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CES: Brief Summary

January 8th, 2007 by admin

Before I start, I do have a question for the readers of this post? Why do bloggers get shown NDA stuff at Ces when they are bloggers? It makes no sense.

Anyway, I watched Bill Gates Keynote speech, and have read much of the information from various bloggers, including Brandon LeBlanc, Long Zeng, the guys from Neowin, Mary Jo Foley,Robert Mclaws, Josh from WindowsConnected and many others. It’s interesting to watch as new and exciting information comes out of CES, and some of the stuff announced and discussed in the Keynote is both exciting and interesting. In this post, I will summarise the key announcements so far, including my thoughts, and how it is going to change people’s experiences.

I’m going to start with a new feature, Shadow Copy, because of the relevance to the upcoming Apple release, OS X Leopard. Simply, it allows cached or saved versions of the same file, to be accessed in the future. The example given is a document accidently edited and saved, and the user can simply access an older version of this file, and restore it. The speaker gave the quote, “Simpler than a Time Machine”, a small pun at Apple, a joke recognized by the crowd.

Windows Ultimate Extras especially Motion Desktop or ‘Dreamscene’ as it is now known. This is a feature that’s been discussed many times up to this point, and for a long time was a complete mystery as to the accuracy of the information suggesting this was a feature for Vista, however, since the announcement and leak of the ‘Ultimate Extras Beta’, it’s been clear that they were coming, and many have correctly assumed Motion Desktop was going to be a key one.

More Info From Long Zeng

Video of DreamScene in Action

As seen from the Keynote, it is a wonderful creation, enabling all types of video to be displayed as your desktop background, and Vista enables you to choose any video to use as a background, not just present video. In addition, in conjunction with content partners there is a big market for Vista Backgrounds, particularly beautiful nature and other forms of video. This is an important feature, because it really sets Vista Ultimate ahead of all the other SKUs, a problem that I feel Microsoft and others have released, what are the real advantages of Ultimate?

In addition, another extra was announced, ‘Group Shot’. This is a new technology which enables users to merge existing images creating the perfect image. The example given in the speech, is two images, in both someone doesn’t look good. Using this new tool, the user can merge existing parts of both images to create a perfect image with everyone looking their best. This has huge potential and enables reuse of many images, previously deemed unusable.

Groupshot is available to Download From Microsoft

Finally, Microsoft announced that a Ultimate version of Texas Hold’Em as an ultimate extra. As I don’t really gamble this is of no interest to me, but its interesting to see that Microsoft are addressing many areas of the market with these extras, offering something for everyone, whether it be the gamer or photographer.

Finally its interesting Microsoft decided to announce these features so late, 22 days before launch, when everything else has been known for a while. I wonder if this was purely so they had something to show at CES, or whether it was a choice taken internally regarding the state of these features. Whichever it’s nice to see them finally announced.I noticed just before posting that the guys at Bink noticed a new Microsoft site, called ‘Show us your Wow’. This is interesting because it shows how Microsoft want users to explore the new features of Vista and share with others what they find amazing, providing a site where users can feel that Vista is truly new.

Next up, is Windows Home Server. Firstly, I haven’t actually had access to this part of the Keynote, because of something to do with Microsoft and HP, but have read information and would love to see me. If anyone has any additional information regarding this product please let me know. This product is particularly relevant to me at the moment, because over Christmas I acquired a new PC. The old one therefore has nothing to do, and for a while I considered running a Windows Server, setting up a domain at home. After a while however I realized that this was useless, A) because all PCs are Home or Media Center and b) there are only 3 workstations in the house. As a result, vie been looking for a product which does what Home Server claims to do.
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Posted in MS News | 2 Comments »

This entry was posted on Monday, January 8th, 2007 at 7:05 pm and is filed under MS News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses

  1. Brodie J Says:

    Nice summery cheers!

  2. Brodie J Says: