According to Microsoft, better venues are emerging and CES did not align with its product launch schedule anyway, so it was a conclusive step to cancel future CES events altogether, especially since the company will be represented by hundreds or smaller exhibitors anyway. However, as Microsoft is downplaying the importance of CES, Intel is stressing the importance of CES for the industry, confirming that the company won't abandon the event.
In a blog post, Intel says that CES will remain the "biggest stage for [the] tech industry" with or without Microsoft. It is the largest trade show in the United States and there was no reason to believe that is going to change, the company believes. For 2012, the show has grown back to its 2007 dimensions with 1.8 million square feet of space and 2700 exhibitors who are planning more than 20,000 product launches. In short, CES will turn, once again, into a Disneyworld for adults, with entertainment, toys and long lines that will surely test your patience as long as you are not attending the show as a virtual guest.
While IBM was often linked to the demise of Comdex, Intel mentions that Apple isn't at CES as well and the tradeshow still thrives. In fact, CES may be much more about electronics than Microsoft's Windows and variations that rarely have been new at CES anyway. However, the show organizers will have to fill a gaping hole that is the opening keynote that has been staged by Microsoft since 1998. Bill Gates keynoted the show from 1998 to 2008, except in 1999, when Sir Howard Stringer hosted the prestigious event. Steve Ballmer took over in 2008 but never matched the draw of Bill Gates. However, Ballmer's enthusiasm for his products lights up a stage in a way that will be tough to achieve by others. As much as we do not miss Microsoft's booth at CES, we surely will miss the keynote.