Microsoft Ending Its CES Keynote Run Following 2012 Event
Microsoft is calling it quits at CES. After the January 2012 event, Microsoft announced it no longer will be a major player in the annual consumer electronics show. Why is Microsoft is pulling out, and more importantly, does it matter? Here’s the rundown …
Over on The Official Microsoft Blog, Microsoft’s Frank X. Shaw, the corporate VP of Corporate Communications, has made it known this upcoming CES is the final time Microsoft will showcase new products and future strategies via a big Vegas-style keynote. The reason? It’s the result of Microsoft asking itself the following questions:
- 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”?
The answers to those questions have lead Microsoft to believe its presence is no longer as important as it once was. “… 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,” Shaw said.
Bummer, or smart move? Apple pulled something similar when its stopped keynoting MacWorld in 2008. The reality is, the way big companies such as Apple and Microsoft reach out to consumers has changed — elaborate keynote displays or lengthy presentation demos aren’t as important as they once were, especially as social media and Internet-focused campaigns are becoming even more effective as vehicles for targeting users.
This is pure speculation, but Microsoft could be focusing its efforts on more personal, smaller Apple-styled keynote presentations. We saw a little bit of that showmanship during the BUILD conference, and I have a hunch Microsoft felt it was effective. With Windows 8 and Windows 8 tablets positioned to go up against Google, Apple and Amazon offerings, Microsoft could very well be looking to pull out all the stops and start generating buzz because it’s “the right thing to do,” and not “the way they’ve always done it.”