For your reading pleasure, after the fact of course, is a summary of the Pre-CES keynote delivered by Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer.

All times are Eastern Standard (EST)

  • 9:23 PM -  Static screen has shifted to a shot of live video of the stage at CES 2009 in Las Vegas.  Looks like a full room.
  • 9:25 PM – A couple of rapper are now on stage and video is playing on the large screen background. I think they call this “beat boxing”.
  • 9:26 PM – Paul Thurrott just linked to this page about the Windows 7 Beta release schedule –
  • 9:29PM – Rappers are done and back to the static image.
  • 9:30 PM – President of CES is talking about CES and the show.
  • 9:32 PM – Here comes Steve Ballmer and now he does not come out??? More introduction of Steve Ballmer.
  • 9:34 PM – Obligatory intro video before Steve walks out.
  • 9:36 PM – Here is Steve finally! Dressed casual in a sweater and slacks.
  • 9:38 PM – Some bad social media jokes about contact from some others like Yahoo’s Jerry Yang and Bill Gates.
  • 9:41 PM – Talking about impact of technology on society.
  • 9:42 PM – Did he say 5 billion have never owned a PC?
  • 9:43 PM – Three screens – PC, Phone and TV’s.
  • 9:45 PM – First mention of the “cloud” as part of the convergence of these technologies.
  • 9:46 PM – Windows will tie all information together through the cloud – second mention!
  • 9:47 PM – Video showing off new gadgets coming soon. Laptops galore, a desktop, Touchsmart PC; smart phones; Windows Vista???
  • 9:50 PM – Steve said “I am a PC and proud of it”
  • 9:51 PM – Here comes the Windows discussion.  On track to deliver the best version of Windows ever – Windows 7 that is.
  • 9:52 PM – Windows 7 boots quicker, less prompts, access data across any machines, interface with touch.  Beta being released to TechNet and MSDN customers right now.  Friday the general public will be able to download it worldwide.
  • 9:54 PM – Windows Live is Microsoft’s cloud solution.  Keeping life in sync across phone, web and PC’s.  Announcing worldwide availability of Windows Live Essentials.  Second partnering with Facebook that will deliver social experience with Windows Live users – sharing data between Facebook and Windows Live.  Third announcement – partnering with Dell to install Live Essentials and search on all of their consumer PC’s worldwide.
  • 9:55 PM – Windows Mobile.  11 Windows Mobile phones have sold half a million units.  Partnering long term with Verizon to include MS Live Search on all of their phones.
  • 9:58 PM – Charlotte Jones on stage to demo Windows 7, Windows Live and Windows Mobile.  Showing taskbar features using the views bar on the taskbar.  Showing Aero Peek.  Calling them intuitive navigation tools.  Showing windows sharing the desktop space between two windows.  Also showing Jumplists.
  • 10:01 PM – Looking at home networking features of Windows 7 – Homegroup. Just 3 steps and 2 minutes to get home network setup – sweet! Showing PlayToo feature.  Works with Roku as well.  Now showing touch features.  Windows 7 has DNA?  Showing multi touch on a globe – I remember some of these gestures at a previous CES keynote by Bill Gates.
  • 10:05 PM – Showing Omnia and automatic stitching of panoramic pictures it takes.  Now showing how easy it is to share them across the web.
  • 10:06 PM – Internet Explorer 8 coming up. Showing off home page. Showing off Hotmail now from Windows Live home page.
  • 10:11 PM – New feature in Windows Live Messenger – Dynamic Display Picture – emoticon in message changes picture in Messenger – pretty cool. Kissy Lips :-)
  • 10:13 PM – I am a PC videos.  Tripod on stage singing after appearing in a video on screen. 
  • 10:17 PM – Robbie Bach on stage now – Entertainment and Devices Division President.  Talking about Sync and delivering information to your car dynamically with Sync.  Good success with Zune – over 2 million on Zune Social. 
  • 10:20 PM – Says Windows Media Center in Windows 7 will be huge improvements. Discussing IPTV.  Interactive entertainment experience.  Talking Xbox – great 2008 – best holiday season on Xbox and best year since Xbox shipped.  28 million consoles worldwide.  17 million users worldwide on Xbox Live.
  • 10:23 PM – 25 million units of Halo titles sold.  Average players plays 150 hours of Halo on Xbox Live across those 25 million units.  Halo Wars comes out this year – 28 Feb in retail.  Downloadable demo on 05 Feb 09.  Second title this fall Halo 3 ODST – traditional style Halo – new characters, new scenarios – all in 2009. November New Xbox Experience (NXE) released – downloads up 60% since NXE launched.
  • 10:26 PM – Demoing 1 vs 100 on Xbox Live.   
  • 10:29 PM – OK this is going a bit too long for this keynote I think.  Ahh – finally over but it is still running behind him!  Coming in Spring 2009.
  • 10:30 PM – Demoing Netflix on Xbox360 – small malfunction with controller. Ahh – now it is working.  Most have already done this since the release of the NXE in November.
  • 10:32 PM – Windows Mobile app to manage Netflix queue – OK very cool.
  • 10:33 PM – 60 million music track downloads for Lips, Rockband and Guitar Hero.  Connected Social Entertainment (CSE???)
  • 10:34 PM – Community Games Channel – game creators able to develop their own games and have them on Xbox Live to distro and share them.  Showing off Kodu programming software.  Sparrow is 12 and has come out to show how to use Kodu. Pretty slick.
  • 10:39 PM – Steve back on stage.  Joke did not work at all.  Tying together the various concepts so far.
  • 10:42 PM Microsoft Research on stage now showing off some future stuff.  Digital textbook that includes social networking features; showing off some surface computing now; showing flexible active display. 
  • 10:49 PM – Steve alone again on stage – another joke that fell flat.  Here is the wrap up. Good night everyone.
  • President of CES just made a fat joke about Steve Ballmer???  Not the best way to thank your opening keynote speaker.  Tripod coming back to sing one last song.

Well there ya go – it is all wrapped up.  I may have very well missed a few items – in the midst of blogging this I was getting my download started of Windows 7 Beta 1. 

Only the first 2.5 million public folks get to download the beta starting on Friday – based on what I have read on Twitter over the last few weeks that is going to go very fast.

Here is the press release for all of the stuff Steve Ballmer talked about during the keynote.

The page to watch for the public beta download is at

Enjoy and make sure you use the feedback tools to report any issues you have.

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