopting "Silverlight."
[Click to enlarge image]
Gates designs a snowboard using "Microsoft Surface."
Gates designs a snowboard using "Microsoft Surface."
[Click to enlarge image]
Image recognized by a mobile phone. Bach of Microsoft was recognized and information on him, such as his name, position and the fact that he owes 20 dollars to Gates, are displayed.
Image recognized by a mobile phone. Bach of Microsoft was recognized and information on him, such as his name, position and the fact that he owes 20 dollars to Gates, are displayed.
[Click to enlarge image]

The keynote address by Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft Corp, is the annual event delivered on the eve of International CES. The twelfth keynote address was his last address at CES because he is retiring from his management position in 2008.

He referred to the partnerships with contents companies and the potential of User Interface (UI) rather than making extensive announcements about new products.

Gates described the 2000s as "the first Digital Decade." "The trend is clear. All media and entertainment is driven by software technologies," he said, summarizing the decade. Referring to the next decade, which is the second Digital Decade, he said that it is important to provide seamless links between various contents.

Gates announced that Microsoft of the US plans to set up a Website for delivering the information and moving images related to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in collaboration with NBC Universal Inc of the US. The site delivers on demand and live footage of more than 3,000 hours.

The Website was developed by adopting "Silverlight," a software technology developed by Microsoft for media replay and the execution of rich applications on web browsers.

Microsoft also announced that it will add movie contents of MGM Studios Inc of the US as well as United Studios Corp, an US company under its umbrella, to the moving image delivery function of "Xbox LIVE," an online service intended for Xbox 360. At the same time, the company also reached an agreement to provide TV contents of the Disney-ABC Television Group, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co.

Gates demonstrated "Microsoft Surface," an UI technology developed by the company, describing the User Interface (UI) as a technology that has a significant influence on future computing technologies. This technology allows operation of objects by moving hands on a table-shaped touch screen.

In the demonstration, he designed a snowboard by moving the objects on the touch screen by hand, under the assumption that he was designing a snowboard that he would buy.

Gates also demonstrated the technology of automatically recognizing people and objects by mobile phones and displaying the information, using the image recognition technology mounted on mobile phones.

He pointed the mobile phone to Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division of Microsoft, who was on the stage during the address, recognized his image, and displayed Bach's name and other information. This technology will provide a navigation function that recognize the destination building and show the route to it, he said.

2008 International CES Special Site