Microsoft’s big week

One thing apparent as soon as you get off of a plane here in Las Vegas is that Microsoft is spending a lot of money and effort marketing Windows Vista. There’s Vista billboards everywhere, it seems. In front of the main convention hall there’s a huge tent that Microsoft owns and Microsoft has one of the biggest booths here at CES (and was among the most crowded last year).

Plus, there are hundreds of vendors who are dependent on Microsoft to deliver the customers. Billions of dollars in revenue. All hoping that Windows Vista increases sales even a few percent. A few percent on a billion in revenues adds up to a good year for many many companies.

So, the industry is looking at Vista. Trying to figure out just how much a sales boost Vista will bring.

It also is looking at Microsoft and trying to figure out what the sales success of the Xbox means, even while it’s been a revenue drain on Microsoft (each Xbox sold loses money, although my friends tell me that because of the “attach rate” on each Xbox — the number of games, movies, and other things sold — that Xbox might be profitable sooner than anyone is expecting).

In about an hour I’ll be sitting down with Bill Gates, along with bloggers from Engadget, Gizmodo, Kotaku, and Joystiq.

The fact that the two biggest gaming blogs are there gives me some hints as to what we’ll be talking about.

This is Microsoft’s biggest show in years. Billions of dollars are in play.

My other question is: will Steve Jobs steal Bill Gates buzz this week? Already a look at the blogs says “yes.” Heck, I’ve seen several blogs analyze the width and length of a graphic on the Apple home page looking for hints. The graphic is close to a 16:9 aspect ratio. Only 1.5 pixels off, according to one blog. Hmmm.

What would you ask at lunch? I’ll look at your questions right before I go in.

UPDATE: my video, along with others, will be embargoed until about 6:30 p.m. tonight. Channel 10, Microsoft’s uber evangelist Jeff Sandquist tells me, will have a lot of stuff up tonight.

Advertisements

75 thoughts on “Microsoft’s big week

  1. I think I’ve said this before but ask him does he play XBL and if so what’s his GamerTag. I’d love to get some Gears of War or R6Vegas on the pipe with the big man πŸ™‚

    Like

  2. I think I’ve said this before but ask him does he play XBL and if so what’s his GamerTag. I’d love to get some Gears of War or R6Vegas on the pipe with the big man πŸ™‚

    Like

  3. “It also is looking at Microsoft and trying to figure out what the sales success of the Xbox means, even while it’s been a revenue drain on Microsoft (each Xbox sold loses money … ”
    Revenue is dollars in the door. Every Xbox sold generates revenue. Xbox may be a profit drain but it is a revenue gain.

    Like

  4. “It also is looking at Microsoft and trying to figure out what the sales success of the Xbox means, even while it’s been a revenue drain on Microsoft (each Xbox sold loses money … ”
    Revenue is dollars in the door. Every Xbox sold generates revenue. Xbox may be a profit drain but it is a revenue gain.

    Like

  5. My question would be to Microsoft:

    There are around 40 ultra mobile PC’s on the market. ‘Origami’ produced 5 in 2006. Will you continue to try and influence the UMPC hardware market?

    Steve.

    Like

  6. My question would be to Microsoft:

    There are around 40 ultra mobile PC’s on the market. ‘Origami’ produced 5 in 2006. Will you continue to try and influence the UMPC hardware market?

    Steve.

    Like

  7. Robert please ask Bill something about Windows Mobile phones if possible!!! For example why no access to Zune Marketplace from Windows Mobile ? Why no peer to peer (P2P) sharing between Zune and Windows Mobile ? Why 3G video calling (part of UMTS/HSDPA standard as SMS is part of GSM standard) is still not supported in Windows Mobile ? Why still, after so many years, still one can’t connect Windows Mobile over USB to Xbox ? Etc…

    Like

  8. Robert please ask Bill something about Windows Mobile phones if possible!!! For example why no access to Zune Marketplace from Windows Mobile ? Why no peer to peer (P2P) sharing between Zune and Windows Mobile ? Why 3G video calling (part of UMTS/HSDPA standard as SMS is part of GSM standard) is still not supported in Windows Mobile ? Why still, after so many years, still one can’t connect Windows Mobile over USB to Xbox ? Etc…

    Like

  9. With Microsoft currently expanding into the hardware market, what other devices can we expect to come into the market in the years to come? Also, will Microsoft re-enter the home networking hardware market again?

    Like

  10. With Microsoft currently expanding into the hardware market, what other devices can we expect to come into the market in the years to come? Also, will Microsoft re-enter the home networking hardware market again?

    Like

  11. sorry I’m late…here’s my question: what is Microsoft’s objective for how its software enables content creators? The new Office Suite has an amazing number of self-publishing tools, but it’s clearly not iWork or iLife. Now that user-generated content is exploding, how will you personally define “success” for Microsoft in the media vertical, where Adobe and Apple have traditionally dominated? Where do you see these general purpose self-publishing features within Office fitting in?

    Honestly, robert, I’d love to even hear your thoughts on this–

    Like

  12. sorry I’m late…here’s my question: what is Microsoft’s objective for how its software enables content creators? The new Office Suite has an amazing number of self-publishing tools, but it’s clearly not iWork or iLife. Now that user-generated content is exploding, how will you personally define “success” for Microsoft in the media vertical, where Adobe and Apple have traditionally dominated? Where do you see these general purpose self-publishing features within Office fitting in?

    Honestly, robert, I’d love to even hear your thoughts on this–

    Like

  13. Good question there as well comic strip. Another one could be, When will there be complete integration of all MS technologies or will there be a split between entertainment/hardware divisions and the software/business application divisions?

    Like

  14. Good question there as well comic strip. Another one could be, When will there be complete integration of all MS technologies or will there be a split between entertainment/hardware divisions and the software/business application divisions?

    Like

  15. robo: Engadget asked that.
    Megan: I asked a couple of things about user participant content (asked him why I couldn’t “squirt” a non-DRM’ed version of Rocketboom to my friends).

    Like

  16. robo: Engadget asked that.
    Megan: I asked a couple of things about user participant content (asked him why I couldn’t “squirt” a non-DRM’ed version of Rocketboom to my friends).

    Like

  17. Should I take that as a great minds think alike………or….
    Well I am glad that SYNC happened with Ford, now if we can only get it as a standalone device or more auto manufacturers embrace Windows Mobile for Automobiles. Still want that UMPC with built in cell phone and GPS mounted in my dash…….

    Like

  18. Should I take that as a great minds think alike………or….
    Well I am glad that SYNC happened with Ford, now if we can only get it as a standalone device or more auto manufacturers embrace Windows Mobile for Automobiles. Still want that UMPC with built in cell phone and GPS mounted in my dash…….

    Like

  19. Cool!! Thanks, robert. Can’t wait to hear his answers. When is it going live?? oh, and don’t even get me started on DRM. The fact that every major TV broadcaster put their content online this year using (drm-free) Flash video should be a lesson for all, don’t you think?? Advertising is in; micropayments are out. At least for film and tv entertainment. “Information” media, a different story–

    Like

  20. Cool!! Thanks, robert. Can’t wait to hear his answers. When is it going live?? oh, and don’t even get me started on DRM. The fact that every major TV broadcaster put their content online this year using (drm-free) Flash video should be a lesson for all, don’t you think?? Advertising is in; micropayments are out. At least for film and tv entertainment. “Information” media, a different story–

    Like

  21. Dear Bill,

    How does it feel to have all your CES thunder stolen by Jobs and Macworld, year after year after year?

    Like

  22. Dear Bill,

    How does it feel to have all your CES thunder stolen by Jobs and Macworld, year after year after year?

    Like

  23. Wow! That must of been intersting, meeting bill for a casual lunch. I mean for god sake man! I’m gonna watch it when it comes on channel 10.

    Like

  24. Wow! That must of been intersting, meeting bill for a casual lunch. I mean for god sake man! I’m gonna watch it when it comes on channel 10.

    Like

  25. “I think Bill has a few items up his sleeve for Jobs and Co. this year to consider.”

    Like what, a lavendar Zune? A new Vista security package? Media Center Edition 27.4? Tablet PC Jr?

    Like

  26. “I think Bill has a few items up his sleeve for Jobs and Co. this year to consider.”

    Like what, a lavendar Zune? A new Vista security package? Media Center Edition 27.4? Tablet PC Jr?

    Like

  27. “I think Bill has a few items up his sleeve for Jobs and Co. this year to consider.”

    Origami 2.0? Hyuck.

    It’s kind of amusing that you’re even more of a Microsoft sycophant than you were when they were giving you a paycheck.

    I hope Apple does release the iPod Phone this Tuesday, just to hear what a collective pants-shitting sounds like from CES.

    Like

  28. “I think Bill has a few items up his sleeve for Jobs and Co. this year to consider.”

    Origami 2.0? Hyuck.

    It’s kind of amusing that you’re even more of a Microsoft sycophant than you were when they were giving you a paycheck.

    I hope Apple does release the iPod Phone this Tuesday, just to hear what a collective pants-shitting sounds like from CES.

    Like

  29. Bill doesn’t need a Trikkle!! Mainly because trikkle’s look to wierd. i wonder if Bill is going to buy a PS3? For the cheaper BluRay player?

    Like

  30. Bill doesn’t need a Trikkle!! Mainly because trikkle’s look to wierd. i wonder if Bill is going to buy a PS3? For the cheaper BluRay player?

    Like

  31. @5 That would certainly be the preferred outcome, particularly for MS shareholders, but I don’t think the board has given Ozzie that power. ;-). He likely won’t ever be viewed as “running the company” as Bill was and Steve is now.

    Like

  32. @5 That would certainly be the preferred outcome, particularly for MS shareholders, but I don’t think the board has given Ozzie that power. ;-). He likely won’t ever be viewed as “running the company” as Bill was and Steve is now.

    Like

  33. Dear Bill,

    How does it feel to have all your CES thunder stolen by Jobs and Macworld, year after year after year?

    Comment by Wah W. Wah β€” January 7, 2007 @ 3:40 pm

    Ha ha funny, wow, I can’t wait to see the new iPhone..yawn.

    or the new iTv thingy, whatever, I’d rather have an Xbox.

    Like

  34. Dear Bill,

    How does it feel to have all your CES thunder stolen by Jobs and Macworld, year after year after year?

    Comment by Wah W. Wah β€” January 7, 2007 @ 3:40 pm

    Ha ha funny, wow, I can’t wait to see the new iPhone..yawn.

    or the new iTv thingy, whatever, I’d rather have an Xbox.

    Like

  35. I would ask The Richest Man in the World when he expects Micro$oft’s stock price to rise.

    Must say that some of the comments on here cracked me up.

    Like

  36. I would ask The Richest Man in the World when he expects Micro$oft’s stock price to rise.

    Must say that some of the comments on here cracked me up.

    Like

  37. Robert, I love your blog to death and link to you often, but brother, come on: this week is all about Macworld first, CES second. I know MS is spending gigundo bucks this year, and that’s great, because they have wares that are worthy of some frenzied spending. Vista is good, and I like what I see so far.

    But come on — MS to announce things that will give Jobs and co. pause to “consider” them? Probably not, at least not in the mainline perspective.

    I do think it will be the other way around, but we’ll see. I’ll put my cash on Jobs when it comes to splashy keynotes/announcements.

    Like

  38. Robert, I love your blog to death and link to you often, but brother, come on: this week is all about Macworld first, CES second. I know MS is spending gigundo bucks this year, and that’s great, because they have wares that are worthy of some frenzied spending. Vista is good, and I like what I see so far.

    But come on — MS to announce things that will give Jobs and co. pause to “consider” them? Probably not, at least not in the mainline perspective.

    I do think it will be the other way around, but we’ll see. I’ll put my cash on Jobs when it comes to splashy keynotes/announcements.

    Like

  39. Jeff: for most of the world you’re absolutely wrong. There’s a reason that there are 100 times more things at CES than at MacWorld. Also, did you watch the Bill Gates keynote? Doesn’t sound like it. Xbox is rocking and rolling. Media Center has lots of cool new stuff (and is gonna outsell anything Apple does).

    You sound like someone who’s never been at either MacWorld or CES. Anyone who says MacWorld is more important of a show just simply is not talking the truth.

    Like

  40. Jeff: for most of the world you’re absolutely wrong. There’s a reason that there are 100 times more things at CES than at MacWorld. Also, did you watch the Bill Gates keynote? Doesn’t sound like it. Xbox is rocking and rolling. Media Center has lots of cool new stuff (and is gonna outsell anything Apple does).

    You sound like someone who’s never been at either MacWorld or CES. Anyone who says MacWorld is more important of a show just simply is not talking the truth.

    Like

  41. Robert: I have an Xbox 360 and love it. I watched Gates’ keynote. I follow Vista and Media Center, and I like them both. I’ve been to CES twice but never Macworld.

    This week is Apple’s week insofar as the tech influencers go — it’s their kickoff to the year. You know this better than anyone: the blogs are abuzz about Macworld, whereas CES is taking secondary headlines. Sort through Digg or Techmeme and you see way more Apple headlines than MS or CES. At least so far.

    I think you misunderstand me: I think MS will show very well at CES. I think gaming advances under Vista will be unveiled and apparent. I think Media Center still is the best software for the living room, and until Apple or someone else proves otherwise this will remain my stance.

    The ideology that “for the larger world” it’s all about MS is *precisely* what lead MS to the relatively dark waters in which it’s swimming now: there are options out there, and many of these options are quite compelling. MS, or MS pundits, can’t keep falling on the majority sword every time MS’ vision and leadership get challenged.

    MS will never lose the driver’s seat in the OS market, but do they risk becoming the next IBM, a technology provider existing simply because they’re a safe choice, the larger market uses them, and NOT because they’re the best? Yes. And once that happens, they’re more fragile than ever.

    I agree with almost all of what you say, and I blog about your conversations on my blog often. But to say that is week is MS’ big week? Well, that’s some selective attention, but perhaps we agree to disagree.

    Like

  42. Robert: I have an Xbox 360 and love it. I watched Gates’ keynote. I follow Vista and Media Center, and I like them both. I’ve been to CES twice but never Macworld.

    This week is Apple’s week insofar as the tech influencers go — it’s their kickoff to the year. You know this better than anyone: the blogs are abuzz about Macworld, whereas CES is taking secondary headlines. Sort through Digg or Techmeme and you see way more Apple headlines than MS or CES. At least so far.

    I think you misunderstand me: I think MS will show very well at CES. I think gaming advances under Vista will be unveiled and apparent. I think Media Center still is the best software for the living room, and until Apple or someone else proves otherwise this will remain my stance.

    The ideology that “for the larger world” it’s all about MS is *precisely* what lead MS to the relatively dark waters in which it’s swimming now: there are options out there, and many of these options are quite compelling. MS, or MS pundits, can’t keep falling on the majority sword every time MS’ vision and leadership get challenged.

    MS will never lose the driver’s seat in the OS market, but do they risk becoming the next IBM, a technology provider existing simply because they’re a safe choice, the larger market uses them, and NOT because they’re the best? Yes. And once that happens, they’re more fragile than ever.

    I agree with almost all of what you say, and I blog about your conversations on my blog often. But to say that is week is MS’ big week? Well, that’s some selective attention, but perhaps we agree to disagree.

    Like

  43. > My other question is: will Steve Jobs steal Bill Gates buzz this week?

    There is buzz to steal from Mr. Gates this week? Seriously?

    Like

  44. > My other question is: will Steve Jobs steal Bill Gates buzz this week?

    There is buzz to steal from Mr. Gates this week? Seriously?

    Like

Comments are closed.