The worst keynote moments

Marcus Wohlsen, Wired:

Does anyone know what news Qualcomm announced at CES this year? What products it unveiled? No? But you do know that the chipmaker put Big Bird onstage. And Steve Ballmer.

Wohlsen counts Qualcomm’s keynote address at CES as one of the worst ever. Apple made the list, too. Check it out and let us know if you agree.

  • There is a problem with the link…

  • tylernol

    the link is linking back to this page, rather than the article mentioned..

  • the link just redirect here…

  • Peter Cohen


  • javiergov

    where can I check it out?

  • marv08

    A pretty good list.

    IMHO the worst part of the Apple keynote included was HOW Gates was presented visually (as a giant head looking down on Jobs). They should have done that differently.

    Otherwise, at this point in time, Gates’ appearance gave credibility to ongoing MS Office and Internet Explorer support on the Mac. As much as this seems ridiculous today, at that time it was indeed vital. Apple’s revival would maybe not have happened without it.

    • gjgustav

      I think the giant head thing was on purpose.

      • Bill Gates himself said that he didn’t give much thought to how big he was going to look. And Jobs surely didn’t like it, either.

        • As if Jobs wasn’t in control of deciding how big the display would appear.

          • njpozner

            Somewhere (maybe in the Isaacson bio?), Jobs is quoted as saying that he made a mistake on that keynote. The staging made him (Jobs) appear small next to Gates.

      • Precisely. There is no question Jobs knew that the “1984” commercial would immediately pop into people’s minds.

  • Bad taste and embarrassing theatrics aside, the worst of this bunch has to be Eric Schmidt performing in his public role as the fabled Scorpion, pretty much saying “it’s just my nature” as he stings every one of us.

  • pgant

    Qualcomm’s keynote is classic case of company wanting to be something they are not. The criticism of Gates’s malaria stunt seems a little unfair: it was a well-meaning message that failed only because he’s a little awkward.

    • pgant

      Also, say what you want about the 97 keynote. None of us who saw it or read about it at the time ever forgot it. If memory serves, it was Gates who demanded the big-screen entrance, which only did more damage to MSFT’s reputation in the lead up to whole antitrust thing.

  • I still find it ridiculous to refer to the 150 million dollar purchase of non-voting stock by Microsoft as a “bailout”. It was a vote of confidence, and part of deal involving the dropping of lawsuits and the continuation of Office for the Mac. Apple’s troubles, had Jobs not returned Apple to profitability, were not going to be solved by 150 million at the rate Apple was burning thru it’s cash.

    • The tech press likes to foster the simplistic notion that $150 million was somehow a significant amount of money to a company that still had billions. Because Americans prefer catcalls to arithmetic.