It seems as if Microsoft has finally realized that the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is slowly becoming irrelevant.
Yes, Redmond will no longer maintain a booth or give the customary kick-off speech at the show which was once considered the ultimate consumer electronics venue in a sad post-Comdex world.
Like Apple, Microsoft is now saying it prefers to launch products based on an internal cadence, rather than follow an arbitrary schedule dictated by an external event like CES.
The fact that Microsoft isn't exactly enthusiastic about (officially) attending CES hardly comes a surprise.
Simply put, the majority of devices showcased at the Vegas blowout probably won't be snapped up by the average American consumer who is still suffering the unfortunate effects of a dismal recession and floundering economy.
In addition, most of the actual products exhibited at CES are launched days or weeks in advance, turning the actual show floor into little more than an amusement park for the drunk, hungover and bored (a rather dubious combination, to be sure).
As industry analyst Rob Enderle explains, reporters and analysts at CES are constantly trying to cover the latest shiny object and often fail to provide much depth beyond a superficial snapshot or blurb.
"I am noticing vendors pull back from the show, which was what initially got me to rethink going. It was clear they too were thinking this might be their own last show, and [confirmed] their firms were pulling back funding from the event," Enderle wrote in a recent op-ed posted on DigitalTrends.
"If CES is to survive into the next decade, it will need to become relevant again. To do that, planners may have to rethink every aspect of what has become a show that is just big enough to fail."