D:Conference: Windows 7 First Look. Bill Gates Finally Funny

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. I think instead of writing about the whole conversation, I am going to share this tiny bit I captured on video that shows how relaxed Gates is feeling these days, now that he has shifted all responsibilities to Ballmer.

Bill was very candid about Vista and its problems. “We never ship a product that I am satisfied with 100 percent” he said. “There is always improvement. Vista gave us lot of opportunities for improvement.” Funny… anyway

What I did find strangely amusing: the Microsoft duo has a tough time using the phrase “Google” and constantly referred to them as the other guys. I really wish I could ask the duo about why they are so obsessed with Online Advertising? Are they acknowledging that all innovation and growth opportunities in applications and operating systems are done? Why not obsess about being the world’s best on-demand software company? Anyway that’s for another day. I picked up some great notes for my post about Search and the competitive landscape.

Now moving on to Windows 7. The company showed off a nice demo of the multi touch features of Windows 7 and how you could paint with your fingers, or open applications and use maps in the new version of Microsoft’s operating system that comes to market sometime in 2009. (More details and videos here.)

I think if you have used iPod Touch, iPhone and Coverflow, you are not going to be as wow-ed by multi-touch, but I have to admit, that even in its rudimentary form, it looked pretty darn good. I have a feeling Apple is going to bring this to market much before Microsoft. Stacey joked about the new features pointing out that the smudging caused by multi-touch would surely make money for companies like 3M.

Anyway more on the conference tomorrow!

Original Post

I have just arrived at the D6 Conference organized by Kara Swisher & Walt Mossberg. I will have an update in an hour or so. Our good friends at D tell us that Bill Gates is going to show off an early version of Windows 7. Now that is something to look forward to and dig into. I have my trusted Sanyo Xaacti in the tow and I will be doing some video updates from here. Given the noise at the conferences, don’t expect stellar quality but hey, it sure beats nothing.