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CES 2013 Bigger Than Ever Even Without Microsoft

By - Source: LA Times | B 11 comments

Just before CES 2012 went live back in January, Microsoft announced that starting in 2013, the company would not be a major participant in the technology show. No longer will the Windows giant present the keynote speech or dominate the showroom floor with a huge booth. Why? Because the company's product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing, Microsoft 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," the company said just over a year ago.

The news was surprising given that the company served as an "anchor tenant" over the last decade. But its departure brought up questions as to whether CES has become irrelevant. After all, Apple and Google – who typically don't make an appearance at the Las Vegas show – have their own events. But with Microsoft now signed out, there has been speculation that CES may dwindle down to nothing given all the other tech expos throughout the year, and the show's immediate post-holiday timeframe.

But that doesn't seem to be the case. Earlier this month, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) said that the 2013 show will have a record amount of exhibit space despite Microsoft's exit, beating the previous 2012 show which featured 1.862 million net square feet. This year CES 2013 will have more than 1.87 million net square feet featuring 3,000 exhibitors.

"With the largest show floor in history, more innovative technologies and services will launch at the 2013 CES than anywhere else in the world," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. "From cloud-based services, advancements in digital health, connected vehicle technologies, the latest apps, flexible devices and beyond, the innovations unveiled at the 2013 CES will create new jobs and further economic growth around the world."

A record number of eight automakers will exhibit at the 2013 CES show, including Audi, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus and Subaru, across more than 100,000 net square feet of exhibit space, the CEA added. The iLounge Pavilion is also making a return, with a combined total of 120,000 net square feet of i-related products and technologies showcased by more than 440 exhibitors.

That said, it seems that CES 2013 will do just fine swimming in the press pool without its Microsoft floaties. "Last year we had 156,153 audited attendees and more than 3,100 exhibitors across 1.862 million nsf. This year we are expecting more than 150,000 attendees (we won’t have a final number until after the audit in April), 3,000 exhibitors across more than 1.87 million nsf," a spokesperson told the LA Times.

But as Microsoft pointed out, it will still be present at CES 2013. In fact, this would be a bad time to completely disconnect given that Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and its own Surface RT tablet is on the market, and the Surface Pro is gearing up for a January release. But as for other new products, Microsoft will likely save its own hardware for exclusive reveals while Windows hardware partners will showcase their own solutions in January.

CES 2013 begins a week on January 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Display 11 Comments.
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  • 5 Hide
    matt_b , January 2, 2013 12:17 PM
    Quote:
    Because the company's product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing

    I didn't buy that line back when Microsoft gave it as the reason for its exit and I still don't. CES, E3, or whatever show a company has interest in isn't about convenient timing for a finished product. These venues are to share a company's ideas, thoughts, prototypes, what they have been working on (demo), or just a road-map to get the industry and the consumers interested in what's to come. Very little has to do with milestone alignment for a company. In Microsoft's case, they aren't just an OS company these days, Surface, Win8, Xbox, Bing, Sync, etc. So to their reason I say they are either running out of ideas or were just pissed at not being named as the company being handed the mic to give the keynote speech for the first time.
  • 1 Hide
    tolham , January 2, 2013 12:45 PM
    Quote:
    Earlier this month, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) said that the 2013 show will have a record amount of exhibit space

    so the article title is being strictly literal?

    Quote:
    "Last year we had 156,153 audited attendees and more than 3,100 exhibitors across 1.862 million nsf. This year we are expecting more than 150,000 attendees (we won’t have a final number until after the audit in April), 3,000 exhibitors across more than 1.87 million nsf,"

    156153 > 150000 and 3100 > 3000. so the answer to my question above is "yes". although i will note that those numbers are small drop.
  • 1 Hide
    tolham , January 2, 2013 12:45 PM
    nm.
  • 5 Hide
    Yuka , January 2, 2013 1:06 PM
    Funny MS didn't review their decision of pulling out of CES given how desperate they are trying to push Windows Phone.

    This is like THE show to actually advertise Windows Phone to its fullest.

    Cheers!
  • 1 Hide
    burmese_dude , January 2, 2013 2:08 PM
    MS isn't worried. They can be found at a tiles trade show convention.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 2, 2013 2:13 PM
    Microsoft quit CES and E3 because Ballmer is tired of looking like a fool on stage. He will never have the presence Bill Gates did and he certainly hasn't any vision to speak of.
  • -1 Hide
    freggo , January 2, 2013 3:56 PM
    Does M$ expect CES to move so as to accommodate the M$ product release schedule ?

    Seriously, Microsoft has to realize that it is them -no matter how big they are- who have to live with the show schedules. Otherwise all 3000 have to adjust their time tables to make M$ happy.

    Then again, I never went to CES to see what's new from the Windows company to begin with.

  • 0 Hide
    11796pcs , January 2, 2013 7:05 PM
    Quote:
    "but we won’t have a keynote or booth"


    Quote:
    But as Microsoft pointed out, it will still be present at CES 2013.


    How can you be present if you don't have a booth?
  • 0 Hide
    gramps , January 3, 2013 12:04 AM
    Quote:
    Microsoft quit CES and E3 because Ballmer is tired of looking like a fool on stage. He will never have the presence Bill Gates did and he certainly hasn't any vision to speak of.


    If that is the case, then I must applaud Ballmer on his immense stamina - it's taken him this long to get tired of it?!
  • -1 Hide
    alevox , January 3, 2013 1:40 AM
    matt_bI didn't buy that line back when Microsoft gave it as the reason for its exit and I still don't. CES, E3, or whatever show a company has interest in isn't about convenient timing for a finished product. These venues are to share a company's ideas, thoughts, prototypes, what they have been working on (demo), or just a road-map to get the industry and the consumers interested in what's to come. Very little has to do with milestone alignment for a company. In Microsoft's case, they aren't just an OS company these days, Surface, Win8, Xbox, Bing, Sync, etc. So to their reason I say they are either running out of ideas or were just pissed at not being named as the company being handed the mic to give the keynote speech for the first time.


    So you don't believe that Microsoft exited CES because of unaligned product releases but you're willing to buy into the idea that they are exiting because they didn't get to go first? That makes a lot of sense.

  • 0 Hide
    matt_b , January 3, 2013 1:39 PM
    alevoxSo you don't believe that Microsoft exited CES because of unaligned product releases but you're willing to buy into the idea that they are exiting because they didn't get to go first? That makes a lot of sense.

    I don't buy any of it. A BS answer from Microsoft deserves a BS excuse or two for pulling out of the show that they were a major contributor and star in. Out of ideas or in the other case not being name the keynote speaker was purely coincidence. Personally, I would have enjoyed seeing Ballmer as the speaker, love his past material courtesy of YouTube.