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Gallery: Ballmer kicks off CES

Microsoft's CEO announced the release of Windows 7 beta 1 during his keynote at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
By Andy Smith, Contributor
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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the release of Windows 7 beta to the publich during his opening keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

For complete coverage from the largest consumer technology show in the U.S., check out ZDNet's CES Special Report.

Photo credit: Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

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Ballmer says the Windows 7 beta will be available for download on January 9 at Microsoft's Windows 7 home page. Mary Jo Foley notes that Microsoft's name, Windows 7 beta, could indicate that there will only be one.

Photo credit: Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

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Facebook and Microsoft also have inked a pact via which Facebook users can share their content and photos with Windows Live.

Photo credit: Microsoft

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Ballmer announced a new five-year deal with Verizon Wireless, that will allow subscribers to use Live Search for local business and shopping information; maps and directions; general Internet searches; and ring tones, games, wallpaper and other online mobile products and services. Garett Rogers thinks Verizon made a mistake.

Photo credit: Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

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Microsoft has built touch into the DNA of Windows 7, according to Ballmer, said Charlotte Jones, a group product manager who was enlisted for the Windows demos.

Photo credit: Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

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Microsoft Entertainment and Devices unit President Robbie Bach talked about an upcoming technology that lets you go back in time to select a program that previously aired but wasn't recorded. He announced a strategy game, Halo Wars, is due out February 28 and Halo 3 ODST will be out this fall.

Photo credit: Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

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Bach demoed Xbox Live Primetime, a place for live interaction. He showed off an Xbox game show where people can win real prizes.

Photo credit: Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

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Kodu is a tool from Microsoft Research that allows users to create games without having to know a traditional programming language.

Photo credit: Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

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Robbie Bach helps 12-year-old Sparrow Buerer Buerer show off her programming skills on the new Xbox Live Community game Kodu..

Photo credit: Microsoft

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Sparrow beats Bach handily at the game she created. He claimed he was trying.

Photo credit: Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

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Ballmer looks at a flexible display less than 1mm thick in color.

Photo credit: Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

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