Summary:

Steve Ballmer started off his Consumer Electronics Show keynote Wednesday by running down Microsoft’s product debuts in 2010, including Wind…

Steve Ballmer as Kinect avatar

Steve Ballmer started off his Consumer Electronics Show keynote Wednesday by running down Microsoft’s product debuts in 2010, including Windows Phone 7 and Kinect, and promising a preview of what Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has coming next. Read on for a summary of Microsoft’s announcements regarding Kinect, Windows Phone 7 and Windows.

Kinect: Microsoft’s Ron Forbes said that Xbox owners would now be able to use the controller-free system to select content to stream on their consoles from Hulu Plus and Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX). Microsoft is also launching an update to Kinect this spring so that it can be used to read a user’s facial expressions — like a smile or raise of an eyebrow — in addition to tracking his or her body movements.

Xbox Live: The Xbox 360’s online Xbox Live service now has 30 million users worldwide, Ballmer said. That’s up from 20 million users a year ago, a metric that Microsoft released at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show.

Windows Phone 7: Ballmer hyped the company’s new mobile operating system as a destination for game playing, announcing a slate of new mobile games that will be available. He also said that there were more than 5,500 applications — game and non-game — available via the Windows Phone 7 app store, a figure that is up from the 4,000 Microsoft said there were in late December. Ballmer said updates were coming to Windows Phone 7 early this year that will add a copy and paste function and “significant performance improvements.”

Windows: Microsoft showed off various forthcoming Windows PCs, including a tablet from Asus, which goes on sale today. CVP Michael Angiulo also demonstrated a new version of the company’s Surface table computer. It’s much thinner and is made in partnership with Samsung. Thanks to support for a new type of chip architecture, the next version of Windows will support a “broader set of form factors,” Ballmer said.

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