As Bill Gates gave his final keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Sunday night, he, along with Microsoft executive Robbie Bach, announced a new partnership with Disney-ABC Television that will bring additional programming to the technology giant's XBox LIVE service. Programs such as Lost, Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives on the ABC side and Hannah Montana and High School Musical on the Disney side will be available later this month through Microsoft's online gaming and entertainment platform.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for us to continue to expand video content on XBox and bring more consumers in the XBox LIVE experience," said Bach, who announced a similar agreement with MGM to add on-demand content from its movie library to XBox LIVE's growing network.
Gates also announced a deal with NBC to provide online coverage of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing using Microsoft's Silverlight video technology.
The presentation was ultimately about Gates, though, with the Microsoft chairman announcing that this was the last opening keynote he'd be giving at the giant technology tradeshow, something he has done every year for the past eight years. In July, Gates will step away from the day-to-day operation of the company he co-founded to devote more time to his charitable foundation.
In a lighthearted video, Gates was shown looking for ways to spend his time after his last day at Microsoft. Among his choices were physical training with actor Matthew McConaughey, rapping with Jay-Z, auditioning for U2 frontman Bono by playing Guitar Hero, trying to convince George Clooney to play him in the movie of his life (and pitching it to Steven Spielberg) and seeing if Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were still looking for running mates.
Gates remarked that "this will be the first time since I was 17 that I haven't had my full time job at Microsoft."
The Consumer Electronics Show officially starts Monday with over 3,600 exhibitors and 150,000 attendees.
The complete video of Gates keynote is viewable on Microsoft's website at http://www.microsoft.com/ces/.