By Christina Bonnington
A CES tradition is coming to a close: Microsoft will not appear, let alone own the keynote, at next year’s consumer electronics trade show. But with ending traditions come new opportunities, all begging the question: Who will deliver the CES keynote in 2013?
On Wednesday afternoon, Microsoft’s Frank Shaw announced in a blog post that 2012 would be Microsoft’s last year at CES. Next year, the company won’t be hosting a booth (well, it’s been more like an all-consuming Microsoft pavilion), and its run of 14 straight keynote addresses will be over.
“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,” Shaw wrote in the blog post.
Microsoft cited a few different reasons for the decision. Shaw explained the company asked itself a few questions in order to decide the best course of action.
· What’s the right time and place to make announcements?
· Are we adjusting to the changing dynamics of our customers?
· Are we doing something because it’s the right thing to do, or because “it’s the way we’ve always done it”?
Microsoft is set to unveil the beta version of its new Windows 8 operating system in February of next year, with Windows 8 hardware debuting toward the middle and latter parts of the year. Windows 8 is designed to run on notebooks, desktops and tablets with equal proficiency, all thanks to dual-home screen interfaces: one designed for touch, one designed for traditional mouse and keyboard input.
It’s possible that we could be seeing Windows 8 move to phones as well. But for the time being, Microsoft and hardware partners like Nokia are busy introducing the next wave of Windows Phone Mango devices, many of which we’re sure to see at CES 2012.