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Microsoft follows Apple, says 2012 CES last January keynote

updated 12:55 pm EST, Wed December 21, 2011

Microsoft takes Apple cue to control its own event

Microsoft confirmed late rumors and said it would make 2012 its last CES keynote. Company Corporate Communications VP Frank Shaw said the company's launch windows "generally don't align" with the January show and that it didn't make sense to have a keynote or booth in the future. Shaw indirectly admitted that the company was increasingly keynoting CES because it was "the way we've always done it" rather than for actual product launches, which were often months after the show.

"As we look at all of the new ways we tell our consumer stories -- from product momentum disclosures, to exciting events like our Big Windows Phone, to a range of consumer connection points like Facebook, Twitter, and our retail stores -- it feels like the right time to make this transition," he said.

Microsoft would still circulate at CES, but it would be talking primarily to partners.

The strategy and the justifications for it are a direct emulation of Apple's exit after Macworld 2009. At the time, Apple warned that the third-party keynote was increasingly out of step with its launch plans. Although not mentioned overtly, the company often felt it was rushing products to make an arbitrary unveiling date rather than have them ready.

Microsoft has lately been burned by its insistence on keeping to the arbitrary CES keynotes. Most of its 2011 keynote recapped recent events or was a preview of technology months away. CES 2010 proved to be the most infamous for the company, as it tried to make the HP Slate a preemptive iPad killer but watched as HP lost interest in the goal, bought Palm for webOS, and relegated the Slate to enterprise after it doubted that a Windows 7 tablet would fare well pitted directly against the iPad.

By Electronista Staff


  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    The real reasons

    The superficial reasons for MS quitting the CES keynote:
    - Trade shows are so 1999.
    - Better to spend marketing money elsewhere.
    - Launch windows don't "align" in January.

    The real reasons for MS quitting the CES keynote:
    - Microsoft FUD doesn't work in the 21st century.
    - Windows 8 on ARM is still 12 months out.
    - No new ideas anyway.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    I'm sad

    Without Ballmer to keynote every year, where are we going to find great comedy skits from him in the future? With CES we could alway rely on Ballmer to give us a great roaring time of comedy, guffaws and absurdity!

  1. Sue Nommi

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2011


    comment title

    Gonna have to categorise this one as a poorly worded, ambiguous headline. When I saw it I read it as, "In their 2012 keynote, Microsoft will finally admit that they follow Apple."

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    I love how MacNN always makes it sound that anyone performing any action that is similar or the same as an action Apple once took, that they are 'following Apple's lead'.

    Although they aren't following apple, because they aren't leaving CES, the way Apple just abandoned MacWorld. They're just not going to have a stupid talk at the beginning.

  1. makemineamac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008



    And testudo, let's be honest here, they don't have any of their own leads to follow....

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