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Gates' P.C. Crashes at Vegas Show (What Happens in Vegas, Doesn't Stay in Vegas)
NewsMax.com ^ | Thursday, Jan. 6, 2005 9:26 a.m. EST | Carl Limbacher

Posted on 01/06/2005 4:52:59 PM PST by Paleo Conservative

Despite suffering technical glitches that prompted jokes and guffaws, Bill Gates promised Wednesday that Microsoft Corp. would help millions of consumers stay seamlessly plugged into a world of digital music, movies, video games and television shows.

In his seventh annual keynote speech at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft's chairman explained that the proliferation of broadband Internet access and the falling price of data storage are compelling people to put music, photos, movies and other aspects of their life into a digital format.

"We predicted at the beginning of this decade that this would be a decade where the digital approach would be taken for granted," Gates told hundreds of technologists who gathered for his kickoff to the world's largest electronics show. "It's going even faster than we expected." But while promoting what he calls the "digital lifestyle," Gates showed how vulnerable all consumers - even the world's richest man - are to hardware and software bugs.

During a demonstration of digital photography with a soon-to-be-released Nikon camera, a Windows Media Center PC froze and wouldn't respond to Gates' pushing of the remote control.

Later in the 90-minute presentation, a product manager demonstrated the ostensible user-friendliness of a video game expected to hit retail stores in April, Forza Motor Sport. But instead of configuring a custom-designed race car, the computer monitor displayed the dreaded "blue screen of death" and warned, "out of system memory."

The errors which came during what's usually an ode to Microsoft's dominance of the software industry and its increasing control of consumer electronics - prompted the celebrity host, NBC comedian Conan O'Brien, to quip, "Who's in charge of Microsoft, anyway?"

Gates, who was sitting next to O'Brien on a set staged to look like NBC's Late Night set, smiled dryly and continued with his discussion.

Gates also announced several partnerships with telecommunication companies such as SBC Communications Inc. and television networks.

Microsoft and music network MTV last month inked a deal that will eventually allow people to send cable programs from rock, pop and country music channels and Comedy Central to their laptops, hand-held computers and other devices.

Gates also announced that Korea's LG Electronics SA, the owner of Zenith Electronics, would build a DVD player recorder using Microsoft's digital video recording software. The product, which will be available in the fall, will attach to a television so users can record live shows onto a DVD.

Although he accepted guffaws from audience members in the theater, the technical hiccups didn't prompt Gates to engage in a hard-hitting analysis of computer reliability and security. Power outages, hardware failures and software bugs often inexplicably humble those who strive for a Windows-based digital lifestyle, and world's most popular operating system is also a favorite target of hackers, virus writers, spies and spammers.

"We've had a fair share of success and a fair share of things we've had to do version two and three of," said Gates.

Gates downplaying his company's shortcomings isn't surprising. He founded the company to create software for the budding niche of personal computers in the early '80s.

But now senior executives are eager to get a piece of the $108 billion consumer electronics market in the United States, now dominated by Asian brands such as Sony, Samsung, Panasonic and LG Electronics. It will likely take Microsoft years to understand the consumer electronics market and produce simple, glitch-free products for consumers' living rooms, analysts say.

"Microsoft was founded by programmers and is still run by programmers, and the bias of programmers is that software can do anything," said Paul DeGroot, an analyst at Kirkland, Wash.-based Directions on Microsoft. "While Microsoft's goal is to turn the PC into a superhub that does everything - plays music, works as a cell phone, stores your photos - they're running up against the fact that most people buy discreet components that do particular things."

© 2005 Associated Press.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; US: Nevada; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: billgates; bluescreenofdeath; crash; getamac; lowqualitycrap; microsoft; oops; systemfreeze; windows
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Here's the headline NewsMax.com emailed me.

--What Happens in Vegas, Doesn't Stay in Vegas: Bill Gates Computer Crashes


1 posted on 01/06/2005 4:53:00 PM PST by Paleo Conservative
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To: Paleo Conservative

Hey Bill, welcome to *our* world.


2 posted on 01/06/2005 4:58:22 PM PST by Salamander (You can never have too much cowbell!)
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To: Paleo Conservative

That's happened to him before. There's a pic out there with him standing in front of a BSOD on the mainscreen.


3 posted on 01/06/2005 4:59:29 PM PST by Bogey78O (Hillary Clinton + Fertility pills + Scott Peterson + rowboat = Success)
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To: Bogey78O

Wasn't it with a Win98 debut?


4 posted on 01/06/2005 5:01:17 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Bogey78O

Isn't there a video of Gates demostrating how Windows 98 can crash when plugging in a USB device?


5 posted on 01/06/2005 5:01:43 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Dan Rather's got to go!)
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To: Paleo Conservative; Bush2000; HAL9000; Dominic Harr; Lazamataz

After Leading The Massive AT&T Wireless Software Outsourcing Failure, MicroSoft Hires AT&T Wireless' Corrado

6 posted on 01/06/2005 5:02:34 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Paleo Conservative
During a demonstration of digital photography with a soon-to-be-released Nikon camera, a Windows Media Center PC froze and wouldn't respond to Gates' pushing of the remote control.

I saw the exact same thing happen to Steve Jobs during an Apple key note address a couple of years ago. Turns out the batteries in Job's remote were dead. Pretty embarrassing for him, though.

7 posted on 01/06/2005 5:05:14 PM PST by MrsEmmaPeel
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To: Paleo Conservative
Windows Media Center PC froze and wouldn't respond to Gates' pushing of the remote control.

Imagine that! My Windows programs never freeze.

8 posted on 01/06/2005 5:06:16 PM PST by silent_jonny (Happy New Year!)
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To: MrsEmmaPeel

Big difference in dead batteries causing a remote to fail and software that is so buggy one considers it a good day when something doesn't go wrong. However, we all love to see CEO's go down at a marketing event (unless of course it happens to be you or your boss using your gear!!)


9 posted on 01/06/2005 5:11:22 PM PST by georgiarat
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To: Paleo Conservative
I've got two Windows XP boxes and a Titanium Powerbook, and I have to say that both operating systems are bloated, inefficient, slow. It's a wonder they work at all.

I miss my Amiga.

10 posted on 01/06/2005 5:13:52 PM PST by Reactionary
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To: Shermy

Win95 debut... just a small preview of what was later to come.


11 posted on 01/06/2005 5:14:49 PM PST by thoughtomator (Flush twice, it's a long way to France)
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To: Paleo Conservative

I find it interesting that MS doesn't have Gates' major presentations on redundant "hot spare" systems so that if one fails the other seamlessly handles the task.


12 posted on 01/06/2005 5:27:51 PM PST by Proud2BeRight
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To: georgiarat

Love the hubris bug, too. But I agree with Gates that
cheap digital is the tsunami of tech.

If he'd been savvy (not just smart), he would have turned
his ''wardrobe/machine malfunction'' into a positive, saying
how he identifies with the common guy.


13 posted on 01/06/2005 5:28:28 PM PST by plangent
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To: Paleo Conservative

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy....


14 posted on 01/06/2005 5:58:03 PM PST by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now.)
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To: Paleo Conservative
.... Power outages, hardware failures .... inexplicably humble those who strive for a Windows-based digital lifestyle

Who makes a computer that doesn't need power? I gotta' get me one of those.
15 posted on 01/06/2005 6:01:33 PM PST by Joe_October (Saddam supported Terrorists. Al Qaeda are Terrorists. I can't find the link.)
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To: Paleo Conservative
As I recall, this isn't the first time Gates has been embarrassed because of "computer presentation problems." You would think that the richest man in the world, who has a company that purports to be the most technically competent, would have bugs worked out ahead of a big presentation.
The comment above, "welcome to our world" hits it right on the mark or it could be: "welcome to the blue screen of death."
16 posted on 01/06/2005 6:16:36 PM PST by vox_freedom (Fear no evil)
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Now, please?!
17 posted on 01/06/2005 6:16:42 PM PST by Bradís Gramma (Proud Patriots dot ORG!!! Operation Valentine's Day!!)
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To: Paleo Conservative
Windows Media ceter turns a $1500 computer into a $300 TiVO.
OTH, I like XP as an OS. Besides, if Windows were intuitive, bug-free, and userproof, I would be out of a job.
18 posted on 01/06/2005 6:19:44 PM PST by rmlew (Copperheads and Peaceniks beware! Sedition is a crime.)
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To: Paleo Conservative
Isn't there a video of Gates demostrating how Windows 98 can crash when plugging in a USB device?

Yeppir. I forget exactly what he's demonstrating, but there's a video of it on the net. USB ports were what finally drove me away from Windows. After I started digital photography, I had to plug and unplug USB ports a lot for downloading. Win98 couldn't deal with it, 2000 didn't have decent support at the time, so I upgraded to ME, which was probably the worst iteration of Windows ever made. Every time I'd unplug a USB device, the system would lock up or it would lose connection with the USB ports. I'd have to delete the USB ports and then reboot the system, because trying to install the device through the device manager didn't work.

I switched to Mac, and have not been sorry. It was a pretty scary step, considering I had to buy either new or upgrades to Photoshop, Illustrator, Office, and Macromedia, but it's been the most cost-effective computer purchase I've ever made. I've been using the system coming up on two years, and except for installing an Airport extreme card, I haven't had to spend another penny on it.

That being said, I have a lot of respect for MS. Nobody builds a company that big without doing a lot of things correctly. I just don't like their products.

19 posted on 01/06/2005 6:41:07 PM PST by Richard Kimball (Crawford Pirates, Texas State Football Champions!!!!!!!)
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To: rmlew
Windows Media ceter turns a $1500 computer into a $300 TiVO.

Windows Media Center is a good operating system for high end laptops. My brother has a Toshiba that came with Pentium IV, a gigabyte of RAM, and Windows Media Center. It is great for giving presentations and as an entertainment center on the road.

20 posted on 01/06/2005 6:44:36 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Dan Rather's got to go!)
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