In a simple announcement with little fanfare, Microsoft has announced that it will no longer field a major presence at the Consumer Electronics Show after next year’s show, marking 20 years of appearances at the trade event.
we have decided that this coming January will be our last keynote presentation and booth at CES. Weâ€™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 wonâ€™t have a keynote or booth after this year because our product news milestones generally donâ€™t align with the showâ€™s January timing.
While the announcement is not entirely unexpected given the multitude of events it hosts outside of its yearly CES presence and the accelerated news cycle that is now commonplace, the past couple of keynotes have proven to be PR failures in terms of announcements and actual product availability, with the most famous examples being the non-starter Windows 7 tablets that never took off despite being launched 4 months before the first iPad in 2010 or the first look at Windows 8 during CES earlier this year that has yet to materialize into any meaningful product and will not even be released until much later into next year.
In a way, Microsoft is taking a page out of Apple’s playbook as Apple famously abandoned its long-held presence at MacWorld in favor of its own announcement/news schedule, which has settled into its own consistent schedule based on product families and related events such as WWDC.
As Microsoft also hosts its own developer events for its various product lines such as MIX and the various Windows Phone events held during the year, it may be that it wants to make its announcements align closer with their respective events (mobile trade shows for Windows Phone, E3 for Xbox) and various other shows for more specific announcements.
The company has also announced an increasing commitment to social media to make announcements related to new products and services in order to better reach those that would be interested in such news while admitting that the January timeframe did not work well as a good timeframe for it to announce new products and services.