Microsoft shocked many in the tech industry when it announced a few weeks ago that this week's CES 2012 trade show would be its last in terms of both exhibiting and holding a keynote speech event. However, Gary Shapiro, who is the head of the tech industry trade group the Consumer Electronics Association, believes that Microsoft will return to CES at some point. The CEA runs the CES trade show, which gets started in earnest in Las Vegas today.
Venture Beat reports that during its interview with Shapiro he said that he expected Microsoft to return to CES as an exhibitor sometime in the future and eventually Microsoft would also hold another CES keynote event, such as the one that Microsoft will hold for its final (for now) CES show this evening.
Some industry analysts have speculated that CES, even with all of its media attention and all of its exhibitors and attendees, might actually be losing some of its importance in the tech industry. Some feel that a lot of the news in the tech business is made not at CES but during other parts of the year. Shapiro, however, dismisses that kind of talk, saying:
There is no questions that the speed of the introduction of electronics has changed. But a show forces companies to meet a deadline. We give people a reason to get things done. The show is also a five-senses experience, where you can see and hear everything. And face to face meetings still work the best. These are reasons why more than 150,000 people still come to the show.
In another part of the interview at Venture Beat, Shapiro states the CEA's opposition to the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that is currently being debated in the US Congress. He states, "We care about piracy and so do a lot of people. But this bill is shocking, and it’s shocking it has some support. We are playing defense, and we are being outspent 10 to 1 by the copyright extremists."