The Consumer Electronics Show returns to Las Vegas January 10-13, and with 2,700 exhibitors expected to draw 140,000 attendees, it's shaping up to be one of the trade show's biggest events yet. However, come 2013, the show will lose one of its most important exhibitors, and it remains to be seen what impact that will have on audience draw.
Microsoft announced this week that it will not be participating in CES after 2012. The Redmond, Washington-based software company has been a key player in the annual technology show, as Microsoft CEOs Bill Gates, and then Steve Ballmer, have traditionally delivered CES' show-opening keynote addresses.
"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," Microsoft corporate communications vice president Frank Shaw said in a statement.
Microsoft has made a handful of Xbox-related announcements at CES in previous years, most notably revealing the final design of the original Xbox at the Las Vegas show in 2001. The company's final keynote address at CES will take place January 9, 2012.