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.