Microsoft released a press statement noting the fact that, from 2013 on, the company will not go to CES with a keynote or booth. The reasons they cite are that the January show does not coincide with their typical product launch schedule.
This is very much the same tone Apple took a few years ago with MacWorld, when they decided – for very similar reasons – to control their own message, dictating the time and place of their own product launches, keynotes and not bringing booths to major trade events. Keeping the message in-house worked a charm for them, even though initially the public were wary of not having Apple at MacWorld.
Microsoft are going down the same route. They need a more consumer audience and they need to big-up their own launches to capture more of the blogosphere audience. They also need to be able to do keynotes and launches around Apple – not colliding with them head-on.
I also imagine part of the problem is that Microsoft have harped on about Xbox 360, Metro and Windows 8 for so long now that another CES keynote on the same topics will just be pointless. Relentlessly repeating the same message over & over again gets stale, and points out the rather obvious flaw in Microsoft – it’s too big to create new products in an agile environment. How is Apple still churning out a new OS almost every year – on top of a new mobile OS every year – with new hardware products and revolutionary ideas alongside that? Microsoft haven’t released a major OS since 2009.