Microsoft and CES: Mutual backstabbing?

By Richi Jennings (@richi ) - December 22, 2011.

Steve Ballmer (Der Tommy @ Picasaweb)
Microsoft (NADSAQ:MSFT) says it's pulled out of CES 2013. But sources say CES dropped the Microsoft keynote for 2013. Where's the truth? Are Microsoft and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) still BFFs? In IT Blogwatch, bloggers unpick the actuality.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Santa Claus vs. Pregnant Woman...

    Gregg Keizer reports:

January's CES will also be the last time that a Microsoft executive gives the gigantic trade show's opening keynote. ... Bill Gates delivered his first keynote in 1994.


CEA also confirmed that Microsoft will not seek booth space for 2013 in the Central Hall...reminiscent of Apple's decision in late 2008 to end its active participation...[in] Macworld.   

    Dean Takahashi adds:

This is a big milestone...Microsoft has been a part of the experience for attendees for a very long time. It is a changing of the guard in the tech industry.


CES drew about 149,000 attendees last year. ... Microsoft has usually commanded a lot of floor the show.   

Microsoft's Frank X. Shaw gives his side of the story:

[We] have decided that this coming January will be our last keynote presentation and booth at CES...because our product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing.


In the meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing many of you on Monday night, January 9th, to kick the year off at CES 2012.   

And Andy Patrizio is glad:

It makes sense. ... [To] hold the show one week after New nuts. I used to hate going to the show.


So I'm kind of glad Microsoft is pulling out. ... I hope the rest of the industry follows and lets CES once again be...for the CE market, where...the taxi line isn't a mile long.   

But wait! Barb Darrow isn't buying the Redmond narrative:

Folks inside Microsoft said that it was...CEA, the organization in charge of CES, that put the kibosh on future Microsoft keynotes...Microsoft then pulled plans for its huge CES booth in response.


[A source said] “Microsoft didn’t pull out of the keynote — they were kicked out.”   

Meanwhile, MG Siegler uses naughty language:

Darrow...suggests that this move wasn’t about Microsoft thinking about their own much as it’s about Microsoft being snubbed by CES and them saying “**** you” in return. ... Is it possible both sides came to those conclusions independently? ... [L]et’s be realistic, that rarely happens.


Come on, these guys are smiling in the front while they punch each other in the back.   

   And Finally...
Santa Claus vs. Pregnant Woman

[hat tip: Thomas Lupien]

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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