Ballmer Talks Windows 7 Beta, Dell Deal At CES

    January 8, 2009

Steve Ballmer didn’t drop many jaws with his keynote speech at CES yesterday; for better or for worse, he didn’t confirm or deny rumors about Zune phones, deals with Yahoo, or 15,000 layoffs.  Still, Microsoft’s CEO got into some interesting stuff, touching on the subjects of Windows 7, search, and a top social network.

Steve Ballmer

A WebProNews team is present at the 2009 International CES this week, and we’ll be bringing you all sorts of coverage.  Keep an eye out for more articles, and hop on over to WebProNews Videos to see clips shot on site.

Let’s start with the operating system.  A beta version of Windows 7 will become globally available on Friday, and Ballmer didn’t hesitate to get the audience’s expectations up.  Different demonstrations pointed to short boot times, impressive energy efficiency, and a friendly interface.  "We are on track to deliver the best version of Windows," Ballmer claimed (without announcing any release dates connected to the finished product).

Next, there’s a search partnership that also ties to new PCs.  It seems that, on Dell computers in 23 countries, Live Search is going to be made the default search engine.  This comes in addition to a similar arrangement between Microsoft and HP, and could help Ballmer’s company get a greater piece of the search market with very little effort.

Then the CEO spoke about deeper integration between Facebook and Windows Live.  Facebook status updates should, in short, show up in users’ Windows Live feeds.  This may be Microsoft’s financial investment at work, and positions it a little nearer to Facebook than either Google or Yahoo, regardless.

As for old Yahoo, Ballmer at least acknowledged the second company by displaying a joke IM, supposedly from Jerry Yang, that read, "Why do you keep ignoring my friend requests on Facebook?"

There’s more to come from our crew at CES.