'Metro drives magic across all our experiences'

Steve Ballmer
Microsoft's Steve Ballmer is all about Metro

"In 2012 what's next? Metro, Metro, Metro and, of course, Windows, Windows Windows."

That's how Steve Ballmer ended his CES 2012 keynote. But the final Microsoft keynote after 15 years at CES was a fairly low key affair that served as a wrap-up to the progress of Windows Phone and forthcoming features in Windows 8.

For Xbox, Microsoft talked about a new partnership with News Corporation, bringing apps from Fox, IGN, Fox News and Wall Street Journal. It was also announced that Kinect will come to Windows in February.

Ballmer said that Xbox 360 is the world's number one console in terms of sales, with more than 66 million worldwide and there are now more than 40 million Xbox Live members. Kinect has sold 18 million units so far.

Steve ballmer ces 2012

Talking about Windows Phone, Ballmer said: "If you take a look at it, other phones give you a sea of applications that are your view of the world. Windows Phone is the first phone that puts people first…prioritises people. It's all laid out there front and centre. As things change it all gets put there together for you."

The keynote showcased the earlier-launched Nokia Lumia 900 and new 16MP HTC Titan 2.

It's all about Metro

Ballmer made it clear that Metro was Microsoft's key focus. "Metro will drive the magic across all our experiences," he said.

Frank X. Shaw, head of corporate communications at Microsoft also talked up Metro's influence. "As you can see across our devices (and through our booth for those here at the show), Metro delivers a beautiful, natural visual experience. People already love it on Windows Phone and Xbox, and soon Metro will come to Windows 8 PCs and tablets, too."

And on Windows 8, Microsoft had a clear message – buying a PC now won't cause you a problem with the new OS. "Every Windows 7 PC ever made will be ready for Windows 8 on day one," promised Ballmer. More than 500 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold - one every 7 seconds.

There was also a demonstration of the Windows Store which, like the Mac App Store, will bring downloadable apps to Windows. Microsoft announced it will launch at the end of February.

Ballmer also eulogised about Microosft's acquisition of Skype. "Skype's amazing. 200 million people who used over 300 billion minutes last year. 50 per cent were video calls"

There was also a small announcement that Cut the Rope is to come to IE9.



Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site T3.com. Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.