I will try and dig up the article I read on one of the guy's blogs that was actually behind the scenes with Bill and speaks freely about the problems they had before the show and during and why the problems happen.
People jump on these thing like it really matters...
Like that whole BSOD Bill got stopped them from buying that version of windows...
despite a small glitch with a remote control (IR) receiver, a single Media Center ran all the Media Center demos and we kept rolling despite the hiccup. According to the postmortem, it appears a 2nd IR receiver run over to Bill's seat failed, so the Media Center never got the signal. It could have been all the IR interference in the venue- cameras and plasma displays and lights, or the powered USB booster - a piece of equipment that gets a USB signal over a long-stretch. The production team also handled a small power outage exceptionally well in the minutes leading up which might have contributed. These things happen and the team pulled it out despite some obstacles out of their control.
Well I can say from experience that setting up demo's and functional interactive displays and such in a large venue, is a huge pain in the ass, and 100 times more difficult than any installation/setup you would normally find anywhere else. But I still find it funny when these glitches happen to the big dogs (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Tepler [Lucent], etc).
It also happens to other people, i remember when i was giving a powerpoint presentation and the windows laptop i was using at the time gave a bloody BSOD and it pissed me off to no end, because i was righ in the middle of trying to explain something exciting.
The last time something like this happened was with Windows 98 (the infamous BSOD). There have been many, many MS product launches and keynotes since then that have gone by smoothly (including the last one - Bill's "Digital Entertainment Anywhere" keynote).
The difference is when it happens to a smaller company, nobody cares and life moves on. When it's Microsoft, the media jumps in like it's the end of the world. The people at MS are just humans too.