Enterprise Mobility: Windows 8, Windows Phone, Ultrabooks Mark Ballmer CES Speech
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage Jan. 9 for what could very well be his last keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show. Microsoft has insisted it is unilaterally withdrawing from the massive technology showcase, arguing that the show's timing no longer aligns with the company's release cycle. The organizers behind CES assert it was a mutual decision. In any case, Ballmer used his time onstage to discuss Windows 8, Windows Phone, ultrabooks, Xbox and the Kinect hands-free gaming controller, and the "Metro" design aesthetic uniting these elements into a single ecosystem. "I think people will be kind of impressed by how [Metro] lights everything up," he told television host Ryan Seacrest, who acted as a host of sorts for the keynote, and the audience of hundreds filling the ballroom of Vegas' Venetian hotel and casino. Whether that proves the case, Ballmer's keynote illustrated how Microsoft faces a host of opportunities and challenges in 2012: convincing users that Windows 8 and ultrabooks are worth the investment, and that Windows Phone deserves a second glance. In the end, though, Ballmer saw one product in particular as Microsoft's core focus. "Windows 8 is what's next," he told the audience. "There's nothing more important at Microsoft than Windows."