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Microsoft Technology

Microsoft Says Goodbye To CES 79

Posted by samzenpus
from the we're-outta-here dept.
theodp writes "Microsoft has traditionally delivered the pre-show keynote and put up a mammoth booth at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas each January. No more. GeekWire reports that Microsoft will bow out of CES after this year's show (Steve Ballmer says buh-bye on Jan. 9). 'As we look at all of the new ways we tell our consumer stories,' explained Microsoft's Frank Shaw, 'it feels like the right time to make this transition.'"
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Microsoft Says Goodbye To CES

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  • 'As we look at all of the new ways we tell our consumer stories,'

    What... astroturfing?

    • Re:Heh (Score:5, Funny)

      by clampolo (1159617) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @03:30PM (#38452618)
      They don't need to astroturf. Not with astounding and game changing technology like the Windows 8 and Windows Phone. They are perfect for all your personal and professional needs. They also make great stocking stuffers as well.
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      'As we look at all of the new ways we tell our consumer stories,'

      What... astroturfing?

      Wasn't really telling consumers at CES anyway, but CE industry press. I attended one of these keynotes about in a nutshell Bill Gates was threatening to invade the markets of about half the companies present. He seemt to carry on like it was all a wonderful, bright and shiny future, not realizing he was talking about taking the bread out of attendees mouths with his Microsoft products. Lotsa hogwash anyway, most of his prophecies were never to be realized.

  • by milbournosphere (1273186) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @03:13PM (#38452400)
    It seems to me like Microsoft isn't exactly losing anything by bowing out. CES, Macworld and others are increasingly places for smaller 3rd party vendors to peddle their usually cheap (and sometimes knockoff) wares. More importantly, if you as a company attend and have a large presence, you're obligated to come up with something shiny and capable of making a splash. In a sense, it enforces a hard deadline. In the age of the internet, it seems easier to just issue a PR and rely on your pr team to generate press, or stream your own event. Apple realized this and has since moved from Macworld to hosting\streaming their own events. To me it looks like Microsoft is just making the same wise decision. They have a big enough name; they don't need the press generated by CES.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Counterpoint: the Big Show is a useful tool for focusing attention of the engineering staff, including the gatekeepers (like the build team) who otherwise enjoy telling people why their special request can't be done. It gives engineers and small teams developing new stuff something concrete to shoot for. And once projects and products are committed for the show, serious issues MUST be resolved by that date, so slipping the schedule by one week every week is no longer an option.

      I agree with the MS guy that

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by X0563511 (793323)

        including the gatekeepers (like the build team) who otherwise enjoy telling people why their special request can't be done.

        You mean it lets management force poor ideas down the development team's collective throat?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I think the internet has largely made consumer oriented conventions obsolete. Once upon a time, you wanted to make big announcements at CES (or a similar convention) because it would get you more publicity. The main avenue of publicity for consumer electronics was magazines, and the convention review type issues were always the best selling. So if you put out an announcement in May and it showed up in the April issue, not many people read it. If you made your announcement at CES and it showed up in the

    • It seems to me like Microsoft isn't exactly losing anything by bowing out.

      It's not so much CES that's on the way out as Microsoft that's on the way out as far as a consumers are concerned. Microsoft didn't decide to "bow out", in fact CES decided to not invite them to do the keynote for 2013. After all it's been a long time since they were amongst the most influential consumer technology companies.

      http://parislemon.com/post/14590185649/fuck-me-no-fuck-you [parislemon.com]
      http://gigaom.com/2011/12/21/mystery-who-killed-the-microsoft-ces-keynote/ [gigaom.com]

    • by sgt scrub (869860)

      CES, Macworld and others are increasingly places for smaller 3rd party vendors to peddle their usually cheap (and sometimes knockoff) wares.

      In other words, It is going to be filled with the people Microsoft is going to be suing for patent infringement if they don't pony up. I wouldn't show my face either.

  • MS will probably want an all MS show. LIke a 'Microsoft-con' or something....

    5 will get you 10.

  • Have they actually had anything to show at CES worth looking at? Seems like throwing good money out to show bad products is a bad idea. It makes sense that they should make better products, but it looks like they are just going to focus on saving money.
  • Not just Microsoft (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @03:33PM (#38452668)

    Trade shows are largely a relic of the pre-Internet world. Nowadays we can get pretty much any information we need about a brand new product simply by visiting the vendor's website. We've seen technology-driven companies moving away from announcing and/or releasing products at mega-trade shows especially over the past 4-5 years, whether they're computer companies (Apple, Microsoft), camera companies (Nikon, Canon), or "we do it all and do it badly" companies (Sony).

    • Trade shows are largely a relic of the pre-Internet world.

      That certainly neatly explains the continued growth of PAX doesn't it?

      We've seen technology-driven companies moving away from announcing and/or releasing products at mega-trade shows especially over the past 4-5 years, whether they're computer companies (Apple, Microsoft), camera companies (Nikon, Canon), or "we do it all and do it badly" companies (Sony).

      Not so much for camera makers - Photokina is still a very big deal. The Paris Air Show

      • Not so much for camera makers - Photokina is still a very big deal. The Paris Air Show is still a big deal in the aviation world as well. Etc... etc...

        I'll give you the Paris Air Show, but those are airplanes for goodness sake!

        It seems to me that Photokina announcements tend to be about consumer kit rather than pro kit anymore - but we'll see what happens. With an every-other-year show, I don't know that trends would be as apparent as with annual shows.

        • I'll give you the Paris Air Show, but those are airplanes for goodness sake!

          For many, the primary value of the Paris Air Show is to see if the Soviets/Russians will crash their latest Tupolev/Sukhoi/MiG. Can't be good for sales. To be fair, they haven't done it for a while at Paris.

      • PAX is very much a community event that enables exchange. It's not primarily a trade show (though it contains that component), and it doesn't display the largely unidirectional dissemination mindset that other trade shows like E3 or the now-dead COMDEX used to embody.

        Everybody who is saying that nobody needs trade shows to make announcements in the internet age is right. Quite frankly that trade shows for other industries are less effected so far is probably more an indicator of lag than anything else. Be
        • Everybody who is saying that nobody needs trade shows to make announcements in the internet age is right.

          But what 'everyone' is missing is that there is more to trade shows (much more) than just announcements.

          Quite frankly that trade shows for other industries are less effected so far is probably more an indicator of lag than anything else.

          In other words, you've assumed yourself to be correct, and any evidence otherwise is just more evidence you're correct.

          I think that for things like cars a

          • I like how rather than provide any evidence to the contrary, you just assert that I'm wrong, and pretend that makes you look 'in the know'.

            I used to work for Boeing as a contractor on 777 final assembly. My wife still works for Boeing, and we're both the third generation from our families to do so. I probably know more about aircraft and the industry surrounding them than you do.

            And what you say of visiting manufacturers is true of any industry. By that logic it would be universal. It doesn't matter whe
      • by radish (98371)

        PAX is explicitly not a trade show - nothing new is announced there and the trade presence is typically companies re-using their demos and booths from the previous E3 as well as a bunch of indies who are too small for a real trade show. PAX is a community gathering, the panels and other community events are way more interesting than the expo floor.

    • by Machtyn (759119)
      Trade shows, when done properly, give industry people a chance to meet and greet various others they may not have noticed before. Share ideas, etc. Um, that's the idea anyway.
    • by Alomex (148003)

      or "we do it all and do it badly" companies (Sony).

      Plus we introduce an incompatible, inferior, more expensive, new format in the process.

    • Our company attends conferences but not trade shows anymore. We used to have a big rush to get our marketing material and booth ready every year for the Design Automation Conference (DAC) but even the big vendors have long pulled out of that one and we abandoned it before that. It's just too much effort (and expense) for very little benefit. The only people going to the trade shows in the last few years were existing customers who would come by for a chat. New customers just go to the web.

  • by theodp (442580) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @03:36PM (#38452714)

    Microsoft (Dec. 21, 2011) [technet.com]: As we look at all of the new ways we tell our consumer stories â" from product momentum disclosures, to exciting events like our Big Windows Phone, to a range of consumer connection points like Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft.com and our retail stores â" it feels like the right time to make this transition.

    Apple (Dec. 16, 2008) [gizmodo.com]: Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers. The increasing popularity of Apple's Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the Apple.com website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways.

  • 'As we look at all of the new ways we tell our consumer stories,' explained Microsoft's Frank Shaw, 'it feels like the right time to make this transition.'"

    New ways they tell consumer stories?! Golly that is some grade-A PR bullshit right there.

  • by dave562 (969951) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @04:03PM (#38453054) Journal

    ...my all expenses paid trips to pr0n-con^H^H^H^H^H^H^H, CES.

    On topic, I'm surprised that it took Microsoft this long to drop out of CES. It has been shrinking and becoming more and more irrelevant with each passing year. I always figured it was just an excuse to be in town at the same time as the AVN awards.

    • by soundguy (415780)
      That was an excellent cover story for a lot of the AEE attendees. You could ride the buses or the monorail between the Sands Expo and the LV Convention Center and if you were staying at the Venetian or Palazzo, you had a perfectly good excuse to be in the vicinity of AEE. A lot of those "secret" CES parties were decorated with porn stars who just happened to be there that week already because of AEE/AVN Awards. It was a Win-Win for everyone.


      Not sure what the deal is with moving both the AEE show and the
  • Considering the only thing they have is the XBox and the world + dog has been coo coo for iPods, iPhones, and iPads plus the Android devcies, it just doesn't make sense for them to be there with no hope of winning consumer hearts and minds.

    It makes perfect sense because it isn't called the <bold>Consumer</bold> Electronics Show for nothing.

    LoB
  • by ravenscar (1662985) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @04:52PM (#38453678)

    I attended CES last year. Nobody there was interested in the stuff that wasn't the 'end product.' As such, people were in the MSFT booth, but they were much more interested in the hardware from other vendors than they were with the MSFT software running on it. People could have seen that stuff in the booths of the appropriate hardware vendor. The one place this didn't hold true was in the XBox/Kinect area. There were a ton of people interested in spending time in that space - but that's an 'end product'. Interestingly, it's an end product that is probably best showcased at E3.

    The same can be said about Intel's booth. The biggest draw there was the chance to play Portal 2 before release.

    Chances are that, unless I can hold the product you're selling in my hand and get an immediate benefit from it on its own, it probably isn't best showcased with a mega-dollar booth at CES (a small booth in the component exhibitors area maybe).

    I guess I'm just saying that conventions like CES probably aren't the best bang for the buck for MSFT.

  • ...the porn vendors left and set up their own show. Who wants to go to CES and endure all that crap when your show badge doesn't even buy you any decent eye candy?

  • We don't have anything to show that people couldn't easily pick apart, and we don't want customers to get close to Windows 8 until we can keep it from randomly exploding, and Balmer's stage presence... let's face it, he's become a laughingstock. So we're choosing to present our products in much more controlled circumstances like TV ads. And in those ads we'll mostly be ragging on how complicated our competitor's products are, because we can't compete on functionality, as every one of them will do more tha

  • Now if only we can begin the mourning phase for phone books and most of the math you learned you in school.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.

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