Microsoft holds back at CES: announces HP partnership

The CES keynote is just about to get underway, but luckily even though CES is late with the keynote Microsoft is early with the press release.  Unless Steve Ballmer pulls a fast one, about the only real news coming from the keynote is a new partnership with HP to deliver MSN and Bing on new HP computers in 42 countries:

In addition, Ballmer announced that Microsoft and HP are teaming up on search and portal experiences. Bing will be the default search engine, and MSN the default homepage on HP PCs in 42 countries.

Still, the numbers for the stuff we already know about are impressive:

  • Windows 7 is by far the fastest selling operating system in history. PC sales jumped nearly 50 percent the week Windows 7 launched.
  • On Black Friday, retailers sold 63 percent more PCs than they did the year before.
  • According to NPD, the 2009 holiday season saw greater than 50 percent year-over-year growth for Windows PC sales.
  • There are now over 39 million Xbox 360 consoles around the world, and more than 500 million games have been sold.
  • Between Christmas and New Years Day, Xbox LIVE experienced its busiest week ever, adding a new member every second and a record of more than 2.2 million concurrent members online.
  • Nearly 10 million people have logged into Xbox LIVE’s nongaming applications — Facebook, Twitter, Netflix,, Sky, Canal and Zune — using their Xbox as a way to stay connected to friends and family.
  • Xbox LIVE membership is now an active community of over 20 million people.

Ballmer and Robbie Bach did will announce MediaRoom 2.0 for connected TVs, and availability of Project Natal this holiday season.

The show is about to start, you can watch it live if you catch this post in time!