News Analysis: The big news that came out of CES was a tsunami of new smartphones and tablet PC designs. But Microsoft, arguably the most important company at the show, could have made security the theme at CES this year. Unfortunately, it didn't. And users are left wondering how to keep their data secure going forward.
The Consumer Electronics Show is a spectacle. It's a place where
massive tech companies and small startups come together to show off
neat, new ideas. Some companies focus on PCs, others attempt to innovate with products that consumers have never seen
For the tech lover, it's an exciting show that kicks off the new
year. The only problem is, so many of the products on the showroom
floor won't hit store shelves in the next year. Still others are
concept items that may or may not work in a real-life setting. In too
many cases, CES blinds consumers with flashy products that they might
never see in their homes.
As disappointing as that might be, it's how things go at CES. But
just because there is a certain norm that all companies align with, it
doesn't mean that Microsoft, arguably one of the most important
companies at CES, couldn't have spent its time at the show talking about security
It might not be as exciting as a new tablet or Project Natal, but
security has the greatest impact on both consumers and the enterprise.
And considering Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave the keynote address
that kicked off CES, he could have made a big splash.
Instead, Ballmer spent his time talking about phones and computers.
On the showroom floor, Microsoft did nothing to push forward the hope
for better security. It was a missed opportunity for the software
giant. And it could cost it in the court of public opinion. Here's why
Microsoft should have discussed security at CES:
1. The keynote
Unlike any other company at the Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft
had an opportunity to exploit captive media attention at its keynote
address. Microsoft could have discussed how it plans to implement a
security plan that will help keep users' data far more secure than it
has in the past. Ballmer's keynote was an opportunity for Microsoft to
set the tone for security in 2010. It missed the mark.
2. Worries over Windows 7
Although Ballmer spent time discussing the success of Windows 7 during his keynote, it didn't do anything to allay user fears
Since the release of Windows 7, both consumers and the enterprise have
been concerned about the security of Microsoft's latest operating
system. CES could have been the ideal place for Microsoft to attract
media attention and discuss why users can trust Microsoft with their
3. Microsoft's reputation
This year, Microsoft could have made it clear that it has heard user
complaints. It knows users don't always trust Windows, and it will
address those problems going forward. Instead, the company focused on
flashy tech. Microsoft's security woes are well known. Why not use CES,
arguably the biggest platform in technology, to address its identity
4. Apple wasn't there
Whenever Apple is showing off technology, it tends to steal the
show. But Apple wasn't at CES. By discussing security, Microsoft would
have been able to dictate the discussion without worrying about Apple
debating points it would have made about securing data. Once again,
Microsoft has given Apple the ability to dominate the security