Sunday, January 09, 2005

Microsoft Bloopers at CES 2005

It was not all fun and games at the Consumer Electronics Show 2005, which ran from January 6-9 in Las Vegas. If you haven't heard/read/seen already, Bill Gates must be one super pissed off guy right about now because of the technical problems they encountered during Microsoft's keynote address. Not only was Bill Gates riddled 1 2 by Conan O'Brien when they tried to start a start a slideshow and the remote failed to work, but the infamous BSOD (blue screen of death) actually poped up when a Microsoft representative tried to show off Forza Motorsport, their answer to Sony's Gran Turismo series. You'd think Microsoft learned their lesson in Comdex 1998, where they demoed Windows 98, but no. A Microsoft employee, Sean Alexander, who works on the Media Center Team, has written up on his blog exactly what went wrong: Apparently the Media Center demos are run from one machine located on the other side of the stage from Bill and what they did was run a USB IR receiver all the way across the stage to where Bill was sitting. Then, during the show, one of two things happened: either a) the stage was flooded by IR 'light' from the autofocus systems on the everyone's cameras in the audience, or b) the cable failed to send the signal all the way across the stage since it was too long.

I would have no idea what to do if I was Bill and I couldn't start a slideshow, or if I was demo-ing Forza Motorsport and my machine decided to crash. I think they handled the situations very well.

You can read the complete transcript or watch the full keynote speech straight from Microsoft's site or you can watch the short versions here or here--> Slideshow and Forza Motorsport (make sure you allow the pop-up).

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