updated 06:05 pm EST, Wed December 21, 2011
CEA may have kicked Microsoft out of keynotes
Microsoft's decision to stop hosting CES keynotes may not have been voluntary, according to rumors. Multiple Microsoft staffers claimed to GigaOM that the Consumer Electronics Association, which hosts CES, had dropped Microsoft's presentation. The withdrawal from booth space was supposedly retaliation.
"Microsoft didn't pull out of the keynote -- they were kicked out," an anonymous staffer claimed. "Big difference."
Corporate Communications VP Frank Shaw has so far only pointed back to the original statement Microsoft gave as an answer. It used the same reasons Apple gave when it bowed out of Macworld three years ago, asserting that a January event didn't line up with its product schedule and that it had other outlets to turn to. CEA officials also didn't comment.
While the allegations are far from confirmed, a forced exit would mark a symbolic changing of the guard at the show. Microsoft has formally kicked off the show with a keynote for much of its history, in part because the Windows PC was often the heart of computing at the show. Both the iPad as well as Android tablets dictated much of the show's actual agenda in 2011, and Microsoft's Windows Phone has much smaller share relative to Android and the iPhone.
Regardless of motivators, most of Microsoft's launches in 2012 will fall outside of CES. The Windows Phone Tango update may not be unveiled until Mobile World Congress in late February, while Windows 8 may not ship until the second half of 2012.