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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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September 24, 2008 10:01 AM

Microsoft's Ballmer to be in limelight tomorrow at Churchill Club and January at CES

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Kevin P. Casey / AP

Ballmer at an event in Seattle in April. The Microsoft CEO will give the pre-show keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Slightly old news: The Consumer Electronics Association announced at the end of last month that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will take Bill Gates' high-profile spot at the huge Consumer Electronics Show early next year.

For 12 years, Gates gave a keynote address the night before the show kicked off. Attendees lined up for hours in advance to hear Gates talk about the future of technology. He typically invited rock stars, comedians and entertainers to share the stage with him. After Gates' last CES keynote earlier this year, speculation has swirled around who would replace him and whether Microsoft would still be given the prime slot on the industry's biggest stage.

Ballmer will give the keynote on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009, at 6:30 p.m. Other keynoters include Sony Chairman and CEO Howard Stringer, and Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally, formerly president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Ballmer is scheduled to take a slightly smaller stage tomorrow night in Silicon Valley. Ballmer will be interviewed by venture capitalist Ann Winblad at an annual dinner of the Churchill Club, the top Valley business and tech club. The conversation will cover "the future of the software industry and the opportunities and challenges facing Microsoft." Ballmer's talk is set to begin at 7:15 p.m. Thursday. A scheduled Web cast can be found here.

Update, 12:29 p.m.: I should hasten to add that Ballmer is speaking at the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner tonight. The Meydenbauer Center event begins at 5:15. The deadline to register was yesterday, but maybe they can make an exception if you really want to go. Info here.

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