There are a few things you can bet on during the Consumer Electronics Show: companies will try to lure people in with swag and eye candy, you’ll be sick of Vegas by the time it’s over and that Microsoft will be giving the opening day keynote. Well, it looks like that last tradition is coming to an end, as Microsoft said the 2012 CES keynote will be its last.
In a blog post, Microsoft said that the timing of the show just didn’t jibe well with its product roadmaps. It will still go to the show to connect and network but this will be the last year it mans the keynote and has a booth.
It’s a little surprising to hear this announcement so close to CES 2012 but the logic is pretty sound, as the show kind of forced Microsoft to have some sort of whiz-bang announcement at the start of every year, even if it wasn’t really ready. For example, before the iPad came out in 2010, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stood on the CES keynote stage with an HP touch slate computer that was blown out of the water a few months later by Apple. That HP slate was also released about 10 months later to a very minor audience.
Apple also pulled a similar move a few years back when it pulled out of MacWorld. This January event used to be a staple for new Apple announcements and it was even the venue for the introduction of the very first iPhone. Companies like Apple and Microsoft are large enough to hold its own events on its time table and the press and consumer attention will still come.