This is great. Not only is this year's Consumer Electronics Show being reported, blogged and pod/video cast in extremis, even the vendors and keynoters are cooperating in my desire to cover the show this week without being there by the keynoters (so far) saying essentially the same things I've heard over the years at past CESes, Comdexes and CeBits. The vendors are also cooperating by offering only upgrades of existing products rather than something interesting.
So today starts my coverage from my way too warm for winter location in Massachusetts.
1. Bill Gates wants you to buy some servers for your living room. EWeek Editor Scot Petersen does a good job at putting the Gates keynote in perspective here . The bloggers of course go way over the top to the point of Engadget covering the keynote via an EvDO connection in a breathless minute to minute huzzah for everything Bill has to say. Here's an example from the Engadet blog, "6:49 - Bill Gates is walking out on stage. "Good evening, I've always loved coming back from Xmas to go right into the most manic environment ever. Are you going to keep giving the keynote, but not sure about after that, might be talking more about infectious diseases."
So Bill announces a home server. I think this is at least the third time he has talked about a home server. Every PC vendor loves to talk about home servers. Here's my clue to you: There are no home servers. There will never be home servers and if you are pinning your stock portfolio on their being a home server, you might as well put those shares next to your WebVan portfolio.
Here's what will happen in the home. I call it SBD (no, not the old locker room joke). You will have smart services provided by either Google, Comcast, Verizon or some combination of all three, that is the S. You will have a big pipe into your house provided by either your cable provider, telco or someone who has figured out how to aim high capacity wireless at your home, that is the B - as in big pipe. And you will have a big, high quality digital display and audio system sitting wherever you want to park your couch potato shaped body, that is the D as in Digital video and audio.
OK, that takes care of almost all the keynote. Onto the products being introduced this week.
The storage companies will offer more storage. No surprise there. The voice over IP phone offerings will offer handsets. No surprise there. The network television and media companies will stumble over themselves contending that they are really Web 2.0 companies. Only surprise there is that no one has told them that Web 2.0 is already as dead as last season's sitcoms.
And that concludes my first day of coverage. I'd head off to the Internet gaming sites instead of the Las Vegas casinos except the feds don't want people gaming on the Web. They'd rather have the web companies shilling themselves so the poor unsuspecting public can buy their soon to tank stocks.
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