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Microsoft Ends CES Participation

Add office-party libations to a slow news cycle, and what do you get? Apparently, outrage and intrigue over Microsoft’s decision cut ties with CES after 2012.  "Microsoft didn't pull out of the keynote -- they were kicked out," GigOm reveals, citing a source. The horror!

“Exciting stuff … However … it seems that the less exciting story is actually the most accurate one,” according to The Verge. Apparently, Microsoft was simply asked to enter into a three-year deal with CES, but declined.  Frank Shaw, head of corporate communications at Microsoft, basically said that the company was tired of having to plan its product rollouts around the CES keynote, Betanews reports.

Either way, “the move ends nearly 20 years of Microsoft’s involvement with the show, both in giving the keynote and taking out acres of floor space to show off the latest technology to come out of Seattle,” reminisces The Register.

Wonders ReadWriteWeb: Who cares?! “There's a good possibility that Microsoft may have made a bigger splash by exiting the keynote address and booth presence at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show than it made by being there in the four years leading up to 2012,” it remarks.

But doesn’t CES represent one of the closest links between consumers and the tech business? Well, ReadWriteWeb suggests: “If CES were an accurate barometer of consumer sentiment, then today we would all be snug in our vibrating chairs with our femtocell-enhanced home wireless phones (with built-in universal remotes), watching HD DVD movies with ‘TV Everywhere’ live interactive background feeds…”

What’s more, CES, “once a marquee launchpad for some of the biggest new technologies, has struggled to stay in the headlines as big companies increasingly announce new products on their own timeline,” writes The Los Angeles Times. “In 2011, no eye-openingly new products were announced at the Las Vegas show.” 

“The move is unquestionably reminiscent of Apple’s 2008 decision to pull out of Macworld Expo, although Microsoft will still be a part of the show in other ways,” PC World writes. “It’s just ending its traditional, high-profile presence.”

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