As Bill Gates said in his CES keynote on Sunday, Microsoft is really pushing its relationships with partners to further spread the Windows ideal.

This is highlighted more than anywhere at the cunningly titled Microsoft Partner Pavilion where the new Portege R400 tablet from Toshiba rubs shoulders with the latest Philips remotes for use with Media Center.

This evening we were fortunate enough to be invited there for a demonstration of the different kit available. And it's clear that Microsoft is working with more partners and more intensively than before, with demonstrations of gaming kit, home entertainment setups and more.

What's more, most of this stuff is actually pretty good. The jury might still be out on the tablet and the UMPC, but the integration of the Xbox 360 into Microsoft's ideals can't be knocked.

The Vista viral

Windows Vista was always going to be one of the key themes of this CES, but Microsoft has been working hard in Las Vegas to spread the word that 'the wow is now'.

And it's not just the hundreds of Vista-labelled cabs trundling down the strip.

The Bellagio Hotel and Casino fountains are famed for their spectacular show here in Las Vegas, but tonight Microsoft hijacked them in spectacular fashion for a further clue in The Vanishing Point alternative-reality-game.

This originated from clues on a Microsoft blog in December. Since then the viral campaign has gone on, and nobody has yet solved all the puzzles.

At the Bellagio, the normal fountain show was interrupted and a voice boomed out "I won't be here for long" and other cryptic phrases as visual clues were spectacularly projected onto the fountains.

Who ever decodes the puzzles can win bundles of Windows Vista PCs, Xbox 360s and Zune music players.

It certainly made more of an impression than the Windows Vista-branded cab we saw outside one of the CES venues - it had broken down.