Business

Microsoft out to 'out-Apple Apple'

Microsoft is enjoying glowing reviews for a suite of products.
Microsoft is enjoying glowing reviews for a suite of products. Jason Dougherty

MICROSOFT'S chief executive, Steve Ballmer, will open the annual festival of gadgetry which is the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but it will be for the last time.

The company is betting on a strategy to "out-Apple Apple" by spreading its own launch events across the year, in the hope of building razzamatazz around a new suite of products including Windows tablets and motion-sensitive interactive television.

The idea has been hatched because Microsoft is enjoying glowing reviews for its new Windows operating system for mobile devices and its Kinect system for the Xbox, which does away with a handheld controller in favour of a sensor that tracks the body movements of gamers.

And while Microsoft and Nokia will unveil more details of their range of Windows smartphones this week, and some 20,000 new consumer products are expected to launch over the four days of the show, analysts say the 2012 event will feature few genuine technological breakthroughs.

Instead, according to Shawn DuBravac, the chief economist for the organiser, the Consumer Electronics Association, this will be "the year of the interface" - where manufacturers and software developers work to improve the usability of existing devices.

"Gesture and voice controls are showing up in more devices," he told a preview session for the media.

This year's CES has attracted 146,529 registered attendees from more than 140 countries, with exhibitors filling 1.6 million square feet of display space across Las Vegas's convention centres.

Shelly Palmer, a technology consultant and the founder of Advanced Media Ventures, said it remained the premier showcase and networking event for the industry.

"If you are a content person looking for someone to distribute your content, or a developer looking for a manufacturer, whoever you are, you can do 20 years of business development in five days here," Mr Palmer said.

For consumers, the interest is in the vast array of weird and wonderful gadgets, which this year include everything from intelligent stove-tops to backpacks that can charge your iPhone.

The biggest trend this year could be for new ultra-thin laptops, called ultrabooks, which are modelled on Apple's MacBook Air.

Apple, though, has never attended the show, preferring instead to pick its own timetable for product launches.

The late Steve Jobs preferred all eyes to be on him when he announced his latest world-changing devices, and it is a lesson that Microsoft has learned.

Mr Ballmer is expected today to tout Microsoft's latest Windows operating system, Windows 8, which aims to create a standard look and feel across personal computers, tablets and smartphones.

Topics:  apple microsoft web world


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Water bill reprieve for Isaac ratepayers

ISAAC ratepayers have been granted twelve months by Isaac Regional Council before they have to pay for water use.

Ratepayers in Isaac have 12 months to pay for water use.

Regions join to advocate for affordable housing

Regions collaborate: Isaac Affordable Housing Trust and Central HighlandsHousing Company Limited teaming up to lobby for better affordable housing. Pictured:IAHT Director and IRC Cr Nick Wheeler, CHQHC Company secretary and CHRC CEOScott Mason, IAHT Company Secretary Chris Wright, IAHT Chair and IRC Mayor AnneBaker, CHQHC Director and CHRC Cr David Lacey and CHQHC Chair and CHRCMayor Kerry Hayes.

Local councils join forces for affordable housing.

Light competition spreads Christmas cheer

Council plant operator/labourer Opeta Iona lends a helping hand to hang Christmaslights in the Emerald CBD.

Show your love of Christmas and enter the Light Up Your Town comp.

Local Partners

Heatwave to continue for days as temps top 40 in some areas

IF you want to experience the pure heat of the start of Queensland's scorching weather, you can't go past Birdsville.

Santa is coming to Isaac libraries

CHRISTMAS CRAFT: Join in the special Story Time sessions at Isaac Libraries December 5 to 9 and create your own Christmas craft like Sophia, Evie and Ashley Williams.

Santa is dropping in to the libraries in the Isaac Region.

Warm up your voice for the Rotary Carols

The Rotary Carols by Candlelight is on this Sunday.

The Central Highlands Rotary Carols is on this weekend.

Man builds playground entirely out of packing tape

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

VIDEO:And here's where you can play on it.

Ricky Gervais announces first dates of world tour

Ricky Gervais has announced his first world tour in seven years.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in 'final stages' of divorce

Depp's outstanding divorce money to be paid over 15 months

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher welcome their second child

Mila Kunis won't be naming her second child 'Hawkeye'

First look at Russell Crowe and Tom Cruise in The Mummy

Russell Crowe in a scene from the first teaser trailer for the movie The Mummy.

HOLLYWOOD heavyweights helm serious reboot of action franchise.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Fame is 'unhealthy'

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt feels bad perpetuating celebrity culture

Man who played Manuel in Fawlty Towers has died, aged 86

Manuel from the comedy hit Fawlty Tours, has died aged 86

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

2000 jobs at multi-million dollar Ipswich project

INSIDE: Artist's impressions of the interior of the new Eastern Heights aged care precinct.

Sub-contractors needed to build $15m aged care facility

CQ mine to return dozens of homes to State Government

UPROOTED: Wesfarmers Curragh has chosen not to renew the lease on 44 Blackwater properties

Dozens of families relocating as company offloads coal assets

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!