Microsoft's Gates Touts Concept of Seamless Computing During Pre -CES Keynote Presentation

Keynote Speech Closes an Exciting Day of CES Activities as More than 110,000 Leaders in Technology Arrive in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nev., January 8, 2004 - Thousands of consumer electronics executives closed out an exciting eve of the 2004 International CES with a riveting speech by Microsoft's Chief Software Architect Bill Gates. Gates' Pre -CES Keynote Address helped fuel an already action -packed day of CES exhibitor press conferences and partner programs held throughout the day. The 2004 International CES opens today and runs through Sunday in Las Vegas, Nev.

"The hotels are over -sold, the flights are full to capacity and thousands of technology executives finally have arrived in Las Vegas to experience the digital world of consumer electronics products and technology here at CES," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the producer of CES. "The energy pouring out of the Las Vegas Convention Center these last two days has truly set the stage for what we have been waiting for since last January, the 2004 International CES - the World Cup of Consumer Technology."

Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect for Microsoft Corp., utilized the 2004 International CES to launch his concept of seamless computing last night. The theme of seamless computing, explained Gates, is the ability to bring devices together into one connected world. Gates explained that software and broadband technology are the building blocks to making seamless computing a reality.

Much to the surprise of the CES audience, Gates introduced world renown talk show host Jay Leno to the stage to help promote, a personalized homepage full of the customized information, photo sharing and streaming video capabilities, as well as top content from such providers as NBC, Discovery Channel, HGTV, Weather Channel and others. Gates then segued into MSN Direct, a new service that connects with SPOT technology offering personalized information such as news, sports, stocks and weather to consumers' SPOT -enabled watches.

Keeping in theme with seamless access to content, Gates switched gears to discuss briefly the concept of seamless entertainment. Central to this concept is the ability of various entertainment devices such as DVD players, audio players and digital imaging technology to interconnect throughout the home via the MSN Media Center.

Playing off that concept, Gates introduced Windows Media Vision HD, a powerful piece of technology allowing content available on your PC to be transmitted into high -definition. The stage then was set for a demonstration of a new Portable Media Center allowing consumers to transfer their movies, music, photos, and other content from a PC to a portable device the size of a wallet. Gates briefly touched on the Xbox Media Center Extender Kit that allows the Xbox to connect to a PC and access content for playback through the gaming console.

Gates' keynote complimented a morning presentation by Chief Xbox Officer Robbie Bach at the first -ever Digital Games Summit, produced by iHollywood Forum in conjunction with CES. Bach spoke of consumers' digital lifestyle wish -list where people demand access to the content they own whenever and wherever they please. The approach to meeting this demand, Bach explained, is to utilize the PC as the gateway to the home to store, manage and access content anywhere in the home in any format. As Gates later reinforced in this speech, Bach stated software and services will help make this easier to accomplish.

Some of the exciting news announced by exhibitors already at CES illustrates the industry's movement to portable digital content. Audiovox launched new Jensen and Advent home audio products, the first since Audiovox acquired the two brands. LG Electronics introduced the first Blu -Ray recorder, combining the new high -capacity recordable digital media format and a 200 -gigabyte hard drive capable of recording high -definition content. Philips Electronics introduced the Streamium television that allows consumers to access video and audio content through a wireless or wired Ethernet connection. Entropic Communications and Toshiba demonstrated a revolutionary method of networking high -definition television (HDTV) throughout an average home over coaxial cable. Thomson unveiled an array of RCA Scenium ultra -thin digital cable -ready integrated rear -projection HDTV sets. Sharp Electronics launched the 45 -inch Aquos, the world's largest widescreen liquid crystal HDTV set. And, Deja View and Toshiba announced first -quarter availability of the world's first wearable camcorder.

CES press attendees also got a glimpse into the digital imaging industry with a research presentation by Infotrends during the first annual CES ImageScape event held yesterday. Infotrends predicted household penetration to surpass thirty percent by year's end.

About CEA:
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the consumer technology industry through technology policy, events, research, promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA represents more than 1,300 corporate members involved in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and integration of audio, video, mobile electronics, wireless and landline communications, information technology, home networking, multimedia and accessory products, as well as related services that are sold through consumer channels. Combined, CEA's members account for more than $90 billion in annual sales. CEA's resources are available online at, the definitive source for information about the consumer electronics industry.
CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES - Defining Tomorrow's Technology. All profits from CES are reinvested into industry services, including technical training and education, industry promotion, engineering standards development, market research and legislative advocacy.

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