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Gates In Las Vegas: On IPTV, MTV, And All Things Digital

Microsoft Chief Software Architect's CES 2005 Keynote in Las Vegas

He's done it six times before, but even so it seems worth recording what Bill Gates had to say at his seventh successive Consumer Electronics Show keynote in Las Vegas yesterday. So here is our selection of the choicest quotes, culled from the 90 minutes:

"Music is a fun area. It's one that everyone I think would agree it's going digital, so the ability to create playlists, to have it in your pocket, to organize it in rich ways, people are going to take it for granted."

. . .

"[M]ost people are still not in the digital realm, if you look at online music sales, it's pretty small. There's a view that enabling subscriptions will help that a lot, you pay a monthly fee and have access to literally thousands and thousands of tunes. We've enabled that for the first time, the technology, and the Windows Plays For Sure allows you to have a monthly subscription. Many of our partners are coming out with those offerings, and we'll see if that catches on in a very big way."

. . .

Q. What's going to happen in television, what will we see?

BILL GATES: Well, again here it's about choice, letting people see more variety of shows, letting them see these shows when they want to, being able to mix content they might go and get over the Internet in with things they're getting over their normal video sources."

. . .

"[T]here are a lot of different ways that we're letting people get better TV. Media Center would be the high-end and the most flexible. We're doing set-top box software, we're doing a device called MSN TV that plugs into your TV, lets you browse the Internet, sort of simpler than a PC and very straightforward for a lot of people. We've got standards that make all these things work together. That's where the Windows Media connect is. And our software will be used in some of the DVD recorders that come out, and that means you'll get that better connectivity."

. . .

"We've been investing in software for the TV probably for longer than we should have. It's been almost 12 years that we've been building on this, but this was a milestone year, not only the Comcast announcement but also some partners, particularly from the telephone companies who are investing in these next generation networks. Today we're announcing that Bell South has joined those companies and they'll be rolling out some of the IPTV services using our software there."

. . .

"We've got probably the biggest content announcement today is our relationship with MTV. MTV Networks of course has a broad range of things, not just MTV but VH1, Country Music, Comedy Central, and a real expertise in understanding their customers, globally young people, people who care about music; they are a fantastic partner. And so they'll be working with the Windows ecosystem, the PlaysForSure, the rights management and looking at innovative ways they can come up with things that are free or subscription or download, so a really great partnership there."

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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