At CES 2012, Microsoft announced that it would be their last year at the technology trade show. The news came as somewhat of a shock considering that Microsoft traditionally presented a keynote at the show. Now it appears that Microsoft’s departure from CES was only a year-long hiatus.
The BBC is reporting that Microsoft is returning to CES in 2014. It doesn’t look like the company will be presenting a keynote, but CEA president Gary Shapiro confirmed that Microsoft is buying a lot of space at the show.
“Microsoft is officially back in the International CES,” said Shapiro. “They are taking out significant space in meeting rooms – it’s actually a larger presence than I believe they have ever had.”
Microsoft may be coming back to CES, but it appears that the company will only be in meeting rooms. That could possibly mean that Microsoft will only be talking to other companies at the show while not meeting with journalists. Shapiro doesn’t think that will be the case, however, as he expects Microsoft to be “very open to the press.”
Either way, a return to CES can only be a good thing for Microsoft as it restructures itself into a devices and services company. It’s already announced two new Surface tablets, but CES could be the venue for Microsoft to show off smaller Surface tablets. It could also be an important vehicle to show off what it’s working on with its recent purchase – Nokia.
We won’t know any of Microsoft’s plans for sure until CES in January, but it is sure to meet some heavy competition from the many Android handset makers that are expected to show off their wares at the trade event. Windows Phone 8 has always been in the shadow of Android, and you can expect Android handset manufacturers will work to keep it that way.[Image: Microsoft]