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Microsoft's Kinect avatar puts you in the picture

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer bounced onto the stage at CES in Las Vegas to burble on about what a success the XBox is.

Waving his arms about as if he was rigged up to a Kinect device, Ballmer said 2010 had been the biggest year ever for Microsft's console.

He lauded the fact that some eight million Kinects were sold in its first 60 days on sale

"This has been the biggest holiday and the biggest year ever for Xbox," he said. “You’re going to continue to see more fun, more entertainment, and more innovation from our Xbox team in 2011,” he burbled. "Xbox today is going where no gaming system has ever gone. Your Xbox is becoming the hub of your living room. It is your gaming system, but it’s your movies, it’s your TV shows, and it’s your sporting events. It’s your social interactions, all delivered directly to the biggest screen in your house."

To back up his claim, Microsoft also announced Avatar Kinect, which will apparently "bring a player’s avatar to life in a whole new way". Using facial recognition technology a player's on screen avatar will not only mimic their movements but their facial expressions too.

Ballmer also announced that Microsoft will release a series of Windows Phone 7 updates over the next few months

"Windows Phone 7 is the best new phone out there,” Ballmer said. “As people try it, and discover its new features and beautiful hardware, they see the difference. They see how it makes everything from gaming to social networking to productivity better than on any other phone.”

Microsoft claims to have sold more than 1.5 million Windows Phone 7, er, phones in the first six weeks.

“When I get a chance to show people a Windows Phone, the feedback that I hear is very, very gratifying,” Ballmer said. “People tell me how snappy it is, how easy to use, how personal it really feels, and perhaps as importantly, all-in, simply how beautiful it really looks."

He didn't say much about tablets. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.