As CES 2012 winds to a close, so does Microsoft's presence at the world's largest consumer electronics show. Microsoft, which has had a presence at the show since 1995, announced in December that it will no longer present a keynote or have a booth at CES after this year.
Frank X. Shaw, VP of Corporate Communications at Microsoft, said that the company "[will] 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."
Following Apple's lead to some degree, Microsoft prefers to have control of its product announcements and releases, rather than being tied to a trade show schedule once every year. This actually makes a bit of sense, since the show takes place in early January – just weeks after the year's busiest shopping season.
Microsoft didn't exactly go out with a bang, either. Speaking primarily about Windows 8, Windows Phone and Xbox, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's final keynote was somewhat subdued in comparison to past addresses.
Will other companies follow Microsoft's lead and stick to their own events? Only time will tell. However, CES won't be hurting financially in the wake of Microsoft's departure – their floor space was sold in just 45 minutes to Dish and Chinese electronics maker Hisense for the same price Microsoft would have paid in 2013. Pressure's on, guys!