By Doug Olenick on Jan 6 2011 - 11:29pm


C’mon Steve… Dance One More Time

Bill Gates may be an uber geek, but he knew how to have fun at CES and this is something Steve Ballmer should try and emulate.

Today I sat through what has to be my 67th day before CES keynote and let me tell you the shine is off the apple. Pun intended.

Prior to Bill hanging up his skates and heading back to his mansion to give away his fortune in order to cure all diseases known to man, CES keynotes were something to look forward to.

You never knew who he was going to pull out of the woodwork to show off a new technology.

I’ve seen Conan O’Brien embarrass him when a demo failed, watched Shaquille O’Neal beat him in xBox basketball and countless other stunts.

Well, all that is history. Ever since Ballmer took over the chore, and that is what it appears to be now, of handling the CES keynote nothing exciting has happened.

I had high hopes for Steve. After all, everyone has seen him freak out on YouTube. Well, I expected a little of that. Instead all we have received is the Harvard business graduate stump speech.

Where the heck is the guy dancing around the stage? Granted, he might have been embarrassed by the performance, but now that we know such behavior is inside him how can we accept anything less?

OK, with all that said this year’s keynote was a downer. Ballmer shuffled out three execs to demo xBox, Windows Phone 7 and Windows 7 demos. They all did a fine job, but they gave us nothing new or a glimpse into the future.

One of the best parts of Gates’ talks was the fact he had no trouble talking about his vision of computing. He would wave around wooden demos of some crazy future product or show the SPOT watch or BOB, but damn it he put his neck out. Sure they failed, but Bill didn’t care. He came right back with something else.

I truly wish Steve Ballmer would think about this before CES 2012 when several thousand people swarm into his keynote expecting to hear something cool.

After all he has huge shoes to fill and is fighting a huge battle with that other Steve (Jobs).

All I can ask is C’mon Steve. Dance around the stage one more time.

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