Gates' last hurrah at CES (and try-try-try again)

It's IT Blogwatch: in which Bill Gates bows out gracefully, in his final CES keynote. Not to mention a process of elimination...

Elizabeth Montalbano reports from Sin City

Bill Gates has never taken himself as seriously as he does his company. So it was only fitting that it was with a humorous and star-studded video parody that he kicked off his final preshow keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show Sunday night in Las Vegas ... When the laughs and applause ... died down, Gates once again outlined his vision for a world of service-connected devices that allow for human interactions through speech and touch -- a vision he's been promoting for years from the CES stage. [more]

Eric Lai adds:

Microsoft - and Gates - shows again to have a better sense of humor than is typically ascribed to them. Cameos by Brian Williams, Matthew McConaughey, Jay-Z, Bono, Steven Spielberg, George Clooney, Jon Stewart, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Al Gore. [more]

Here it is:

Long Zheng has a copy of the video, too:

Amazing who they can call for a guest appearance in the name of Bill Gates. [watch]

Saul Hansell looked past the parody but was disappointed:

In an era when the vanguard of technology is creating smart devices for entertainment and communications, Bill Gates ... had little that was interesting or innovative to show ... more of the same ... a footnote ... doesn’t really offer consumers anything new ... his much-repeated vision ... a monumental snore ... the largest software company seems to be missing the most exciting game in the world. [more]

Patrick Garratt agrees:

The Microsoft chairman's swan song performance ... [favored] rhetoric over real substance ... Zune is the "clear alternative to iPod" ... this funny brick thing ... which could recognise faces and buildings and stored random episodes about your life without you telling it to ... there was something just a little sad about the movie poking fun at his departure ... there really wasn't that much solid detail about any of the new products shown during the presentation, and that alone left a distinct "meh" on the lips of the exiting crowd. [more]

Eric Bangeman sees the vision-thing:

According to Gates, all media and entertainment will be software driven, and Microsoft plans to provide the platform to make it all happen. The next digital decade will be user-centric and focused on connecting people and connecting experiences ... Overall, the keynote was a bit of a disappointment, especially compared to the last couple of years. It seemed indicative of the mood at CES this year, however ... there doesn't appear to be the same kind of buzz surrounding the show as in years gone by. [more]

Nathan Weinberg wonders:

Bill mentioned the cloud and services. Will he FINALLY talk about What Ray Ozzie is doing? We can only wish, maybe at CES 2009 ... it felt like the keynote was just a little too short and didn’t reveal anything. [more]

Leo Blanco has the answer, and it's not 42:

CES ... has become an ineffective place to promote new products because it is as much a place to get lost as to get discovered ... the biggest hurdle is how to cut through the clutter without hurting your marketing budget ... Maybe it's high time for CES to break into different segments as it continually expands its horizon ... perhaps mid-year or quarterly conventions are more appropriate. [more]

And finally...

Buffer overflow:

Other Computerworld bloggers:

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 20 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You too can pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email:

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