He'll be hard-pressed to make sure CES outshines the Macworld Conference & Expo. Last year Steve Jobs stole the technology-world spotlight at Macworld when he announced the iPhone.
What will Gates announce? Last year rumors of the iPhone--and poor scheduling, with the two shows running at nearly the same time--prompted some people to skip part of CES to hear Jobs's speech at Macworld. At least this year the scheduling is better, with Macworld starting just after CES ends. But what Microsoft rumors are floating around? Vista Service Pack 1? Internet Explorer 8? The Xbox 360 might get motion-sensing game controllers so it can compete with Nintendo's Wii? Yawn.
Details on the rumored next-generation Windows OS, code-named 7, might be interesting; but since Vista is still new for most people, it's hard to guess what a new Windows OS might look like. The most exciting Microsoft rumors today are corporate, not product-oriented--namely, that the software giant might buy Yahoo or Bloomberg.
CES officially runs January 7 through 10 in Las Vegas, but Gates' keynote is on Sunday, January 6. The show is one of the largest technology expositions in the world, with companies displaying thousands of gadgets to an estimated 150,000 attendees. The Macworld expo is from January 14