The new interface, which is expected to appear in late 2009, was unveiled at thein Carlsbad, Calif., this week.
Corporate Vice President
Microsoft had previously hinted that the touch gestures would find their way into Windows. In an interesting twist though, the new technology will work with existing touch screens, Microsoft said.
A Microsoft blog with a demonstration of the new interface can be found here.
As much as the conference is about tech's A-listers getting together to discuss emerging trends in the industry, the confab also brought together all the major players in the as-yet-failed Microhoo merger. So did anyone want to talk about it? No.
When Bill Gates was asked if he had a comment, he said, "No. Steve (Ballmer) might give a more nuanced answer."
However, Ballmer wasn't eager to offer much more during an on-stage discussion. "We are talking with them about other ideas, but we are not rebidding on the company. I won't comment on what we are talking about." You can read the
In an interview, Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang and President Sue Decker did little to
Observers weren't so tight-lipped. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, who is no stranger to the Microsoft-Yahoo affair, said even he is
"I'm mystified," Murdoch said. "I cannot understand the whole thing. Jerry Yang is a friend whom we all love and admire, and he's emotional about it."
Murdoch said Microsoft offered a price that the vast majority of shareholders wanted but that Yang has managed, at least for now, to nudge off. At the same time, he said he's surprised that Microsoft didn't press the point, something he said comes from its lack of megadeal experience.
Thomson Reuters CEO Thomas Glocer still expects the two companies to work out a deal.
"I don't think Jerry needs my advice," he said, but then he went on to say, "
More than anything, D6 seemed like an opportunity for many to try to set the record straight.
Michael Dell, on mistakes the PC maker has made: "
InterActiveCorp CEO Barry Diller on the threat posed by Google: "The market is not going to be controlled by one party.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on whether he would sell the social-networking site to Microsoft for $15 billion: "The goal of the company is to execute on the things we talked about before, become more open, and share more information.
Melinda Gates on the difficulty in giving away billions of dollars: "
In touch with Google's future
Farther up California's coast, in San Francisco, developers flocked to the to see what Google sees in its crystal ball.
Google demonstrated some new tricks of its Android mobile-phone software, including an
After calling up a view of San Francisco using a Web browser, the demonstrator turned around, and the Street View screen panned left or right accordingly, reflecting his orientation.
Also new were demonstrations of a central notification service that can display new e-mail, missed phone calls, and calendar appointments; the ability to unlock the phone using a specific connect-the-dots swipe across the screen; an option to put browser or contact list shortcuts on the Android desktop; and a version of Pac-Man from Namco.
Google also showed off
When Google launched Gears a year ago, the company overemphasized its ability to make Web applications work, even when the browser is disconnected from the Internet. The new features, though, head in dramatically different directions: notifications on the desktop of various events, support for location information, better interactions with a computer's file system, and technology to let large file uploads proceed, even when hampered by intermittent network connectivity.
MySpace said it's
At the same time Google is working on the open-source Gears project, competitor
Among its abilities: "Different Web sites can use BrowserPlus to support things like drag and drop from the desktop, easier file uploads, more efficient and secure acquisition of feeds and information, and native desktop notifications," Yahoo said. Right now, it's available only in a "sneak peek" on some Yahoo-operated Web sites.
Gadgets in the stream
During the interview at D6,
"We are working on a new version of video-on-demand, a for-pay streaming service we will release in the next couple of weeks," he said. "The streaming service will start instantly, and it's a la carte, for pay."
Netflix is banking on the idea of streaming movies to people's living rooms being the future.
CEO Reed Hastings said during Netflix's investor day that he
Hastings said that through streaming, Netflix could grow to 20 million subscribers worldwide. But the company cautioned that it will be some time before its streaming-movie service, which is offered free to consumers, will pay off big.
As Netflix was telling its investors about streaming video's promise, rival Blockbuster was pitching another idea to its investors. Even though the video rental chain has put some good money toward streaming-video efforts, it
Initially, the system will work only with Archos devices, but Blockbuster expects the kiosk to be an "open system" that is compatible with a range of devices. Keyes declined to predict how many titles will be available on the kiosk, noting that Blockbuster is still in negotiations with the major studios for content.
Also of note
The New York State Supreme Court