Liveblog: Steve Ballmer's CES keynote

By Rob Pegoraro
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 5, 2011; 10:42 PM

LAS VEGAS--Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer will soon be giving the opening-night keynote for the Consumer Electronics Show in the theater of the Las Vegas Hilton here.

You never quite know what to expect at these things. Last year's keynote, for instance, began with a 50-minute delay caused by... wait for it... an electrical problem. But in retrospect, the highlight of that event was not the initial snafu but a public demonstration of Microsoft's Kinect add-on for the Xbox.

Follow along here as I recount what Ballmer has to say; the most recent posts will be at the top, though we'll switch the post to straight chronological order afterwards. You can also watch the event live at Microsoft's site.

7:56 p.m. PST: So that's a wrap. Does the absence of news about any big new product launches count as a disappointment, or do you prefer a relatively vaporware-free keynote. Let me know in the comments.

7:47 p.m. PST: I guess all those rumors of a revival of the "slate" tablet-computer design Ballmer showed off at last year's keynote--just in time to get run over by the iPad--weren't true. Predictions of a peek at the functions or interface of Windows 8 (or whatever the next version will be called) or the introduction of a Microsoft Web-media receiver to compete with the Roku and Apple TV boxes were also off. The keynote also lacked any update on the Mediaroom software for cable boxes shown off at last year's keynote. And--perhaps most shocking of all--it lacked the traditional comedy video segment.

7:46 p.m. PST: Ballmer is now in ending-the-keynote recap mode. Is this really going to end without any major new product launch? It is. Ballmer thanks the audience for attending.

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