Last year, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer announced that it was the company’s last appearance to give the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) keynote address. however, this could not dispel rumors that somehow, Ballmer would show up.
And show up he did.
Ballmer surprised everyone at Qualcomm’s opening keynote address last night by making a cameo appearance 20 minutes in to talk up Windows 8/Windows RT and Windows Phone 8.
Qualcomm’s keynote had the theme “born mobile,” so following an introduction by Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs, Ballmer’s cameo talk was on point as far as how Windows 8 RT and Windows Phone 8 run on Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets.
Ballmer talked about all the “cool stuff” Microsoft was doing, running on Qualcomm’s chipsets and shifted the spotlight and attention right back to the company that had given the keynote for the past 12 years – Microsoft.
Here’s Ballmer’s surprise cameo;
Ballmer showed off a gaggle of smartphones running Windows Phone software and the latest tablets running Windows 8 and had this to say;
“This year, I’m here to show you some phenomenal new Windows devices on Snapdragon. Windows tablets are the only tablets in the world with Office.”
He blamed PC makers for being slow to bring their devices to market but said there are now four times as many Windows 8/Windows RT tablets available as there were at the launch in late October, and that each one is perfectly suitable for both “work and play.”
Regarding Windows Phone 8, he noted;
“Each Windows Phone is as unique as the person using it. The new Windows Phones are incredible. In November, we reported that sales were four times greater than the same time last year, and during the week of Christmas, we sold five times more phones than the same week last year.”
And while Ballmer’s appearance during the keynote is certainly of interest to Microsoft watchers, it certainly wasn’t the highlight of the keynote. Jacobs announced a new Qualcomm chipset, the Snapdragon 800 series processors, which he described as “the most advanced wireless chips ever built,” offering a 70 percent performance boost over the current chips, while utilizing a quad-core design that can run at speeds up to 2.3GHz and will support “LTE+” wireless networking. Snapdragon 800 chips will appear in the second half of 2013, and NVIDIA also announced a similar product, the Tegra 4 chipset, this week at CES.