Day One at CES Shows Microsoft, Panasonic and Palm

By January 09, 2009

The end of the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show has already left us with developments in several categories. The show continues until Sunday in Las Vegas, showcasing Wireless, Emerging Technology, Digital Imaging, Gaming, Audio, Home Networking, In-Vehicle Connectivity and Home Theater. Some highlights are distilled below. CEO of Sony Sir Howard Stringer delivered a keynote address mindful of the projection that the consumer electronics industry will see negative growth this year. His guidelines to sustain the industry stress convergence of IT, consumer experience and entertainment. CNET interprets them as a newly developed mission statement for his own company, but the strategies carry over: focus on customer service, support open technologies, embrace social content, go green. As for more consumer based plans, Microsoft will release a public beta of Windows 7 this week. After 2.5 million downloads, Microsoft will cap the beta, according to PC World . The official ship date remains early 2010.

Panasonic showcased a Web media connectivity system called Viera Cast that will be included on HDTVs and Blu-ray players that can access Amazon Video On Demand as well as YouTube and Picasa content. Also from Panasonic was a home 3D video system complete with glasses too heavy for Rob Pegonaro .

Palm revealed both a new operating system and new hardware at its press conference Thursday. The mobile platform is referred to as a "webOS" meant to integrate the Internet fully with work, social and personal information. The navigation cards can be manipulated on the home screen, enabling multitasking between applications that continue to run even when not in use.

As for the new handset, the "Pre" combines a 3.1-inch touchscreen with a QWERTY-board in a bevelled vertical-slide configuration. With 3G, Wi-Fi and GPS, as well as other competitive specifications, and will run on the Sprint network upon its first-half 2009 release.

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