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* Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage for the company's final C.E.S. keynote, which mostly played up eccentricity and flash over substance, including an appearance by Ryan Seacrest and a "Tweet Choir" (see video above) that sang Microsoft- and CES-related tweets. Ballmer did make mention of progress on the gaming front: the company's Xbox 360 game console has sold more than 66 million units since hitting the scene in 2005. Meanwhile, more than 40 million Kinect motion-sensing controllers have been sold. (CNNMoney and VentureBeat)
* Also hot at CES: tech like Smart TVs that help viewers better navigate all that entertainment content. (The Wall Street Journal)
* Google (GOOG) is rolling out changes to search engine results that will pull and promote content from its social network, Google+. As colleague Miguel Helft reports, searching for a friend's name for example may result in that friend's Google+ profile topping the search results. (Fortune)
* Oracle (ORCL) is getting aggressive about its new Big Data Appliance, priced just north of $500,000, or significantly less that what analysts had predicted. The goal? Become a staple in enterprise data warehouses and upsell other systems. (ZDNET)
* With a "promotion and retention" award of 1 million RSUs (restricted stock units) given to Apple CEO Tim Cook in 2011, some outlets suggest he may be the highest paid CEO of 2011. Colleague Phil Elmer-Dewitt argues that's not so. (Fortune)
* Techcrunch columnist MG Siegler hates Android, and it's not just because he loves Apple design. (parislemon)
* MySpace lives on (sort of) in the form of a Web TV service. According to All Things D, the entertainment hub will offer TV programming paired with interactive features. (All Things D)
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Driven by China, a low-cost iPhone, the expanding tablet market and possibly a smart TV
Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty, whose Apple (AAPL) forecasts have turned increasingly bullish in the past year (see Morgan Stanley drinks the Apple Kool-Aid), issued a report Friday even more optimistic than the glowing note she published last November.
In her "bull case" scenario, Apple ships 87 million iPhones and 65 million iPads in calendar 2011, driving MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 25, 2011 6:30 AM ET
By pushing its own 'Smart TV initiative' with advertising and promotions, Intel will be diluting the GoogleTV brand and hurting its chances of success.
Intel this week started advertising its 'Smart TV ' platform for GoogleTV products. The move is meant to bolster Intel's profile in the set top box game, but with only one product line out, GoogleTV, it may just confuse consumers.
It seems clear by this initiative that Intel MORESeth Weintraub - May 25, 2010 3:09 PM ET
The question in the aftermath of Google's smart TV announcement is, who wants one? Especially since over the last decade, mating the PC to a television has resulted in an unholy alliance that primarily sent people running from their favorite gadget store. Remember WebTV (now the lackluster MSNTV)? Or all those media centers that every PC manufacturer was flogging? Youch.
Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel (INTC) certainly does. The largest maker MOREMichael V. Copeland, Senior Writer - May 20, 2010 5:29 PM ET
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