New York - Microsoft will not have a keynote speaker at International CES or have a booth during the 2013 show.
Microsoft's Steve Ballmer giving the 2010 CES
The news came in a blog written by Frank Shaw, Microsoft's VP of corporate communications, earlier today.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) confirmed the decision in a prepared statement, saying, "Both CEA and Microsoft have agreed that the time has come to end this great run."
Shaw said the company had been pondering its CES participation and stated in his blog, "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."
The CEA statement said Microsoft's "plans for the 2013 CES are not yet finalized, they will not request the Central Hall exhibit space that they have used in past years."
CEA added, "Given the huge success of the 2012 CES, with more than 1.8 million net square feet of exhibit space (the second largest show floor in our history) and more than 2,700 exhibitors, we have received expressions of interest for that space from the long waiting list for Central Hall exhibit space [and] exhibitors will choose space for the 2013 CES during the 2012 show, and in past years available Central Hall exhibit space has sold out within hours."
This will end a 20-year run Microsoft has had with CES. Founder and former CEO Bill Gates pre-CES keynotes were a much anticipated event as he frequently brought in famous guest stars and revealed many of Microsoft's newest products. Gates gave his first keynote in 1994, its last in 2008.
Since Gates retired this duty fell to CEO Steve Ballmer, who will deliver the final keynote on Jan. 9 at the Venetian Hotel.
CEA noted, "Microsoft is an important member of CEA and we wish them all the best as they evolve their plans for new ways to tell consumer stories." -
Additional reporting by Steve Smith