Microsoft's 2010 CES Keynote address just finished. I've collated, cleaned up, and organized my notes on the event to key you in on the most important parts of the presentation. Ballmer and Co. put on a really good show, especially compared to the Sony keynote speech earlier tonight.
-First off, we saw some computers. The Sony Vaio I all-in-one was specifically mentioned for its 24" HD touchscreen and Blu-ray drive. The world's thinnest laptop, the Dell Adamo XPS, and the HP Envy 15 were also shown off.
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-The Bleo Reader is Microsoft's attempt to replace the college bookstore. It is an e-bookstore with over 1 million textbooks to choose from. The reader looks to have a great, intuitive interface. The textbooks made to take advantage of this technology have embedded videos, periodic self-mini-quizzes, and all sorts of other cool features.
-Bing Streetside was shown off. It's basically a map utility that lets you view the world around your destination (or anywhere, for that matter) ahead of time in 3D. You can even add environmental effects, like snow, if you want.
-Media Room 2.0: 4 HD channels can now record at once, better streaming video quality and more streaming HD movies. All content you download or stream on your PC can also be viewed on your phone, Zune HD, or Xbox 360.
-The HP Slate was shown off. We didn't get to see it too much, but now we know what it looks like. The slate appears to be a 10" or so touchscren, with utterly minimalistic design. It is a blank, monolithic black slate with a screen in the middle. Very streamlined, very cool. Ballmer showed it running the Kindle software and playing videos, and it looked great. Responsive screen. I think we can expect a mid-year launch.
-Halo Reach and Mass Effect 2 both launch this year. We didn't get to see any gameplay video, sadly (although the folks in the audience did).
-Project Natal: As earlier reported, Project Natal will launch "Holiday 2010". Microsoft's goal with Project Natal is to "remove the last barrier to gaming; the controller". Other than giving the release date, Microsoft told us nothing about Natal.
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