Everything is so very, very digital

May 28, 2008

allthingsd.jpg The bigwigs of the digital world have descended on Carlsbad, California.

The D: All Things Digital conference always attracts the elite of the tech world and this year is no exception, with a lineup that includes Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Jerry Yang, Tom Glocer, Barry Diller, Jeffrey Bewkes, and Mark Zuckerberg, among others.

Kicking it off, Microsoft’s Gates and Ballmer showed off new Windows features that are based on “multi-touch” software that will be part of Windows 7. Ballmer said touchscreens were just one way Windows would be improved.

OK. Cool. But what if you wanted to know about Gates and Ballmer? What were they like up on stage? Were they nervous? Relaxed? Were they funny? Dull? Did Ballmer do his screaming thing?

After all, for some the conference is a little like the Super Bowl, Cannes, and the MTV Video Music Awards wrapped into one big buzzfest. If you’re in that camp, the tech bloggers have your back. A sampling of the reporting:

GigaOM: “It didn’t quite have the sentimental feeling of the Steve Jobs & Bill Gates talk from last year, but it was interesting to see the dynamic of Steve Ballmer & Bill Gates. I think it was great to see Bill step back and let Steve enjoy the limelight, and not take himself too seriously.”

paidContent: “Here at D listening to the Bill and Steve show-Gates and Ballmer this year, no repeat of last year’s star turn by Steve Jobs. It starts with the Microsoft-Gates farewell video from CES with a few tweaks.

And now it’s a group interview with Kara, Walt, Bill and Steve (not quite Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice). We’ve been through Harvard, where the two met in a residence hall. Quite a bit to go before we get to the unveiling of Windows 7.”

Silicon Alley Insider: “The rest of the chat’s highlights include a pretty interesting walk through memory lane, where Bill and Steve discuss their time at Harvard, and early days at the company. They spent quite a bit of time talking about Bill’s reluctance to take any risks with his company’s money, which seems to have implications for the Yahoo deal. It was also interesting to see just how much Apple, popular adulation of the company, have gotten under MSFTs skin. ”

Keep an eye on:

  • Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders have landed a major sponsor, Microsoft, which will emblazon the front of the team’s uniforms. They will announce a deal for “Xbox 360 LIVE” to be splashed across the Sounders’ uniforms (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Apple watchers believe that a new version of the iPhone will be introduced at the opening day of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on June 9, leading to rampant speculation about the phone’s possible features (The New York Times)
  • TV networks are attempting to cut costs for reality shows, already thought of as the cheapest form of prime-time programming (Hollywood Reporter)

(Photo: Reuters)

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