CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

Microsoft and Banquo's Ghost

Well, the battery on my Dell laptop conked out just as the boys began to get into the heart of the presentation. Memo to self: Next time bring a spare!

By now, you must have read about the news out of the Microsoft announcement. All in all, I think several Microsoft rivals have a lot to chew over.

Microsoft showed off a free Skype-like feature that got my attention. And unlike eBay, Microsoft didn't have to plunk down $2.5 billion for the privilege. There also was a desktop security scanner clearly targeted at the likes of Symantec and McAfee. Microsoft also demo'ed a nifty Plaxo-like feature that automatically updates contact info whenever anyone in your email list modifies their personal data.

This is all of a piece with Microsoft's historic approach of dumping everything but the kitchen sink inside of a container. In years past that container was called Windows. Nowadays, it's a collection of Internet platforms the brass calls its "Live Offerings."

Lastly, all of this will be supplemented by a bevy of contextual advertising links that Microsoft will be selling. Nobody mentioned what was driving all this but they didn't need to belabor the obvious: Google hovered like Banquo's ghost during the entire presentation.