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yagu's Journal: Gates panned at CES 6

Journal by yagu

As per usual, I've submitted yet another article I expect to be rejected..., here it is for the unwashed:

Steve Johnson, a "web perspective" writer for the Chicago Tribune had a surprising review and some observations of Bill Gates' CES keynote address. He pretty much calls Bill out on the carpet for using the keynote as a platform for a pre-rollout Vista infomercial. From his (Steve's) notes:

Bill Gates, for his "keynote" presentation on the eve of the 40th Consumer Electronics Show, didn't pitch a real-estate sales scheme.

He wasn't on late-night TV.

And he didn't offer a three-easy-payment plan at the end.

But the Microsoft founder's address was nonetheless an infomercial, a blatant pitch for his new Windows Vista operation system that violated every notion of what a keynote address ought to be.

I have just watched the 90 minute video, and I'd have to agree, the presentation didn't seem to be about where technology was and where it was going as much as it was about Bill and co's excitement about the "fantastic" (a favorite Bill word) new computing Vista brings, and how Microsoft was poised to take over your digital living room, and house, and car...

Is it really necessary to shill for your own company front and center of CES when you're pretty much guaranteed the market share? Does Bill really add value to CES?

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Gates panned at CES

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  • by naoursla (99850)
    What is CES if not advertising for new products? It's not like he was the speaker at graduation commencement.
    • by yagu (721525) *

      What is CES if not advertising for new products? It's not like he was the speaker at graduation commencement.

      This is true. I thought a lot about this, I know my tendency is to be harsh with Microsoft. But I've attended a few large expos, and seen more than a few keynote speakers who gave great addresses on topic and not shilling for their company.

      I don't remember the conference "titles", but I remember seeing Bill Joy speak at one and, other than being introduced as a "Sun Evangelist", you'd not have known he worked for Sun.

      Another memorable talk delivered by Michael Dell as a keynote address -- Dell barely

      • by naoursla (99850)
        I suppose being disappointed is a fair reaction. I saw Gates speak at COMDEX years ago and it was basically the introduction of new Microsoft technologies.

        Although it had a big impact on me. That is a story worth telling.

        Gates is talking about resolutions and how computer screens are not good enough and reading them for long periods causes eye fatigue. He says that Microsoft wants to solve this. Gates tells how he went to his engineers and said, "I want you to increase the resolution of this screen, but I w
        • by yagu (721525) *

          I suppose being disappointed is a fair reaction. I saw Gates speak at COMDEX years ago and it was basically the introduction of new Microsoft technologies.

          Although it had a big impact on me. That is a story worth telling.

          Gates is talking about resolutions and how computer screens are not good enough and reading them for long periods causes eye fatigue. He says that Microsoft wants to solve this. Gates tells how he went to his engineers and said, "I want you to increase the resolution of this screen, but I want you to do it only with software. You can't change the hardware." My reaction to this is "Ridiculous! That's impossible." (which in retrospect was probably the reaction he wanted since it probably did not play out that way). Then he says, "And that is what my engineers did!" So now I am thinking that there is a solution -- what did they do? He is talking about color LCD screens and I quickly figure out that they are using the individual colors elements of each pixel to increase the resolution. And that was how Microsoft introduced ClearType. I remember that experience whenever I initially think something is impossible and instead of throwing up my hands in frustration at being asked to do the impossible,
          I try to violate hidden assumptions or find partial solutions that solve the important part of the problem.

          Cool, I too appreciate defining the impossible and letting someone solve it -- it's usually doable and not yet done only because of long held assumptions and beliefs of impossibilities. ClearType is a great example of that (though it only really applied to LCDs as CRTs had different "resolution" characteristics).

          Another great example is that of (I think) Polaroid (and I apologize to any and all if it was Kodak, or one of the others... I'm remembering it as Polaroid)... The CEO of Polaroid told his engi

          • ClearType is a great example of that (though it only really applied to LCDs as CRTs had different "resolution" characteristics).

            It might not be so cut-and-dry [grc.com] but it does seem Microsoft first applied the general solution to LCD.
  • The cynic would say that Bill Gates has a need to do everything Steve Jobs gets kudos for doing well.

    Anyway, it's not WindowsWorld Expo, so your point is still valid (unless you consider Windows the default computing environment).

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