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Microsoft lowering its profile at CES after 2012

This year's CES will be the last time Microsoft will have a keynote at the trade show

Microsoft will have a keynote presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show for the last time in 2012, although it will continue to participate in the giant trade show, a company executive said in a blog post Wednesday.

Microsoft will offer a keynote speech at the upcoming CES, Jan. 10 to 13 in Las Vegas, but the company is rethinking how it announces new products, Frank Shaw, vice president for corporate communications, wrote in the blog post.

"Our industry moves fast and changes faster," Shaw wrote. "And so the way we communicate with our customers must change in equally speedy ways."

The company is looking for new ways to promote its products, including in-house events, Facebook and Twitter announcements, and information on Microsoft.com, Shaw wrote.

"As we look at all of the new ways we tell our consumer stories ... it feels like the right time to make this transition," he said. "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 has worked with CES sponsor the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) for nearly 20 years, and the company will continue to work with the trade group, Shaw said.

CEA, in a statement, said that it and Microsoft "have agreed that the time has come to end this great run" of 14 annual keynotes at CES by the company. Microsoft has unveiled some "great innovations" during that time, the trade group said.

Microsoft will not request exhibit space in the CES Great Hall in 2013, CEA added.

"We have received expressions of interest for that space from the long waiting list for Central Hall exhibit space," CEA said. "Exhibitors will choose space for the 2013 CES during the 2012 show, and in past years available Central Hall exhibit space has sold out within hours."

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is [email protected]


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