CES 2012 marks Microsoft’s final keynote, will it go out with a bang?

By Tom Warren, on 21st Dec 11 6:33 pm with 91 Comments

Microsoft at CES

Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it plans to make CES 2012 the final keynote for the company.

The software giant has held the traditional opening keynote slot over the years but plans to make CES 2012 the last keynote for the company. Microsoft will also no longer participate with a booth at CES in future years. “Our industry moves fast and changes faster,” explained Microsoft’s communications chief, Frank Shaw, in a blog post on Wednesday. “And so the way we communicate with our customers must change in equally speedy ways.” Microsoft will continue to participate in CES but the software maker won’t have a keynote or booth at CES 2013 onwards.

Shaw pinned Microsoft’s CES exit reasons on product timings. “Our product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing,” he explained. “Microsoft has enjoyed a close to 20-year working relationship with the Consumer Electronics Association – and we look forward to working with CEA for many years to come.”

Microsoft’s CES exit will be seen as a big blow to the CEA who have struggled on occasions over the past few years to attract visitors and exhibitors due to the cost and economic climate. Microsoft has various other shows of its own that it has typically held to launch new products and show off future ones. Microsoft’s new BUILD conference, designed to replace WinHEC and PDC, kicked off this year and will likely be a key point for the company to launch future Windows and Windows Phone versions in the future.

Will Microsoft go out with a bang this CES or a whimper? That remains to be seen. Rumors suggest Nokia will introduce their high-end U.S. Lumia variant at CES alongside Microsoft. The software giant will also likely demonstrate a near beta copy of Windows 8 and Office 15. Microsoft is also expected to talk more about Windows Phone and possibly introduce the first 2012 update, codenamed Tango, at CES. Overall, the final keynote will likely be a reflection on the past year of Microsoft’s Kinect success and a farewell from the company to CES. Don’t expect major announcements or product unveilings.

  • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      engadget, Android troll city central

    • Seth_p

      If they want to hold their own conference, so be it. I know you’re trying to be funny – but in all seriousness I don’t see how this would turn out bad. When I was at //build there were a lot of developers like myself who got super excited! I’m just hoping OEM builders jump on the bandwagon to take advantage of the prospective opportunity! We’re going to need killer hardware with great aesthetics to compete in this market

    • Guest

      OEMs seem to be getting behind the ultrabook form factor. But many seem to be leaning Android for tablets. Don’t know how much leverage MS is going to get there. They may need some new OEMs like Nokia.

  • http://www.ratdiary.com spragued

    One of Ballmer’s highest-profile venues. Wonder if this is also part of turning down the public volume on his tenure. He doesn’t usually lead in venues like BUILD.

    • Guest

      Let’s hope so. He can’t be gone soon enough, and his CES keynotes in particular were epic failures.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Arvydas-Grušeckas/1802491461 Arvydas Grušeckas

    major update- tango? Sorry, it won’t be major. It will be just an update, which adds some things. Major one will be Apollo

  • Anonymous

    I think this is probably a good move by MS.  Due to its January time, it seems that their product announcements and availability just never match up well.  So either they are bragging about the success of a product they already launched (Kinect) or they are showing a glimpse of a product that is 8 months away from launch.

  • Guest

    It’s Ballmer, so instead of going out with a bang talking up the company’s vision for the future, it will be the same boring recap of how 2011 went for MS, leaving out of course how Apple and IBM both passed MS on the market cap lead it had enjoyed for what, two decades?

    • Anonymous

      market cap is irrelevant. they aren’t selling the company. MSFT still makes tons and tons of money.

    • Guest

      Market cap is very relevant. It indicates the confidence or lack thereof that investors in general have in the company’s leadership and strategy. For MS they clearly have little in either. It’s also the principal way in which owners of the company make money, or in MS’s case don’t. That eventually gets the CEO and board fired. And finally the company is for sale every day and the market cap is the current price tag. If it continues to decline as it has for more than a decade, then someone will eventually decide it’s worth buying. Apple could easily afford to buy MS today if they wanted to and if regulators would approve it. They have nearly half the value in cash and MS itself holds the other 25%, leaving just 25% plus a small takeover premium that would need to be financed. That’s easily doable on either company’s cash flow. Apple doesn’t want to buy them and regulators wouldn’t approve it anyway, but there’s an illustration of why market cap isn’t irrelevant. Unless something changes dramatically, it’s not a question of if MS get bought by someone else (probably IBM), just when.

    • Anonymous

      marketcap is irrelevant genious. go learn how to measure it and you’ll get different answers. http://arstechnica.com/apple/guides/2011/08/does-this-metric-make-my-company-look-big.ars

    • Anonymous

      marketcap is irrelevant genious. go learn how to measure it and you’ll get different answers. http://arstechnica.com/apple/guides/2011/08/does-this-metric-make-my-company-look-big.ars

    • Guest

      @neonspark:disqus 

      I just finished explaining to you why you’re wrong. And I’m well aware how it’s calculated. But good link. Shows that even having fallen by 50%, MS is still very expensive relative to EV. But that’s good, right? LOL.

    • Anonymous

      Guest Market cap is irrelevant in the context you’re trying to force it in. It’s like saying Toyota makes better products than say Mercedes or BMW simply because the marketcap says so!

      Look Microsoft is going through a transition period and is ahead of the pack in that regard. Apple has just recently reached the stratosphere that Microsoft has been operating at for decades. They clearly did not have a leadership transition plan in place even though out of all the tech companies they had the strongest reason to do just that. So while they bask in the light of their marketcap, that confidence you talk about is as artificial as sweet and low. Sure it makes your beverage taste sugary but you’d be a fool to call it real sugar and you’d be a fool not to take advantage of its popularity while it lasts.

      IBM on the other hand changed its focus from consumer products to enterprise and B2B products years ago. They made a wise decision and it’s paying off. Again, in this one your use of Marketcap fails. It’s like comparing Boeing to Toyota simply because they both manufacture mechanical people movers.

      Microsoft has been doing a good job not a great job (basically Ballmer and Gates) at convincing the market (key investors) in letting the transition plan finish and materialize. If you look at the potential here, Microsoft is basically saying to investors that their plan will put them in a position to eclipse both Apple and IBM combined. Some investors have called for breaking up the company into 2 sides. One consumer oriented a la apple and the other an IBM clone focusing on enterprise products and B2B. To be able to fend such pressure from very influencial people you have to have a plan. One that is more compelling in its sum than its pieces.

      If they manage to pull this off, the accomplishment will go down in history as the most formidable corporate, social, and economic triumph. Now think about that marketcap…

    • Guest

      @grs_dev:disqus 

      No, it isn’t, nor was I trying to force it where it doesn’t fit. Any review of the year needs to deal with that important reality: not one but two companies passing them in market cap during the year after MS led for two decades previously (and Google will follow shortly). I didn’t say anything about it relating to better products, though in Apple’s case it’s obvious that a majority decided their products were indeed better than those from MS/OEM, at least for music, phones, and tablets. Even Mac share has been rising every quarter since Vista’s release.

      MS is being disrupted. The transition you see isn’t part of some proactive strategic plan, it’s being forced on them by competitive realities because Ballmer did such a poor job of positioning the company for the future. 

  • Anonymous

    It’ll be just another keynote, I don’t expect anything spectacular. They already decided to launch products at their own events, so they really won’t do it for the last time at CES 2012.

  • Anonymous

    CES will mark the end of Android and the beginning of a better world with Nokia and MS.

    GO KILL THEM BALLMER!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Guest
    • Anonymous

      Wow, 700,000 viruses a day, that must some kind of new record

    • Test1ngi23

      Your definition of a virus seems very strange…

    • Neo

      700,000 laggy devices a day must be a record to…oh damn, a function on my Android stopped working. Got to restart!

    • Anonymous

      Virus or not, that’s still 700,000 data generating units a day feeding the google beast. I doubt that mocking the numbers will magically convert any of these activations to WP.

    • Major Plonquer

      Microsoft claim that half of all Android devices now pay them royalties.  At $5 a pop, by my calculations Microsoft are making  $1,750,000 a day off Android registrations. That’s $638,750,000 per year.

      Good job Microsoft.

    • BadManDuke

      x$15 per device for Microsoft. Sounds like more win for MS.

    • Tom Profan

      So if we say MSFT has only licendes half of the producers => 350 tsd.
      And maye google counts just working days => in Austria 240 then we have => 350 tsd x 240 days x 15 USD = 1.260 000 000 USD in the year andoroid license fees…
      Not bad ! 

    • Guest

      Sad when we have to brag about the other competitors success to create any good news in Mobile, but what choice do we have it sure is not going to come from WP7. :(

    • http://profiles.google.com/frankguillenjr Frank Guillen Jr.

      I wouldn’t want to be a part of that, ewww

    • Popescu Sorin

      r.i.p Microsoft

    • Anonymous

      This is a reactive move by Microsoft. Google and Apple have specifically avoided CES and over the years have painted it as the place where the dinosaurs go to showcase their technologies. While the google and apple stance was more of a testament to their inability to outshine Microsoft and its partners at CES, their practice has worked quite well in improving the preception of the 2 companies as leaders in the sector and a small yet significant portion of this preception is a direct result of the google I/O conferences and the apple wwdc.

      Now we all know that Microsoft has always had its developer conferences which are now known as BUILD, but CES was an opportunity for Microsoft to flex its partner muscles. Since the “partners” are not favoring Microsoft like they once did, the concept of showcasing those partners becomes antiquated.

      In essence, by showcasing Asus, Acer, HP, Dell, etc, Microsoft is effectively giving these partners other non windows products just as much if not in some cases more mileage on Microsoft dimes. All those partners practically have Linux based products (whether be it Red Hat, Chrome, or Android) and the google products are naturally priced in a very aggressive manner (subsadized by the all mighty google search gorilla). So in an indirect way Microsoft has been helping sell google products via CES.

      I’d like to see them move that money towards other events such as SXSW or even a bigger BUILD tour or something. We’ll have to wait and see…

    • Anonymous

      Google has very little reason to be at CES, they don’t do first-party consumer electronics.

    • Anonymous

      Now that they own MMI they do!

    • Jbfiore

      Lets hope Ballmer uses this finale keynote speech to announce is resignation, that would be our best hope for something good to happen in 2012.

  • Anonymous

    Is this another Apple copying maneuver?

    • Anonymous

      how announcing more things at Build instead of at CES translates into copying Apple is beyond me

    • Anonymous

      Apple does everything first, and best.  Ask anyone.  /s

    • http://profiles.google.com/frankguillenjr Frank Guillen Jr.

      All major companies do things right, you fanboy.

    • Neo

      They are last to give you a blowjob, and they do it bad. Ask anyone who isn’t 14 and got their phone from their dad.

    • Anonymous

      @B_sack that’s funny coming from a neanderthal

    • Jonas Wuestenbergs

      Holy cow, never though i’d see such a troll.

    • Anonymous

      You guys need to re-read this thread lol.  

      Caywen: “Is this another Apple copying maneuver?”CokeCans: “how announcing more things at Build instead of at CES translates into copying Apple is beyond me”And I stated sarcastically:  ”Apple does everything first, and best.  Ask anyone.  /s”

    • Anonymous

      You guys need to re-read this thread lol.  

      Caywen: “Is this another Apple copying maneuver?”CokeCans: “how announcing more things at Build instead of at CES translates into copying Apple is beyond me”And I stated sarcastically:  ”Apple does everything first, and best.  Ask anyone.  /s”

    • Anonymous

      Seriously people, you need to recalibrate your sarcasm meters. Unless this is some kind of gestapo thing.

    • Dalgarven

      Oh we knew that anyway, and if they didnt do it first, they made it sooo much better than the original.  ;-) 

      some people dont have a really good sense of humour, maybe they are waiting for an upgrade.

    • Anonymous

      It wasn’t a serious comment – just noting that Apple doesn’t present at CES and now Microsoft won’t be, either.

    • Anonymous

      @caywen:twitter  why would apple, a company with 0 partners in the consumer electronics space show their face to a consumer electronics show where their product line would undoubtedly get dwarfed by the competition?

    • Anonymous

      Well, also, Apple left MacWorld.

    • http://profiles.google.com/frankguillenjr Frank Guillen Jr.

      So if I take take a bite off an Apple, would I be copying Apple?

    • Anonymous

      You’d be eating Apple.

    • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

      That was my first reaction… 

      Microsoft is becoming a much more closed company and it seems like Sinofsky wants to be the next Steve Jobs.

    • Anonymous

      I agree. Apple left MacWorld, and MS leaves CES. becoming more reclusive – Maybe it is a mystique building thing.

    • Anonymous

      @caywen:disqus Microsoft had their own developer conferences before apple even had developers who didn’t actually work for apple. I’d do my homework if I were you before trying to talk smack…

    • Anonymous

      Hmm, I would not know despite being a windows dev for 15 years. I guess tongue in cheek comments are lost upon most people.

    • JD De Jesus

      The usual egotistical comment of Apple and/or Apple fans.

    • Dalgarven

      Everything it seems is an Apple copying, including making phones rectangle shaped. According to the Daily Telegraph, Steve Jobs invented the counter culture in california, as apparently until then, no one in San Francisco etc, ever thought about wearing something casual to work.

  • Anonymous

    the moment they started selling ipad apps they sealed their fate as irrelevant. oh well.

    • Test1ngi23

      Windows means more to you than it does to them.

    • Guest

      Are you really that stupid, ex-Alliant ex-MS dork?

    • Guest

      Yeah, it’s not like their relevance had already been declining for half a decade or anything /s

    • Anonymous

      not in the enterprise. if anything they are getting even larger. but in the consumer space yeah. although nobody sells 500 million copies of anything and MSFT still sells that many windows copies since win7 and the xbox is the # selling console in the world. maybe they can make a huge comback in 2012. we’ll see. it will certainly be nice to have an alternative OS to android at last.

    • Guest

      Android will sell 500M within two years. So what took MS several decades to accomplish will have been equaled by Google in less than five years. MS’s relevance peaked in the 1990′s. It’s been a long slow decline since, though it seems to be picking up speed lately. iPads are pouring into the enterprise and Android smartphones are too. It won’t be long before Android tablets follow.

    • http://profiles.google.com/fromparistonewyork Aurélien Ramondou

      looks like you didnt understand the article.
      it’s about MS focusing on its own event, and not participating to CES anymore.
      so your troll is totally off topic (and not true btw)

    • Anonymous

      besides the point, all their ipad and iphone apps should be labeled:

      “hey one less reason to buy a windows tablet”.

      I want them to be successful, but giving reasons not to think of their products as having something better than the competition doesn’t sell me on anything.

    • Guest

      Or labeled “we lost and are now admitting it”.

    • Anonymous

      How would Microsoft benefit from withholding these apps for years until a Windows 8 tablet came out? At least this way they keep some goodwill among iPad users(most of which aren’t Apple fanatics) and many of those people will consider a Windows 8 tablet in 2013.

    • Jsdlkfj

      You realize they’ve been selling Office for Mac for many years, right? How is this different?

    • Guest

      Hey, now they even have high profile employees blogging about how they’re bought into the iOS ecosystem and prefer it in many cases over the MS one:

      http://www.hanselman.com/blog/LivingAMicrosoftLifestyleUsingAppleIOSProductsLyncOneNoteXboxForIPhoneAndIPadAndMoreOhMy.aspx

      What a f*ked up company MS has become. No sense of company pride and unity. No concept of us versus them. Just our little island and who cares about the rest of the company. No wonder they’re slowly dying.

  • Anonymous

    Microsoft should stick to their own shows, they have enough stuff going on to warrant it. BUILD is a perfect place for that.

  • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

    Business Insider reporting that MS was “kicked” out. Thoughts Tom? Considering it’s BI I’m not giving it any serious thought, but, .

    • Guest

      Rosoff calls it “kicked out” because it’s BI and he’s got a hard on against MS these days. But the story originally comes from the NYT. And it appears the decision was at least mutual, not the “MS decided” version that frank shaw put out.

    • Guest

      Strike that. Just re-read the NYT piece and several other stories. Looks like CES decided to not have MS keynote after this year (confirmed in NYT piece). MS then decided to pull the plug on exhibiting. So kicked out of the keynote appears to be true. And frankly that’s pretty embarrassing to MS but well deserved. Ballmer has been terrible in this role.

  • Guest

    Anybody taking odds on Google doing the keynote next year?

    • Anonymous

      They already have a big event of their own in Google I/O so I really doubt it.

    • Guest

      Who else has the draw, the deep pockets, and the consumer focus?

  • Guest

    Man, this is turning into another PR fail for MS. If CES decided to go another way for keynotes, just admit it. Pretending it was MS’s decision is now backfiring badly.

  • Justfortherecord

    Multiple angles to look at this from and depending on what kind of glasses your looking through is anyone’s guess. The real stipulation here does CES provide a vessel for them now or is this a move to focus more on their own shows to showcase their own wares? With such a vast partner network out there. Microsoft maynot be at CES in force but they will probably be represented by the partner alliance.

    Apple doesn’t really show in CES because its was considered a niche product, but today it doesn’t really need CES.

    CES is like the Autoshow creating buzz and product awareness for OEM(s) who dont necessarily put on their own shows. By all purposes CES is really an electronics convention. 

  • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

    How about we change the “guest” monicker to read “troll”. As it seems to be the same guy popping up who is afraid to show himself for some reason. Anyway, story is no story..  http://www.theverge.com/2011/12/21/2654285/the-truth-about-microsoft-and-ces

  • Guest

    Maybe Steve will go “Company Meeting Monkey Boy” style on the CES participants? That just means that i’ll stick around and see the show… But it also means that i’ll spend one less hour throwing dollar bills and MSFT share certificates at the Spearmint Rhino.

    • Guest

      FO troll.

    • Msft

      OP here… Wow open to sarcasm much… Troll this Princess “Head up yer A**.”  I’ll be returning gift’s to Macy’s and we can meet at RTC or L SQ cafe to talk about jokes and reality.  Ooops maybe he’s on the inside… Merry Christmas douchebag.

  • Anonymous

    this site seems to be abandoned

    • Guest

      Unfortunately you’re right.

    • BigChiefSmokem

      Write an article and we’ll comment

  • Anonymous

    I can only wish..

  • http://twitter.com/vlastimilcerny Vlastimil Cerny

    No new article since December 21st? The winrumors site is going to be dead. Which is a pitty, Warren…

  • http://www.geekchoice.com Dagmar Schneitz

    It will not be a final bang. Microsoft is just too big. However, Frank Shaw shouldn’t blow it at this conference.