Microsoft CEO hits familiar chord in CES swan song

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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer struck familiar chords Monday in his swan song at the International Consumer Electronic Show.

Much of his 70-minute presentation in Las Vegas revolved around Microsoft's work on software that Ballmer has been promising will make the company a bigger factor in the increasingly important market for smartphones and computer tablets. Microsoft Corp. hopes to make its biggest breakthrough with Windows 8, the next version of its dominant computer operating system due out later this year.

As expected, Ballmer didn't announce a specific date for Windows 8's mass-market release.

The rehash served as a reminder why Microsoft is bowing out of its starring role at CES. Ballmer no longer intends to deliver the opening speech because the event's early January schedule rarely coincides with Microsoft's product plans.