What Microsoft Should Announce at CES 2011 (But Probably Won’t)

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CES 2011 is coming up next week, and instead of making a few predictions this year, I thought it might be fun to dream of what could be, if Microsoft took some risks, and focused on what it’s still the worlds best at: Enabling users to create content in amazing new ways.  If Microsoft can scrap its plans to shove the traditional Windows Operating System onto a touchscreen device, and instead focuses on creating the world’s best, most ridiculously amazing slate device ever created, you will see consumers line up to get their hands on Microsoft products again.

Here is one such announcement that in my humble opinion would make Steve Jobs himself have a panic attack!

A magical device that allows you to create content with Voice, Pen, Touch, and Keyboard.  A device that lets you consume the world’s best content without limits.  A brilliant device that makes connecting with friends, family, and co-workers easy.  The Microsoft One.

REMOND, Wash. – Jan. 5, 2011 – Microsoft today unveiled an all new device that is sure to send shockwaves throughout the technology industry.  The Microsoft One is the world first next generation portable device that allows users to finally have the portability and battery life of a slate, and the power a laptop, in one device.  The Microsoft One is the first device to run Windows Slate 7 OS.

Simply leave the Microsoft One closed and you have a 10inch capacitive touch screen running Windows Slate 7 OS.  Windows Slate 7 OS is capable of running all your favorite Windows Phone 7 applications, but also has the unique ability to run Windows Slate 7 OS native applications that take complete advantage of the much larger screen.  With Windows Slate 7 OS, consumers can finally handwrite notes, dictate natural voice commands, and touch their Slate devices naturally. The Microsoft One in Slate mode offers over 10 hours a battery life while running, and has over 30 days of standby battery life.

What makes the Windows Slate 7 OS incredibly unique is the ability to flip it open and instantly boot to “full” Windows 7 mode.  By opening the Microsoft One, users are magically taken right into a full laptop experience, complete with the full powered Windows 7 operating system.  The Microsoft One features a full keyboard, which makes creating content easier than ever.  Like magic, Windows 7 gives users complete access to their Slate applications by way of the Windows Slate Dock.  Everything in Windows Slate OS is “shared” with Windows 7, making the entire experience completely seamless.

A magical feature is the ability to connect these slate devices to other PC’s and XBOX’s in your home.  During the live demonstration at CES, Steve Ballmer showed how easy it was to make a movie using Widows Live Movie Maker.  Then as if magic, closed the Microsoft One, and the video started playing on the Slate Screen.  As if that wasn’t enough, Steve Ballmer then pressed “Send to XBOX”, and the 1080p HD TV started playing the movie instantly.

Microsoft Office Slate

Microsoft also announced Microsoft Office Slate, a truly revolutionary version of Microsoft Office that has been developed from the ground up for the Microsoft Slate 7 OS.  The new Office allows users to use the Slate Pen to handwrite notes, write emails, and also use their fingers to control menus.  Voice commands are also leveraged to allow users to easily dictate emails, read emails, and fully engage with their devices.  Microsoft Office Slate truly makes Microsoft One a business productivity juggernaut.

One new application making its debut in Microsoft Office Slate is Microsoft Sense.  Microsoft Sense “listens” to your meeting, taking notes for you as the meeting progresses.  Sense also “researches” information in the background, putting everything at your fingertips.

A truly magical moment was the display of the “Sense Bar”.  The Sense Bar pulled information from all over the internet, corporate file system, and SharePoint servers using Microsoft FAST technology, and provided the meeting attendee rich information to make better decisions and commentary based on the meeting.

Availability

Almost stealing a page from Steve Jobs, Ballmer had a “one more thing” moment.  Steve Ballmer announced the availability and sale of the device on February 1st, 2011, with Manufactures Samsung, HP, and Dell all releasing versions on sale ONLY at the Microsoft Store’s and Best Buy.

“This is a truly magical device that Bill Gates himself has been extremely passionate about for over a decade.  The technology is finally here to allow Microsoft to bring to the world the world’s first mobile content creation, and content consumption device on the planet that works the way you want it to work.” said Ballmer.

Features

  • Incredible Performance
  • Beautiful Super AMOLED Screen Featuring Microsoft RAZOR Technology
  • Dual Slate OS and Windows 7 functionality with Microsoft BRIDGE Technology
  • Built-In 5 Megapixel HD Camera
  • Microsoft Courier Pen for easy content creation in Slate mode
  • XBOX 360, Kinect, Homegroup, Windows Live Integration

Pricing & Availability

  • $699 for 64GB WiFi Version – February 1st, 2011
  • $899 for 128GB WiFi Version – February 1st, 2011

Final Thoughts

As a Microsoft MVP and someone that has devoted most of their career to focusing on Microsoft Products, I have had a unique opportunity to meet with the people that make Microsoft one of the most phenomenally amazing companies in the world.  The talent some of these people have and vision is absolutely stunning.  Microsoft is more than capable on delivering on the vision of unifying content creation and consumption on a mobile device.  It remains to be seen if the company’s leaders enable this talent to deliver on such a product like the Microsoft One.  It remains to be seen if Microsoft can continue to be a consumer electronics visionary and leader, or will let Apple takeover the Keynote at CES 2012.