LAS VEGAS - In his final C.E.S. keynote address, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer promised "more of the same stuff" for Windows users throughout the world.
Marred by "blue screens of death" and a myriad of technical glitches, Ballmer's presentation of the new Windows smartphone and Windows 8 was coolly received by the audience. "As soon as this phone reboots," said Ballmer, stalling for time, "I'll show you on the big screen behind me.. DAMN IT!" he said, as he noticed the screen on the overhead projector had blue screened as well.
"I.. ahh.. just need a minute more here," Ballmer stalled, as his assistant ran on stage to help, leaving host Ryan Seacrest to fend for himself. In a desperate attempt to save the show, Seacrest busted out a freestyle rap on the features of Windows 8, which only made things much, much worse.
"It was tragic," said Hugh Elder, who was in the audience as a writer for a PC trade magazine. "Ballmer was sweating a lot, and everything kept blue-screening and rebooting all the time. It's good this is his last keynote."
"He's going out like every Windows guy should," said Barney Collingwood, who was also in the audience. "Plagued by glitches and errors, but we wouldn't have it any other way. Frankly, I thought it was his best keynote ever."
At one point near the middle of his time, the audience itself chimed in. "Did you try to reboot?" shouted a crowd of at least 20 audience members in unison, followed by a round of self-referential applause.