Posted by: kurtsh | January 20, 2012

A note from Kurt… back from CES 2012

imageSorry for the lackluster rate of posting.  I’m just getting back into the saddle after coming back from vacation/CES 2012.  I’m HOPING this weekend I can get at least somewhat caught up and start posting some timely news.

SAME TIME… EVERY YEAR
For those of you who’ve been reading this blog, you know that this happens EVERY YEAR around this time where everything gets backlogged because I have a mountain of email that appeared during my vacation and have to follow up on those before I start on the event notifications, news, and details.

For example, that post I made about the difference between Office 2010 from Volume Licensing vs Office 2010 from Office 365 was a question that came from a customer.  Hence the reason I just republished the research I’d done.

So, hopefully I’ll be able to get back on track in the next week or so.  It’s a little brutal but I think I’ll get there.  But until then, it’s gonna be a trickle based on reactive research and news.

A QUICK NOTE ON CES 2012
But I’ve got a ton of stuff to mention from CES 2012, which wasn’t as much of a bust as many would have you believe.  Here’s some stuff off the top of my head that I noticed:

  1. ULTRABOOKS ARE REAL
    Not real in the sense that they exist, but real in the sense that people loved them.  There was a lot of attention being paid to them in all the booths that showcased them.
  2. USB 3.0 IS GONNA RULE
    I’m sorry Thunderbolt.  There was very little attention paid to Intel’s connective medium versus USB 3.0.  Performance be damned, every Ultrabook I saw had a USB 3.0 port… and no Thunderbolt.  Every major peripheral manufacturer had a USB 3.0 highlight and I couldn’t find much at all re: Thunderbolt/Lightpeak.  The big one for me was a USB 3.0 Port Replicator/Docking Station from Targus which I’ll write a post about later.
  3. MOTION CONTROL IS TRENDY
    Yeah, I know I work for Microsoft and we make Kinect, but that’s not my point:  Every TV booth had some sort of Primesense Motion Control sensor in it that provided an experience that sorta, kinda provided something like Kinect directly on TVs without an Xbox.
    … the problem was, the experience SUCKED.  No, seriously.  The response/reaction time was really slow, the recognition was horribly spotty, and the devices were of very poor quality.  These stations got a lot of attention but I think most walked away with a very poor opinion of the implementations.
  4. NOKIA WAS HUGE
    Nokia’s Lumia 900 won the CNET Best of CES Smartphone, IGN’s Best of CES Smartphone, Laptop Magazine’s “Best of CES” Finalist, ZDNet’s BEst of CES Smartphone, Popular Mechanics “Editor’s Choice”.
    … there’s no question, Nokia’s launch in the US was a smash hit.  You couldn’t get away from the gravity of their launch.  And their booth was completely packed despite only having 3 phones on display.
  5. BUSINESSES WANT WINDOWS 8 TABLETS
    Again, yeah, I’m an MS employee, but you have to take my word for it that every Windows 8 tablet/slate got a ridiculous amount of attention.  In fact, I found it surprising how minimal the reaction was to new Android tablet announcements.  I suppose it makes sense since, in fairness, Android is everywhere so as a result, not very interesting or buzzworthy.
    …that being said, it’s clear that Windows 8 touch control and Metro UI is was very compelling for attendees who seemed to consist a lot of business users.  The booth presentation was packed 7 layers deep – easily the busiest part of the Microsoft booth, even more so than Xbox 360/Kinect or Ultrabooks.
  6. OLED TVs & 4K EQUIPMENT WAS THE VIDEO BUZZ
    The LG OLED 55” TV won Best of CES All around from CNET.  This was because the picture is EXTREMELY vivid… the colors were bright and deep, and the blacks were pitch black.  More so than anything I’ve seen.   And the display was half and inch think or something like that.  It’s thinner than a picture you might hang on the wall.  Crazy.  Also totally pre-production.
    The other thing was 4K.  4K is a TV display resolution that is twice that of HDTV’s 1080p.  There were a lot of demos but there’s not much content at all.  (YouTube has 6 videos in 4K resolution)  So I don’t know where this is going other than… it’s cool?
  7. VEGAS IS HURTING.  BADLY.
    It seems to me that Vegas has had a massive drop in gambling, attendance, and visitors.  Just looking at the casinos in the evenings during the show seemed like an indicator.  The CES conference itself was the largest ever, however the number of people coming through to play in the casino seemed to be minimal.  I had this discussion with a lot of casino hosts, hotel employees, and taxi drivers and apparently the typical attendee just doesn’t play which is tough on revenue.

I’ll write more later.  I have a ton of stuff I brought back.


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