On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that it would no longer hold a keynote speech nor have an exhibit at the Consumer Electronics Show at CES 2013. The announcement made it sound like it was Microsoft's choice to pull out of CES after next month's show in Las Vegas. Now rumors have hit the Internet that make the circumstances surrounding Microsoft's departure a little more complicated.
The rumors began with an article at the New York Times, with a statement made by Jason Oxman, the senior vice president of the Consumer Electronics Association. The CEA is the industry trade group that owns and runs CES. The article states, via Oxman, that the CEA had decided to give the show's opening keynote to a company other than Microsoft for CES 2013. Microsoft has had the privilege of giving the opening keynote address at CES for the past 14 years. Oxman claims that the parting of the ways between the CEA and Microsoft "had not been acrimonious."
However, GigaOM, citing unnamed Microsoft sources, says differently. It claims that when the CEA made the move to not to have a Microsoft opening keynote for CES 2013, Microsoft decided to pull out of its huge CES exhibit hall space at the Las Vegas Convention Center as a response.
Now The Verge, citing its own unnamed Microsoft sources, says that the truth is that the CEA was asking for more money from Microsoft to keep its opening keynote speech slot at CES. In the end, Microsoft decided that the money it would have to spend would not be worth it to continue to keep going as a CES participant. It also describes the departure as amicable between Microsoft and the CEA.
The New York Times article does point out that it has been years since Microsoft has made any major product or news announcements at CES. The company may be saving some big reveals for other trade shows such as the mobile phone-themed Mobile World Congress in February and the E3 video game trade show in June.