One thing apparent as soon as you get off of a plane here in Las Vegas is that Microsoft is spending a lot of money and effort marketing Windows Vista. There’s Vista billboards everywhere, it seems. In front of the main convention hall there’s a huge tent that Microsoft owns and Microsoft has one of the biggest booths here at CES (and was among the most crowded last year).
Plus, there are hundreds of vendors who are dependent on Microsoft to deliver the customers. Billions of dollars in revenue. All hoping that Windows Vista increases sales even a few percent. A few percent on a billion in revenues adds up to a good year for many many companies.
So, the industry is looking at Vista. Trying to figure out just how much a sales boost Vista will bring.
It also is looking at Microsoft and trying to figure out what the sales success of the Xbox means, even while it’s been a revenue drain on Microsoft (each Xbox sold loses money, although my friends tell me that because of the “attach rate” on each Xbox — the number of games, movies, and other things sold — that Xbox might be profitable sooner than anyone is expecting).
In about an hour I’ll be sitting down with Bill Gates, along with bloggers from Engadget, Gizmodo, Kotaku, and Joystiq.
The fact that the two biggest gaming blogs are there gives me some hints as to what we’ll be talking about.
This is Microsoft’s biggest show in years. Billions of dollars are in play.
My other question is: will Steve Jobs steal Bill Gates buzz this week? Already a look at the blogs says “yes.” Heck, I’ve seen several blogs analyze the width and length of a graphic on the Apple home page looking for hints. The graphic is close to a 16:9 aspect ratio. Only 1.5 pixels off, according to one blog. Hmmm.
What would you ask at lunch? I’ll look at your questions right before I go in.
UPDATE: my video, along with others, will be embargoed until about 6:30 p.m. tonight. Channel 10, Microsoft’s uber evangelist Jeff Sandquist tells me, will have a lot of stuff up tonight.