Microsoft still knows how to pack a room. The seats are filling up quickly.
@Paolo Sanchez Sinofsky is a polarizing figure. He ships product, which is a huge deal at Microsoft. But he doesn't always make friends in the process.
Check out those pics from Sarah. The plethora of Windows 8 devices indicates both a renewed interest in innovation from manufacturers and a serious uncertainty about what's going to work for consumers.
There's some bland house music playing in the background. Not offensive at all. I guess the ideal music to play for this kind of event.
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Thank you, Sarah, for reminding me not to slouch...
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There's wonky Internet connection in the room. Each of us is flitting in and out. Hoping it's a bit more smooth during the presentation.
@Adam -- Our NY team is there in force; a bit too early for the SF team.
And the screen goes dark. Cue the slick promo video.
Ok, the music has stopped. This thing should kick off soon.
Video showing Sinofsky in Shanghai, where he was earlier this week launching Windows 8 there.
Some more Windows launch history. Windows XP debuted in New York as well, just a few weeks after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. There was some discussion about moving the event elsewhere. But then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani prevailed upon Bill Gates to keep the event in New York to help show the world that the city was bowed but not broken.
The video highlights various Windows 8 events all around the world with some thumping background music. I guess we're supposed to get pumped.
Okay, video is over, and Steven Sinofsky is on stage now.
Microsoft is highlighting how widely used Windows is worldwide. More than 1 billion machines runs some version of the Windows operating system.
Sinofsky: We are here to celebrate global availability of a new era of Windows PCs.
Sinofsky welcomes the various PC and chip partners.
Windows 8 is a major milestone in the evolution and revolution of computing, he says.
Having surpassed 1 billion users, we are looking forward to the next billion, he says.
Now on Windows 7 - it's the most widely used and widely praised OS ever, Sinofsky says.
Sinofsky is the guy who took over Windows with the Windows 7 launch. He cleaned up the mess that was Windows Vista.
Windows 7 has sold 670M licenses to businesses and consumers, he says.
That gets a lot of applause.
Windows 7 has seen the fastest adoption by businesses ever, Sinofsky says.
Sinofsky talks about cloud services and SkyDrive. Today, it has 11 million photos.
14 petabytes of data in SkyDrive, people add 2 PB every month
Sinofsky is building the foundation for the Windows 8 launch. But really, it's a lot of Windows 7 talk.
Compares it to Windows 95, which was the basis for Windows 7 with things like the Start Menu.
No Internet, no email, no smartphones, Sinofsky says, it's like "we were living in caves," he said to laughs.
Windows 8 is different, he says. We're connected all the time. People are at the center. Work and play are intertwined.
PCs have been replaced by mobile devices at a fraction of the price, he notes.