Microsoft, one of the most visible superpowers at the Consumer Electronics Show, has decided its keynote and booth at the upcoming event in January will be its last.
The world’s largest software company, which has long tried to boost the profile of its consumer business, usually puts up a huge duplex on the floor to show off its games, phones and other gadgets running its products at the Las Vegas jamboree. CEO Steve Ballmer is a regular keynote speaker, as Bill Gates was before him.
But the company is now admitting what it has said privately: that a show right after the holiday season just doesn’t fit its consumer product cycle. That is to say, Ballmer rarely has much new to say, when all its Xbox, phone and software news is done and dusted for the year.
In the words of Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s PR chief: “Our product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing.”
It will certainly save Microsoft valuable time and resources getting ready for the show, which yields an uncertain return at best. Remember, Apple conquered the consumer electronics market without exhibiting at CES at all.