Windows 8 kickoff a subdued affair, theatrics absent

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Employees look on as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks via a webcast during an event unveiling a new Microsoft Windows operating system Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, at the company's headquarters in Redmond, Wash. Though Windows 8 will be backed by a $1 billion marketing campaign, questions surround the software. The biggest one of all: Is it innovative and elegant enough to lure consumers who've fallen in love with an assortment of smartphones, tablet computers and other gadgets? (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)