Microsoft bids farewell to Consumer Electronics Show

Microsoft made a surprising announcment Dec. 21 when it said it was pulling out of the Consumer Electronics Show after 2012.

"[W]e have decided that this coming January will be our last keynote presentation and booth at CES," wrote Frank Shaw, Microsoft's vice president of corporate communications, in a blog post. "We'll continue to participate in CES as a great place to connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries, but we won't have a keynote or booth after this year because our product news milestones generally don't align with the show's January timing."

Microsoft's keynotes have been a CES mainstay in recent years. In 2009, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the first beta of the Windows 7 operating system during his CES keynote. In other years, Microsoft has used CES to showcase new or upcoming consumer products, such as the Avatar Kinect for Xbox, which was demoed during CES 2011.

While next month's CES 2012 might seem to be a good time for Microsoft to spotlight the forthcoming Windows 8 OS, which will be released as a beta in February, the site engadget says it has "confirmed with the company" that Ballmer's keynote will focus instead on the "Windows Phone and the its Xbox/entertainment story," as well as on the growth of the Office, Windows and Bing product units. Ballmer's keynote "won't be significant news," engadget quotes Microsoft as saying.

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