Microsoft CEO Ballmer's last stand: Liveblog from CES

Microsoft CEO Ballmer's last stand: Liveblog from CES

Summary: Come back at 6:30 pm PT/9:30 pm ET on January 9 for ZDNet's live blog of CEO Steve Ballmer's last CES keynote address.

TOPICS: CXO, Microsoft

January 9 is the last time that Microsoft will be keynoting the Consumer Electronics Show.

To commemorate the occasion, my ZDNet colleague Ed Bott and I will be "live" blogging the event. (I put "live" in quotation marks here, as neither of us will be in the keynote hall. Bott is at CES; I'm not. But we both figure blogging in real time will be more realistic if we aren't attempting to do so from inside.)

CEO Steve Ballmer's last CES keynote is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. PT/9:30 p.m. ET tonight. If you want to watch a live stream of the keynote, you can do so on Facebook or on Microsoft's Web site.

(I'm also going to attempt the ultimate feat of multitasking, and will be doing live commentary on TWiT tonight during the Ballmer keynote along with my Windows Weekly cohost Paul Thurrott and Chief TWiT Leo Laporte starting around the same time.)

There will some news tonight, but nothing of major proportions, I predict. For those of you who are STILL speculating that Microsoft is going to announce the beta of Windows 8 during Ballmer's remarks, don't hold your breath. Microsoft officials have said the Windows 8 beta, with an early release of the Win 8 app store, is late February. (Microsoft execs blogged about a few more particulars regarding the coming Windows 8 Store late last week.)  And if you're waiting for the Softies to talk about the Tango or Apollo Windows Phone operating systems, I seriously doubt tonight's going to be your night.

I'm sure we'll hear lots about Kinect, Xbox, the new Nokia Lumia 900 (codenamed "Ace"), possibly some teases about Windows Phone's coming LTE support and maybe even see a Windows 8 demo or two -- minus information about the timing or any new features. I'm not sure if we'll hear more about the new Kinect sensors for Windows and/or the commercially-licensable software development kit for Kinect, but CES might not be a bad venue for those announcements. It also wouldn't be a bad time/place to announce that the new Surface 2.0 systems are now shipping.

Come back around 6:15 PT tonight and chime in with Bott and I here, as we comment on what Ballmer & Co. do and don't show and tell at CES 2012.

Topics: CXO, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • what about Skype?

    I don't recall you or Paul Thurrot mentioning anything about expectations from Microsoft's Skype acquisition - surely this will be a big year for that? I keep hoping for a Windows Phone app?
    • Skype

      Definitely is going to be a big year for Skype news at MS. I do not think CES will be where it starts getting announced, though. Skype Win Phone app was due before end of calendar 2011 and didn't make it. Word is team went back to drawing board.. maybe to integrate it into the platform? Not sure. No updated word on when we'll see the Skype app for WP, sadly. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • RE: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's last stand: Liveblog from CES

    Here I was hoping the board finally came to their senses and were going to fire that sweaty dancing monkey-boy...
    • They where thinking of

      digging up Steve Jobs and propping up his body, but then they figured he wasn't all that exciting when he was alive...
      William Farrel
  • RE: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's last stand: Liveblog from CES

    With so many "don't expect's" and "dont hold your breath's" why even bother keynoting...oh yeah, MS has to take one more shot at showing how much stuff they sell and why a decade's long constant share price is "irrelevant"...
    • RE: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's last stand: Liveblog from CES

      @dksmidtx maybe theyll hint at what to expect? Mosaid should be ramping up he F.U.D. campaign, and Microsoft is king to increase their legal budget by 32% according to the tea leafs ;)
      • Apple is increaing their legal budget

        as now that they have stolen enough IP and ideas, they are ready to sue anyone who attempt to take them back.
        Tim Cook
      • RE: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's last stand: Liveblog from CES

        @Mister Spock you are letting your emotional attachment to Microsoft cloud your judgement. Microsoft has stolen more IP than any other company in history. Its part of the Microsoft DNA, as is screwing customers, and partners.
  • RE: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's last stand: Liveblog from CES

    Looking forward to hearing what he has to say. Its been a good year for Microsoft with kinect and WP7. CES will be all down hill after this one.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • RE: Microsoft CEO Ballmer's last stand: Liveblog from CES

      @Loverock Davidson-

      Man looks out from under rock, notices the most irrelevant clown in the tech business is about to issue a final brain fart, and declares it worthy of looking forward to. Meanwhile the rest of intelligent life has a small giggle at the utter irrelevance of the spectacle, and carries on as normal.
      Graham Ellison