Microsoft is pulling out of CES after this year, presumably because the show doesn’t support its corporate and brand marketing goals. CEO Steve Ballmer’s farewell keynote was an hour-plus company sales pitch delivered at the top of his lungs, with a parade of product demonstrations by his executive team.
It was if he was saying “here’s why we don’t need you guys”. At least he didn’t mention the horse we rode in on.
Top of the list of reasons why Ballmer is happy following Apple out of CES is Windows 8. “There’s nothing more important” to Microsoft’s future, he said.
He and his team demoed the new Metro user interface. Assuming it will do what they say it will do, it’ll take it a step further down the Apple user interface roadmap than Apple itself has yet to go.
The concept is to have a seamless UI experience across PCs, game and video boxes and mobile devices, including phones and tablets. Apple is moving in that direction, but is doing it with two separate operating systems, iOS and OS X. Windows 8 is intended to do the job of both.
Microsoft continues to edge away from its former near-monogamous relationship with Intel. Ballmer said Windows 8 is designed to run just fine on x86 chips, from both Intel and AMD, but it’s built from the ground up to support ARM processors from NVIDIA, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm too.
Ballmer acknowledged that Microsoft is under pressure, particularly in mobile products, but said “competition is a great thing and I’m glad we have Windows”. Custer might have said the same about the 7th Cavalry.