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December 22, 2011

Microsoft steps back from CES extravaganza

2012 keynote will be Ballmer's last, company confirms

By Steve Evans

Microsoft has announced that next year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will be its last, as the timing of the bash in Las Vegas does not align with the company’s sales strategy.

The announcement means from 2013 Microsoft will not have a booth at the show and CEO Steve Ballmer will not deliver his usual keynote speech.

Writing about the decision on Microsoft’s blog, Frank X. Shaw, corporate vice president, Corporate Communications, Microsoft said the company would not be abandoning the show altogether.

"We’ll continue to participate in CES as a great place to connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries," he wrote, "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."

"As we look at all of the new ways we tell our consumer stories – from product momentum disclosures, to exciting events like our Big Windows Phone, to a range of consumer connection points like Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft.com and our retail stores – it feels like the right time to make this transition," he continued.

Ballmer’s previous CES keynotes have focused on innovations such as Xbox and developments on its Windows platform. His 2012 keynote is rumoured to focus on Windows 8 and Microsoft’s latest foray into the tablet space, whatever form that may take.

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