CES just started a few hours ago, but I already feel like it
can start being wrapped up. This years
show just hasn’t had the pop it needed, and it all started with Microsoft’s
lackluster keynote. Unlike pervious
years, fancy demos of new products and concepts didn’t take center stage. Instead most of the show centered on Bill
leaving. The whole Connected
Decade concept didn’t make a big slash, despite it being the main
topic. Media Center had its 15 seconds
of fame with half a dozen mentions in the keynote, yet no product demos or
anything on stage.
The “big” Media Center news on stage was that Extenders are
coming from HP and Samsung. The HP
products were announced
at DigitalLife in September, so in reality the Samsung announcement was the
only new Media Center related bit. The
form factor for the Samsung will be an “compact device can be easily mounted to the rear of select Samsung
add-on module that will was not announced but the press release implied it. Update: I took this as meaning an add-on module that only works with those models and not a standalone unit that just happens to attach to those select displays. I’m trying to find out the answer, but the above is a direct quote from the press release. I
being built-in to
think I’d much rather see a Blu-ray/HD
DVD player with an Extender at this point (notice how I put Blu-ray first
Mediaroom was the big news which I hated. Don’t get me wrong, IPTV is great and now Mediaroom
is on 1 million STBs. However, the only
US provider is AT&T U-Verse and it has some growing pains. U-Verse is only in some three-dozen markets
in the US and they spend the most amount of time taking about it? Great for those who have it, but then again
for Media Center users it is a no go for HD.
Anywere lets you share content with other Mediaroom STBs in your home which
I expected at some point as other providers are doing it standard now too. The other big news with Xbox 360
IPTV, but currently only from BT in the UK.
It is not clear how it will work.
In the keynote it was said you would buy an Xbox 360 from BT, yet the
press release says it will work for “existing and future Xbox 360 console
There was something about Zune Social that I didn’t care
about. Sync is nice and really shows
convergence, so why don’t we have native voice control in Media Center? Why is touch the new way to do things yet
Media Center has never seen a touchscreen’s pushed by Microsoft?
Sideshow was a noshow.
Surface was their in part, still cool but still a novelty for most
businesses in my opinion. No news about
the DIRECTV tuner, nothing about BOCR or two-way cable. Nothing about SP1 or Fiji. Really a whole lot of nothing.