After the demonstration of Windows Vista by Bill Gates at the CES keynote, Robbie Bach, President of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) talked about Zune, which he said, has quickly become the No.2 music player after Apple (AAPL) iPod. Of course, the objective of Microsoft is to dominate the portable music player market. Bach said that Zune will become the leader. Honestly, I think that Microsoft has a real challenge with Zune. Even though I was impressed with Zune features such as the large screen, the FM tuner, and the ability to beam songs between devices (you can play the beamed song three times over three days), I think that Microsoft could have done much better with The name; They did such a great job with Xbox. Yet, Microsoft has a solid record of success. So, we have to wait and see how popular Zune becomes. Bach also showed Xbox 360 which he said had such a tremendous success over the Holidays.
Bill Gates announced HP MediaSmart Server powered by Windows Home Server developed in partnership with Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) which will be available this year. This Windows home server will allow you to have a home network, connect all your home computers and store all your data, music, and videos on one server with scheduled backups along with secure remote access in case you want to access your home PCs while traveling . I need this!
Another product Gates talked about is Windows Mobile, which is not new, yet has been increasingly and extremely popular in cell phones and has a lot more potential in the future. Windows mobile allows users to access on their cellular phones, their Microsoft Word and Excel documents, their Microsoft Outlook emails and all kind of other neat software. Bill Gates also announced that Microsoft and Ford (F) partnered together to develop Sync, a new in-car digital system exclusive to Ford. The voice-activated in-car communications and entertainment system for mobile phones and digital music players is powered by Microsoft Auto Software and allows you to pretty much integrate your phone and music into your car. You can connect any Zune or iPod to Sync and stream MP3s off your phone. If you are on your cell phone and enter your car, Sync takes over the phone conversation and you can use the hands-free car phone system; Users can access their mobile phone or digital music player, including genre, album, artist and song title, via voice commands. Your IM will be automatically read to you with voice technology. Per Ford executive, Mark Fields, Sync will be made affordable and available not just in luxury cars but in some everyday Ford cars as well.
Bill Gates talked about the futuristic home that Microsoft has on campus where they dream about how any house could be in years to come. Bill Gates showed us a bedroom of the future with a multi-screen wall panel with at least 16 screens going over two bedroom walls; The gigantic screen controlled by a simple remote was used to display videos such as a thrilling car race or a soothing aquarium setting, for any mood and ambiance, and with music of course! You can also play video games on the wall. How exciting is that? Quite impressive! I can not wait for the future!
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