On Wednesday, Microsoft took to The Official Microsoft Blog to announce that 2012 will mark the software company's last keynote presentation and booth at the world's largest tech fair, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
The post, written by Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications Frank X. Shaw, cited timing as the main reason for the decision.
Shaw wrote, "[W]e 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."
Shaw also assured readers that Microsoft would still participate in the show in order to, "connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries."
According to Engadget, Microsoft's partners will likely handle future announcements.
Slashgear reports that this announcement marks the end of a 20-year partnership between Microsoft and CES, where the Redmond giant has unveiled major new products and strategies.
In 2010, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage at the CES keynote to show off a prototype HP Slate tablet running the Windows OS. The Slate would go on to be a moderate success for Microsoft, and though a sequel was released in November 2011, the device never lived up to its CES buzz. By CES 2011, the iPad had already swept the tablet market and Ballmer mostly avoided tablet talk during his keynote, concentrating instead on existing products like the Xbox, Windows Phone 7 and Surface touchscreen computer system.
While there had been some speculation that Microsoft will go out with a bang at CES 2012, Engadget has confirmed with the company that there "won't be significant news, but more of a wrap up of the strong year the company has had." This will reportedly include discussion of Windows Phone, Xbox, Bing and Microsoft Office.
CNET reports that tech companies have been increasingly following Apple's model, and using their own events to reveal new products. Using CES for this purpose is costly and can actually backfire due to the barrage of announcements that drowns out all but the biggest news.