Ballmer's Entrance and Microsoft's Strategy

And here he comes. No jumping, no shouting, just a confident stride and a disarmingly casual sweater-over-shirt combo. Ballmer says that despite the economic troubles of the last year, the technology industry ‘has continued to focus, invest and work hard to bring new technologies to the marketplace.’ He’s possibly thinking of the Zune HD and Windows 7, possibly the two most significant releases ffrom Microsoft last year. He has a video to illustrate his point though…

Meet Seth Meyers, a ‘randomly selected’ [wink, wink] person to demonstrate how technology has changed the lives of people during 2009 – for those not a resident of the US, Meyers is a cast member of Saturday Night Live. I’m expecting this to be a humorous skit, possibly poking a little fun at Ballmer’s reputation.

Not so. Meyers goes on about how entertainment technology is making everyone’s lives better: Video chatting over the internet has meant that his grandparents no longer have to travel across the country to see him – which means they can nag him more often. Thanks technology. Xbox Live has taught Meyers that he’s not better at video games than 11-year olds, video mode on cameras has lead to Meyers recording ‘weird eight-second art films’ and so on. Hardly ground-breaking stuff.

Steve Ballmer's CES 2010 Keynote Ballmer's Entrance and Microsoft's Strategy
Ballmer explaining Microsoft's approach.

Right, back the main event. Ballmer is talking about last year’s speech, where he outlined some of the new ways we might be using the screens in our houses for more than a single purpose – 'more than ever, we’re delivering the experiences people want, whenever they want them, wherever they are. Tonight we’re going to see a guide to three of the aspects of the strategy that guides us.[/i]

First is the increasing importance of change in the screens woven into the fabric of our lives, in particular… the ever-evolving PC.’ Yes, that really is what he said, and I have no idea what it means. Let’s hope he clarifies. Ballmer is also going to talk about the future of the TV experience.

The second aspect is the cloud. No, sorry, The Cloud. Microsoft ‘believes in an approach that combines the power of immersive and intelligent software that runs on devices along with smart and intuitive services accessed instantly via The Cloud.

The third aspect is the ‘next revolution in the natural user interface’, an area in which Microsoft is making great progress, says Ballmer. He’s going to share some of this progress with us, which should be interesting given some of Microsoft’s UI projects – Natal, Surface and the funky things possible in Windows 7 such as Aero Peek and so forth.
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