CES Preview: Will CES 2008 be overshadowed -- again?

Apple's iPhone announcement stole attention from CES last time around

Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates has a tough job ahead of him when he kicks off the keynote speeches at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2008 in Las Vegas on Jan. 6.

He'll be hard pressed to make sure that CES outshines the Macworld Conference & Expo. Last year, Steve Jobs stole the technology spotlight at Macworld when he announced the iPhone. It overshadowed everything at CES and has been as big a hit as everyone thought it would be. He's on tap to speak again at Macworld this year, and rumors say Apple could reveal anything from its own ultramobile PC to an online movie rental service.

What will Gates announce? Last year, rumors of the iPhone, plus poor scheduling that had the two shows running at nearly the same time, prompted some people to skip part of CES to hear Jobs' speech at Macworld. At least this year, the scheduling is better, with Macworld starting just after CES ends.

2008 International CES

View more stories from 2008 International CES But what Microsoft rumors are there? Vista Service Pack 1? Internet Explorer 8? Might the Xbox 360 get motion-sensored game controllers so it can compete with Nintendo's Wii?

Yawn.

Details on the rumored next-generation Windows, code-named 7, might be interesting, but since Vista is still new for most people, it's hard to guess what a new operating system might look like. The most exciting Microsoft rumors today are corporate, not product -- namely that the software giant might buy Yahoo Inc. or Bloomberg LP.

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