Stealing, the Show (CES)

Ballmer steals the show, but thieves aren't interested in Microsoft products.

If you are a gadget lover, technology watcher, or even if you get some strange satisfaction simply from the most over-the-top trade shows and media events, this is your week as the Consumer Electronics Show – known simply as CES – kicks off in Las Vegas.

Although the show does not officially kick off until Tuesday, the keynotes, after parties and live blogging have started in earnest. Already, there were interesting announcements of a new line of smart phone / tablet processors from Qualcomm promising a great leap in consumer experience as the handset manufacturers begin to deploy them later this year. At the same Qualcomm event, there were also strangne antics as Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer jumped on stage to try and steal the show in the keynote spot he enjoyed up until last year. It was an interesting strategy for the Microsoft chief as his company has no official presence at CES this year having made 2012 its last.

Speaking of Microsoft, I thought a news report allegedly from the Palo Alto Daily Post has been circulating in the Twitterverse. According to the report from last Friday, Microsoft’s Mountain View offices were broken into. Several Apple iPads were taken. The discerning thieves were apparently not interested in any Microsoft products. 

In other random highlights, Nvidia announced its own portable gaming platform, Nvidia Shield powered by its new Tegra 4 processor.

Although Apple does not participate in CES, the company always seems to find its way into the news especially when the technology pulse is strongest as it is around the big show in Vegas. Rumors of Apple beginning a move away from Samsung as its chip foundry partner are picking up momentum. Reports from Taiwan last week suggest that Apple will engage with TSMC for trial production of the A6X process used in its latest iPad. I don’t suggest that Samsung could not provide the performance in its foundry processes, but other chipmaker are pushing the envelope meaning Apple is going to have to continue to work hard on the chip design front to keep its consumer products on par with the new breed of devices powered by Qualcomm and Nvidia. Otherwise, competitor tablets might become targets for thieves.