If you’re a tech investor you might want to keep a close on the CES show. We’re hearing some things….
The event kicks off Wednesday night with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer making a big presentation.
According to CNBC’s Jim Goldman, he’ll talk about their new operating system, the one that will succeed Vista. Goldman says, “Think iPhone touchscreen but for your desktop and laptop. Companies like Dell and Hewlett-Packard are already out with screens that will support the new software.”
Otherwise, with the economy in a funk we’re hearing that the focus is likely to be on smaller and more affordable gadgets.
In fact, CES is likely to be awash in small, $300 to $400 laptops known as netbooks, which are gaining popularity, even as overall PC sales stall. Nearly every PC maker except Apple has thrown its hat into the netbook space, hoping that volume sales will make up for lower margins. Analysts expect to see even cheaper netbooks emerge for 2009, possibly below $200.
As always, TVs will be a major focus and, while there will likely be huge models on display, we expect to see more organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens that are thinner, more energy efficient and have superior picture quality than liquid crystal display (LCD) and plasma sets.
TVs will get more connected, too. Yahoo is slated to announce deals with equipment makers that executive Patrick Barry said would bring the Internet to the TV "without destroying the TV experience."
There is also plenty of buzz around 3-D, which is gaining popularity at the cineplex, but has yet to move into the living room. Fox Sports will show college football's championship game in 3-D at a Sony-sponsored event at CES on January 8.
Many companies, including graphics chip maker Nvidia will be flogging competing technologies as they struggle to get a toehold in the emerging 3-D industry.
In the wireless sector, CES will be littered with competing touch-screen phones. Some hotly anticipated news is a new operating system from Palm , which has been hurt by Apple's iPhone and Research in Motion BlackBerry. A new device will come later in the year.
Cisco also plans to unveil a wireless home audio system linked to an online media library called Media Hub, and a software service called Eos that helps media companies create social networking sites.
And there will be plenty of companies hawking green technology, such as Monster Cable, whose GreenPower products promise to eliminate energy drain when a PC is turned off.
As a side-note, Jim Goldman be sitting down with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for an exclusive interview Thursday morning. It's his first TV interview like this in a long time, and there is lots to discuss.
And if you’re looking for a trade Tim Seymour says he’d be a seller of Sony .
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Trader disclosure: On Jan. 7th, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Adami Owns (AGU), (BTU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE); Najarian Owns (CSCO), (MSFT); Najarian Owns (XME) Calls, (NVLS) Calls, (NVDA) Calls; Najarian Owns (XLB) Call Spreads; Najarian Owns (EEM) Long Call Spread; Najarian Owns (ERTS) Long Call Spread; Najarian Owns (MSFT) Short Calls; Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (EEM), (F), (FXI); Karabell Owns (CL), (DRYS), (FCX), (GOOG), (JPM), (NOK); Doug Kass Is Short (TLT)
CNBC.com and wires