We're live at the Steve Ballmer Keynote for CES 2009. What to expect? Could be anything, we're just hoping for more than Bill Gates' standard "kitchen of the future" fare.

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Update: We're all finished up, click through to read our live blog archive and -- even better -- see images from the keynote!


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Image Gallery

The Keynote begins with some totally respectable beat boxing, followed by a fancy-pants video montage across multiple big screens -- including the image at above right that sports a Windows Mobile Standard 6.1 today screen with some sort of funky caller-id image -- one we suspect is more indicative of a photoshopper's imagination than it is of new features to come to Windows Mobile.

Introductions and Steve Ballmer striking a pose.

During  a video montage, we see some images of several hot Windows Mobile devices -- including the Xperia X1, the Touch HD, the Samsung Omnia, and the Touch Pro.  Not included in this keynote -- mistaken leaks of future Windows Mobile products, ala the Treo 800w outing last year (well, with one exception, stay tuned!)

We were treated to a pretty straightfoward demo of Windows 7 and rapid-fire style demos of Windows Mobile.  The one nugget we did get was the above right: a Treo Pro running Windows Mobile 6.  That's not supposed to happen, of course, as we know that IE6 Mobile isn't going to be made available on current devices. More on this in another post.

And finally things wrap up with a funny song, Robbie Bach showing off some new XBox features, and a some hopeful looks into the future of computing.

All in all, it's fair to say that this year's keynote was somewhere between "low key" and "bust."  We weren't really expecting anything earth-shattering at this keynote, so we won't claim to be disappointed.  On the other hand, with a captive audience like this, it would have been nice to see Microsoft step it up a bit -- it was the first keynote of the Steve Ballmer era, after all.