CES In Review

Now that CES is behind us, and we’re (mostly) recovering, let’s take a few minutes to review some of the highlights from the past week.

More FAQs
“Can you show me that 3d thing?”
The ‘Flip 3D’ feature is probably the most demo’d feature of Windows Vista. It’s a feature that pivots all open windows at an angle in 3D, and allows you to quickly flip through them to switch applications. It’s quick and easy to demo, and shows off some of the eye candy in Windows Vista. It’s especially cool to see how full motion video continues playing seamlessly in the 3D mode. If you want to try this out yourself, just use the windows key + tab (it works almost exactly like the Alt-tab feature from windows XP, but with a different key combination). The good news is that even after running Windows Vista for many months, I still find myself using this feature on a regular basis – it really is a quick and effective way of switching windows.

“Will my RAW files work in the Photo Gallery?” We got more questions about RAW support than I expected. The good news is that Vista has an extensible architecture that allows for RAW support. We’ll be posting more detailed information on this blog in the next week or so.

“Tell me more about the Group Shot demo that Bill showed in his keynote” Here is a link to the Group Shot web page on Microsoft.com. Group Shot is a prototype application from Microsoft Research, and can be downloaded on XP or Vista.

“Can I publish my photos/videos to the web/blog/etc.” We got this question a lot. This is an area where we still have more work to do. There are no features built into the Windows Vista Photo Gallery for uploading and/or publishing your photos and videos to the web, blog, youtube, myspace, etc. Most of these sites allow you to upload files through your browser, which should still work fine.

Best in Show
There’s so much to see at CES, and so little time (especially when you’re working the booth every day!). But we still managed to get out on the floor and check out some of the other exhibits. Here are some of the favorites from our team members:

  • Intel had a ‘multiple your possibilites’ station in their booth. CES attendees would come dance in front of a green screen (for several minutes). They would get filmed from multiple camera angles, and a few minutes later, they would get a copy of their performance on video, with multiple versions of themselves composited together – all on a USB thumb drive. Presumably, people wanted those thumb drives badly enough to get up and dance in front of everyone. P.S. no one on our team was brave enough to do this, but they got a kick out of watching people dance.

  • Rodger was a big fan of the singing Elvis bust from WowWee (the makers of the robosapien, and the “real” chimpanzee head). Here’s a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbA2Uk45IX0

  • I loved the 3D LCD that LG was showing off in their booth. Just when HD seems to be hitting mainstream, how long will it be before we all need to buy new TVs again??

  • We had several of the new HP TouchSmart PCs in our booth running Windows Vista. To me, the most exciting thing about the Vista launch is finally being able to see some of the new PC form factors that are coming out. The HP TouchSmart is a great example. HP has built a PC that can be driven by touch instead of the mouse. They have built a application that integrates into Media Center that is optimized for touch. It’s kind of a family dashboard. I could really see putting one of these PCs in a common area of the home for everyone to use and leave notes for each other. Very nice!

Attack of the open source ninja
Finally, my favorite story from the show came from Sam: On Wednesday when the booth staff was down in the afternoon, a guy quickly moved from station to station opening IE to http://www.gnu.org/. I went to ask if he had any questions about Vista and he ran off. Vista – it’s got the competitors running scared!

– Scott Dart (Program Manager)