At the first day of CES 2012, Steve Ballmer of Microsoft presented the last keynote. Still it is not sure if the Microsoft's departure from CES is a boon or a curse for the world's largest show on consumer electronics. Before the event, there was some hand-wringing about the show's decline as the trend setter, Apple does participate at CES.
As per Nathan Brookwood, an analyst of Insight64 and an attendee of CES for many years says that the departure of Microsoft is a huge setback. He considers 2012 to be the peak water mark of CES and from this point it will start declining in importance. Though Microsoft does not exhibit any big innovation every time, the names Ballmer and Bill Gates draw the attention to the show.
The absence of the company from the next year at the CES will also hit the pocket of the show as the company used to rent a large space on the floor. This year CES has become less focused with sound systems and TVs that are competing with the tablets, smartphones and cloud services for attention. Even the events like press conferences and keynotes are broadcast on the web and on social websites like Twitter and in news sites and blogs.
Brookwood claims that the show has lost its own identity and it everywhere because no one knows about it anymore. On the other hand, Creative Strategies' President, Tim Bajarin says that people have already predicted the demise of the show since years. Though CES might have lost some edges, the importance of the show lies mainly on the technological trends of the year.
Apple and Microsoft conduct their own events to launch their products but the large electronics makers need a show at America to lay their hands for the buyers. CES is expected to cross about 140,000 attendees this year and the public are not allowed indicating that there will be more qualified buyers. The number of exhibitors at CES have already hit a record.