updated 11:30 pm EST, Wed December 21, 2011
Microsoft turns down demand for 3yr CES keynotes
Microsoft's decision to bow out of CES after 2012 is in between the official line and rumors of a forceful rejection, a possible scoop uncovered late Wednesday. Microsoft did want out as the event no longer lined up with its schedule, The Verge heard, but the CEA may have brought the issue to a head. It was "playing the field" for an alternate and asked for a three-year deal at a higher price, making Microsoft rethink how long it wanted to stay.
The Windows developer no longer felt it was getting a "reasonable return on its investment" with the Las Vegas trade show as a consequence, according to the tip.
Microsoft's decision to opt for one more year rather than backing out altogether would support notions that the exit was a friendly one. In a follow-up later on Wednesday, the company said there wouldn't be any "significant news" at its 2012 CES keynote and that it was more a review of achievements than to set the company's future.
The step, if described faithfully, is still a belated following of Apple's strategy from 2009 onwards for Macworld and other trade shows. Skipping shows like CES lets those companies big enough not to need the marketing help determine when, where, and how they launch products rather than conform to a rigid schedule controlled by a third party. In recent years, the keynote's attention has often been short-lived as the sheer number of companies trying to announce products drowns out Microsoft's message.