Gates may be stepping away from full-time work at Microsoft later this year, but he still had a few things he wanted to show off. In his, the Microsoft chairman demonstrated a slew of fashionable PCs, touted the role of computing interfaces like speech and touch, and announced a partnership with NBC to jointly run the site for the Olympics.
Gates also used the speech to note that his software company has now shipped 100 million copies of Windows Vista. He said that getting so many Vista PCs out will make the platform more attractive. "That's a very significant milestone for application development and specialized hardware work."
CNET News.com readers debated the impact Gates has had on the tech community, with many claiming that Gates' Microsoft copied, bought, and bullied competitors.
"Gates has been an excellent salesman, but a lousy forecaster," wrote one reader to the News.com TalkBack forum.
However, it's unclear whether Microsoft's dominance in the computer industry will carry over to new consumer-oriented markets, or whether rivals such as Google and Apple will ultimately gain the upper hand.
In an interview just ahead of his farewell speech,, the future of DVD, and why all of those seamless connections between digital devices exist only in keynote speeches.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini also shared his vision of the future, predicting in his keynote that thewill unleash a burst of innovation and business opportunities that will rival the impact of personal computers. Otellini presented a vision of an always-on, always-connected experience for consumers, whether they're sitting in their homes, driving their cars, or riding their bikes.
"We're now in the midst of the largest opportunity to redefine consumer electronics and entertainment since the introduction of the television," Otellini said.
During his keynote, Otellini demonstrated a system-on-a-chip for consumer devices. Code-named "Canmore," the product is intended for use in TVs, set-top boxes, and media players to allow, among other things, the integration of Internet applications.
Traditional tech players weren't the only ones in the CES spotlight. General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner took the stage to unveil the company's latest concept car--a Cadillac that could get 300 miles on a single tank and has nearly all the eco-friendly features you can think of. The Provoq----runs on a hydrogen fuel cell and a lithium-ion battery. The car primarily runs on hydrogen, but uses the battery for peak power and storing electricity to extend the range.
"I have 20,000 songs on my iPod," he said. Habtewold said he's had a regular iPod, a photo iPod, and an earlier video iPod as well.
Habtewold's tech lust isn't limited to iPods. He also has a $3,000 camera setup including a Canon D30 and L-series lens, a Windows Mobile phone, and a Casio watch that also acts as a television remote control.
Here's a quick rundown of other notable news from CES:
Laptops and combo drives
The Dell XPS 630i laptop featured an unusual-size display,
The Buffalo MediaStation Blu-ray HD DVD drive is an external USB combo drive that
TVs, thin, wide, wireless
Panasonic unveiled its 150-inch "Lifescreen" plasma, billed as "
At just 2.9 inches deep, JVC's 42- and 46-inch flat panels on display were billed as "
Sony's 11-inch OLED HDTV is
Westinghouse Digital showed off a
Phones underwater, on the road, and on your wrist
Sanyo Electric displayed phones that are available only in Japan, including a waterproof digital TV phone, so you can "
The GPS-enabled Asus P527 includes a built-in SiRFIII GPS chip and a preloaded application called Travelog that lets you
Dick Tracy, your watch is ringing: LG Electronics showed off a
Tech goes to the primaries
As important as technology is in the Nevada desert, voters in New Hampshire don't seem to be getting worked up over it.
In the days before Tuesday's primary, News.com reporters asked residents of New Hampshire
"That means nothing to me," Mark Cancelada, 42, of Portsmouth, N.H., said when asked about Net neutrality, shortly after an early-morning John Edwards rally ended Saturday in the center of Portsmouth, a quaint city of about 20,000 residents.
But that doesn't mean technology-minded people are ignoring the Granite State. Vijay Boyapati, a former Google engineer now serving the Ron Paul campaign through an independent group, says he drew on lessons learned while building Google products towith the goal of drawing hundreds of Paul volunteers to New Hampshire. Boyapati, a six-year veteran of the company, quit his job a few weeks ago to support the operation, which has drawn about 500 volunteers to the state.
The operation works by squeezing as many volunteers as possible into about 12 homes that Boyapati has rented throughout the state, with extra people shuffled off to hotel rooms or to the homes of New Hampshire residents with a little extra room to spare. One host said in an interview Saturday that he had 15 out-of-state volunteers temporarily living in his basement.
But for at least one candidate, there are very important tech issues. During a final early-morning rally at Dartmouth College the day of the primaries, Barack Obama said that if he were elected president, Americans would be able to
It's hardly a new stance for Obama, who has made similar statements in previous campaign speeches, but mention of the issue in a stump speech, alongside more frequently discussed topics like Iraq and education, may give some clue to his priorities.
In the end, Hillary Clinton and John McCain
This was politicking at its most traditional, employing venerable tactics like McCain's Straight Talk Express bus tour and Clinton's "Time to Pick a President" meetings with voters. By the time the polls closed, it was a rare Granite State resident who managed to avoid in-person contact with a would-be president or a pushy surrogate.
In other words, it was anything but high-tech. Sure, there were robo-calls and e-mail alerts, but, for the most part, the local events that convinced voters to pick Clinton and McCain could have been convened at any point in the last century.
Music's new tune
In another blow to digital rights management, Amazon.com announced that it will be
The move follows Napster's announcement that it would
A handful of analysts are calling for the music industry to focus less on CDs, DRM, and subscription services, and more on giving their product away for free. Whatever gold that is still left to be mined from the music industry is supposed to be had through advertising revenue, according to some.
Butwho for decades have depended on hawking discs and are still putting up major roadblocks for the free, ad-supported model. Couple that with less-than-stellar execution on the part of companies trying to give music away and you have a business model still trying to get into first gear.
One of those
In the blog, Reznor suggested that he was "disheartened" by the results. In an interview with CNET News.com, Reznor talks about the experiment and his rethinking of music in the digital age.
Also of note
Jeff Raikes, head of Microsoft's Business Division,