Microsoft to part ways with CES after 2012

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Microsoft to part ways with CES after 2012

Show goes on, just not at CES.

Steve Ballmer’s opening keynote at the upcoming CES conference will Microsoft’s last, the company announced Wednesday. 

The premier technology conference held in Las Vegas every January was no longer considered the right forum to make announcements and was out of sync with Redmond's product roadmap, the company said.

“[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,” said Microsoft’s communications boss, Frank X. Shaw.  

The company came to many of the same conclusions as Apple, which withdrew from the Macworld conference in 2009. Shaw said Microsoft could more easily reach customers via its retail outlets, its website, its conferences and social media.  

"Our industry moves fast and changes faster. And so the way we communicate with our customers must change in equally speedy ways. To ensure it does, we constantly challenge our assumptions," said Shaw. 

The announcement marks the end of Microsoft's 20 year presence at CES.

Intel has some non-Wintel news though. 

The CES conference kicks off on January 9 2012. Chief among the announcements, Intel plans to reveal more details about its iPhone 4-esque "reference model" smartphone.

The Android powered device will be Intel's latest and perhaps most serious attempt to knock UK-based ARM from its dominance in mobile devices.

MIT's Technology Review published a photo of a prototype of Intel device, noting its striking similarity to the iPhone 4, but with a lighter weight due to its plastic casing.

Vice president of Intel's architecture group Stephen Smith said he expected phones based on the reference design to be announced in the first half of 2012. 

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