Ina Fried

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This Year You Don’t Have to Work at Microsoft to Get Steven Sinofsky’s Take on CES

In what has become something of an annual tradition, Steven Sinofsky has weighed in with a detailed missive offering up his perspective on what was shown at CES.

Sinofsky at D

For each of the last many years, Sinofsky would go to the Las Vegas show and then provide detailed notes in an internal Microsoft blog post outlining various trends and adding observations and implications of what was shown at the consumer electronics event. Unlike in years past, however, one need not work at Microsoft to read Sinofsky’s trip report.

Sinofsky, who left Microsoft abruptly late last year, posted his thoughts Sunday on his newly launched blog,

Promising “snark-free CES observations,” Sinofsky noted several things on the rise and a few trends on the wane. In addition to some obvious trends such as the shift to mobile, Sinofsky honed in on the increased attention to design and quality that were pervasive at the show.

“Across the board products are getting better,” Sinofsky said. “That’s not to say there’s [not] a fair share of low-end and low-quality stuff, particularly tablets, one can see in the South Hall as usual. There is, however, a rising tide of quality.”

On this year’s not-so-hot list were storage devices (which he attributes to the rise of the cloud), cameras, media hubs and 3-D displays. But while those first three are being sidelined as other devices handle the same functions, Sinofsky said 3-D could make a comeback down the road.

“I’m still surprised by this a bit because the world is 3-D — it seems that the technology approach wasn’t working so I would not write off the concept just yet,” he wrote.

Of course, Sinofsky also paid attention to all the PCs running the Windows 8 software he spearheaded. Despite the lack of presence by Microsoft and several big name PC makers, Sinofsky said Intel and those PC makers that were there showed a powerful range of new devices.

Sinofsky also talked about the plethora of cases for tablets. “I really don’t understand why someone hasn’t built a tablet yet that has a really strong case, built-in stand, and a cover that also allows typing,” clearly a reference to Surface. “I said free of snark, not free of sarcasm :-),” Sinofsky wrote.

But Sinofsky didn’t just stick to PCs, writing about everything from the latest in TVs to areas like digital health and green technology. As with all Sinofsky blogs, you are best off sitting down in a comfy chair as it’s not a short report. That said, Sinofsky knows a thing or two about products, and it’s worth a read.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald