Gates at CES: Who Cares?

I’m sorry, but the current blog-o-sphere frenzy about Bill Gates’ speech at CES is silly. Four reasons:

  1. Microsoft remains adrift in CES-style consumer markets, with all of its major strategies (Music, Xbox, etc.) loss-leaders
  2. Gates keynotes (whether Comdex or CES) are rarely fun to listen to
  3. Microsoft needs to prove it still matters, not have that conceded to it by default based on O/S marketshare
  4. The attention is overshadowing the much more important story about Microsoft’s seeming interest in acquiring Yahoo. Not, however, because the deal is likely to come together — it almost certainly won’t — but because the discussions show the abject panic Google has induced among its competitors.


  1. “Microsoft remains adrift in CES-style consumer markets, with all of its major strategies (Music, Xbox, etc.) loss-leaders”
    That is one way to look at it Paul.
    I made this point on John Battelle’s blog yesterday, but I’ll repeat it here. Microsoft’s relationship with all of the companies that make up these CES style consumer markets is a HUGE competitive advantage for them against Google, Yahoo and the rest of their Internet competitors and it is largely being overlooked.
    As consumers adopt these technologies into their lives the key is going to be ease of use. Since MS’s software is going to be closely tied to the hardware the consumer touches it will present MS with an opportunity to cut out the middleman in many of these applications.
    Meanwhile the mainstream press is creating all sorts of wild fantaisies on how Google is going to make an end run. I guess I don’t know enough about dark fiber to ‘see’ this vision yet.

  2. Uh consumers care? Contrary to popular belief not everyone uses a Mac. The new OS and new products from them impact our lives. And you want me to focus on a rumor of a deal that isn’t going to happen? That’s unpossible!

  3. i love his bit about IBM being their “true” competitor, not google. bill, you don’t pick your competitors, they pick you.