Microsoft Won't Be At CES 2013: Is That Bad For The Company?

By Vamien McKalin email: v.mckalin@mobilenapps.com | Dec 29, 2012 10:10 AM EST

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CES 2012 saw Microsoft announcing that it would no longer attend the summit in the future, a revelation that surprised many. Being the largest trade show in any given year, CES has proven to be a great spot to promote products. So will Microsoft's absence at CES 2013 affect the company?

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Microsoft not being at CES 2013 is in no way affecting the tech summit. In fact, the show has seen a rise in exhibits and attendees, according to the LA Times. With the tablet and smartphone wars rising in 2012, it comes as no surprise that the show would be overflowing with companies wanting to show off new products and attendees wanting to get their hands on them.

Since Microsoft's absence is clearly not affecting CES 2013, then the big question is, could if affect Microsoft?

Microsoft turned away from the CES because of the amount of competition there. Many companies are showcasing similar products at the event, so Microsoft thought it wise to remove itself and focus elsewhere. However, at the time Microsoft didn't have much to show at CES anyway, most of what the company highlighted was that of products from other hardware manufacturers and its range of software services such as Windows and Office. So in truth, Microsoft's presence at the CES wasn't all that important.

When Apple pulled out of CES back in 2009 to focus on MacWorld, the move was felt across the industry. Many pundits believed this would be the end of CES. How could the show go on without Apple they said. Doom and gloom were rumored and for a time it seemed as if they were right. CES 2010 came along and it felt empty without Apple's presence; however, the show quickly regained popularity after Android came of age.

What do you see here? Compare Apple leaving CES to Microsoft leaving, and then you'll realize how unimportant Microsoft was at the show.

Now that Microsoft has big and important products like its Surface tablets, and possibly a rumored Surface Windows Phone 8 device, we could be looking at the reason the company left CES in the first place. Its Surface products would have a lot to deal with if Microsoft had stayed at CES. Sharing the spotlight under the same roof with a plethora of Android devices along with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8-based hardware from other OEMs wouldn't have boded very well for Microsoft.

With Android growing in popularity year over year, it would be too difficult for two lions to share the same den and, therefore, one has to leave and find a new home somewhere. Being absent from CES 2013 will not affect Microsoft and is actually helping the company stay competitive in this hotly contested tech environment.

Probably, what Microsoft need right now is its own trade show to compete with CES. With Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 finding it slow to take off, an event showcasing only Windows-based products could be just the thing to keep consumers interested in all things that are Microsoft.

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