Bill Gates might not be the most gifted speaker in the world, but his keynote at last week's Consumer Electronics Show was a new low and insulting to his audience.
On top of his mediocre presentation skills, Microsoft spent one hour without saying anything new. Instead he dusted of last year's CES presentation about software as the enabler for the digital decade, and pretty much did it all over again.
All new product demonstrations showed technologies developed by partners. Admittedly, Microsoft did show of the user interface for Vista Media Centre Edition. It had never before been showed publicly – but it has been available to beta testers since last December.
So what was the highlight when it came to CES keynotes? Judging by the number of people trying to get into the theatre, Google was the hit of the event. During Bill Gates' speech there were large groups of empty seats (especially in the VIP section). Google's Larry Page filled pretty much every seat in the room.
It's no secret that keynotes are often assigned based on the sum in sponsoring money that is paid. But if CES is prepared to listen to attendees rather than Microsoft's billions, it passes on the Bill Gates keynote next year.
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