Should Microsoft be at CES?

By Kip Kniskern | Posted December 27, 2012 10 comments

ces-logoLast year, after a long stint with Bill Gates and then Steve Ballmer as keynoters, Microsoft announced it would be pulling out of its major association with CES (the Consumer Electronics Show), an annual extravaganza held in Las Vegas every year right after the New Year (this year’s event is being held from January 8-11).

In announcing the change, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Frank Shaw said:

Our industry moves fast and changes faster. And so the way we communicate with our customers must change in equally speedy ways. To ensure it does, we constantly challenge our assumptions. For example:

· 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”?

After thinking about questions like these, we have decided that this coming January will be our last keynote presentation and booth at CES. 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.

But now, with Windows 8 off to a bit of a slow start and needing a push, an opportunity to further promote Surface RT, and a bevy of new Windows 8 devices, including the Surface Pro about to launch, CES seems like the perfect time for Steve Ballmer to take the stage and push the heck out of Windows 8.

Microsoft could also use the mega-show to drum up excitement for a new version of Xbox, and to pump up Nokia and the other Windows Phone partners.  Nokia is apparently planning a big splash at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, but could well benefit from as much exposure in the US as it can get.

In addition, CES would be seemingly a perfect opportunity for Ballmer to show that Microsoft is doing just fine, thank you, without Steven Sinofsky, and perhaps to re-introduce Tami Reller and Julie Larson-Green as the fresh new faces of Windows.

Instead, in what looks now to be a short-sighted blunder, Microsoft will be on the sidelines at CES 2013, in what may be a telling, if unintended indication of the transfer of power away from Microsoft in this Post PC era.

Posted December 27th, 2012 at 11:55 am
Category: News
Tags: CES 2013
  • efjay

    Not sure how Ballmer pushing Windows 8 will help when the devices most anticipated to help adoption are still MIA, ie the tablet hybrids intel boasted about and now delayed because of who knows what. Plus the slow app loading times, lack of any real killer Windows 8 feature and poor retail sales experience at best buy and others would seem to me to be issues that are more in need of being addressed than watching another wooden Microsoft presentation at CES.

  • http://twitter.com/efjay01 Ef Jay

    Not sure how Ballmer pushing Windows 8 will help when the devices most anticipated to help adoption are still MIA, ie the tablet hybrids intel boasted about and now delayed because of who knows what. Plus the slow app loading times, lack of any real killer Windows 8 feature and poor retail sales experience at best buy and others would seem to me to be issues that are more in need of being addressed than watching another wooden Microsoft presentation at CES.

  • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

    No they do not need to be at CES. Your average consumer did not know Apple executives with the exception of Steve Jobs. I doubt even that too many even know who Tim Cook is. They key is to deliver good hardware overtime with your own events, stop information from leaking, and the hype will be created naturally. I think Panos Panay (sp?) is a great and passionate presenter.

  • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

    No they do not need to be at CES. Your average consumer did not know Apple executives with the exception of Steve Jobs. I doubt even that too many even know who Tim Cook is. They key is to deliver good hardware overtime with your own events, stop information from leaking, and the hype will be created naturally. I think Panos Panay (sp?) is a great and passionate presenter.

  • http://webloggerz.com/ Webloggerz

    in 1 line- absolutely not…

  • http://webloggerz.com/ Webloggerz

    in 1 line- absolutely not…

  • chinch987

    No, they should not. Having personally done trade show events i understand the amount of work and wasted time needed to prepare for a dog and pony show that amounts to people wanting free stuff and partying. Total and utter waste of $, effort and TIME.

    MS right now needs OEMs to deliver the Win8 devices promised a year ago. These OEMs are an embarrassment failing to deliver touch-screen laptops and tablets for xmas holidays nevermind black friday. SurfacePro will be a sight for sore eyes.

  • chinch987

    No, they should not. Having personally done trade show events i understand the amount of work and wasted time needed to prepare for a dog and pony show that amounts to people wanting free stuff and partying. Total and utter waste of $, effort and TIME.

    MS right now needs OEMs to deliver the Win8 devices promised a year ago. These OEMs are an embarrassment failing to deliver touch-screen laptops and tablets for xmas holidays nevermind black friday. SurfacePro will be a sight for sore eyes.

  • http://www.audiovideofile.wordpress.com/ John Freiman

    No, Microsoft should not have a presence at CES. They are not being short sighted, they are looking further than you into the future.

    others here are correct, Microsoft has developed and launched their Windows 8/Phone 8 platforms and it is now the responsibility of the OEMs to market and sell their products.
    you give a man a fish, you fill his stomach, you teach a man to fish and he is fed for life.
    it is time Microsoft to step out and show these vendors how to make products, command higher prices/margins by developing quality products that last.
    HP, Acer, Dell, Fujitsu, etc all design cheap products that are obsolete too quickly because these vendors force fast product cycles.
    apple knows what they are doing. If the Microsoft OEMs can’t watch and learn, then Microsoft has to forge their own path – and that means stepping out from the pack and releasing products at their own pace.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.freiman John Freiman

    No, Microsoft should not have a presence at CES. They are not being short sighted, they are looking further than you into the future.

    others here are correct, Microsoft has developed and launched their Windows 8/Phone 8 platforms and it is now the responsibility of the OEMs to market and sell their products.
    you give a man a fish, you fill his stomach, you teach a man to fish and he is fed for life.
    it is time Microsoft to step out and show these vendors how to make products, command higher prices/margins by developing quality products that last.
    HP, Acer, Dell, Fujitsu, etc all design cheap products that are obsolete too quickly because these vendors force fast product cycles.
    apple knows what they are doing. If the Microsoft OEMs can’t watch and learn, then Microsoft has to forge their own path – and that means stepping out from the pack and releasing products at their own pace.