Microsoft will now focus on social media and its own conferences like BUILD

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is an unrivalled electronics industry event, held each January.  The CES generates a massive amount of revenue for the Las Vegas tourism business and the promoters (profits by the Consumer Electronics Association are reinvested in legal advocacy, standards work, and educational events [source]).  At the same time it gives the public (via the media) unparalleled recaps of recently launched products and previews of future products.

But increasingly the CES is also falling out of favor.  The trend could possibly be traced back to when Apple, Inc. (AAPL) in the wake of its MacWorld cancellation (which also ran in January) decided to do smaller one-off events assisted by social media, rather than buying into the CEA's scheme.

Now the CES has lost one of its biggest supporters, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).  Microsoft typically has been a CES all-star, demoing its latest innovations like tablets [1][2] and, back in 2009, the Windows 7 beta.  Traditionally the CES has featured a keynote by their ever entertaining and hyperactive chief executive Steve Ballmer.

Steve Ballmer, CES
Steve Ballmer gives the audience a little slice of his reality at CES 2011.
© Jason Mick/DailyTech 2011.

But to quote the Winnebago Man, "No more!"

Microsoft post its official blog that 2011 will be Microsoft final year to give a keynote or have a booth at CES.  It writes that it will attend future CES only in a limited capacity, writing:

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, like Apple has turned to funneling much of its communications through one-off events and social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook.  It also has put increasing emphasis on its new September BUILD conference, which it previewed its upcoming Windows 8 operating system at a few months ago.

We will be covering Microsoft's final CES keynote.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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