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.

BlogHausing at CES

The BlogHaus is ready to rumble. We were up until 3 a.m. getting it ready. Lots of connectivity, big screens, PlayStation3’s, Xboxes, and other stuff. Oh, screw all that, it’s about the free food and drinks.

Anyway, it all starts tonight. We’ll be streaming Bill Gates keynote. But check in here later today for a few surprises. My video camera is gonna get onto some interesting stuff. Big hint: Frank Shaw came over last night while we were having dinner. There are two hints that you need to read between the lines in his post. Can you find them both?

Oh, and I find myself joining with Frank Shaw and agreeing with Nick Carr this morning. A year or so ago I wrote that it’s more important to get things fast than to get them completely right.

I was wrong. The rush to “instant journalism” isn’t a good one. It’s why I don’t even try to keep up with Mashable, TechCrunch, or GigaOm anymore. I’d rather be a few weeks late, with an insightful interview and a good look at the technology. That’s really why I do my linkblog so I feel less pressure to try to get on the “break it first” treadmill.

By the way, the really interesting CES stuff will come around Thursday. Why is that? Cause that’s when all the bloggers will get tired of covering the “big co’s news” (Microsoft announces a bunch of stuff tonight) and will move over to the Sands, where there are hundreds of companies trying to get attention. That’s where, last year we found the Celestron SkyScout. I’m most looking forward to seeing what is over there this year.

Another watermark will be Monday evening, when tons of small companies show their wares to journalists (and some bloggers did get press passes this year) at the Showstoppers expo. Unfortunately this is just for journalists and press, unless you registered for it early (like I did).

Anyway, more soon. Oh, and watch my Twitter account. I’ll try to post from the Seagate Limo where I’ll be next.

I also will try to keep up with my LinkBlog, no promises, though, my schedule is fully booked until Thursday and my first priority is getting video for PodTech (watch the home page).

UPDATE: Dave Winer got first videos of the BlogHaus, among other things. He hasn’t been to Vegas in 15 years, so it’ll be interesting to hear how this year’s CES compares to big shows of yesteryear.