Bill Gates, in his tenth CES Keynote speech outlined his and Microsoft's vision for the connected home of the future where digital lifestyle devices, services and applications work together seamlessly.

"Technology has revolutionised how we listen to music, watch TV, play games, communicate, and manage and share personal information", he said.

"In the years ahead, further exciting innovations will unify the software, hardware and services in people's lives, offering them even richer, more engaging and deeply connected experiences".

Gates also used the keynote to demonstrate Windows Vista, the next version of the company's windows operating system due later this year.

Showing core functions like deep integration search and Windows Photo Gallery which is aimed at making and managing digital photos easier.

He also showcased Microsoft Games Studios' forthcoming "Flight Simulator X", supposedly the most realistic flight simulator in the franchise's 25-year history.

Gates was joined onstage by MTV Networks' Music Group President Van Toffler to showcase the forthcoming URGE digital music service. URGE will give users of Windows Media Player 11 instant access to more than 2 million songs from major and independent labels as well as exclusive MTV Networks programming and content to allow it to go up against Apple and its iTunes offering.

His speech also highlighted the Xbox360 performance following its launch globally last month. According to Microsoft, the console is on track to be the fastest-selling video game console ever, forecast to ship between 4.5 million and 5.5 million units worldwide by the end of June 2006. He also stated that the Xbox360 has also become a powerful application for high-definition television, adding that nine out of 10 Xbox360 owners currently own or intend to purchase a high-definition television set, as well as announcing that the console would have more than 50 new high-definition games available by June 2006.

Building on Xbox360 leadership in high-definition experiences, the company announced plans to deliver a new Xbox360 external HD-DVD drive in 2006.