A company’s decision to attend this show or that show is typically dissected by competitors, distributors and the media looking for clues and signals.
And the same is true when a company chooses not to participate in a keynote speech. The hunt for clues and signals begins.
This time it’s Microsoft’s decision not to speak at the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 that’s being dissected by one and all.
Microsoft has given the keynote speech at the industry’s pre-eminent exhibition and conference for more than 20 years. Most recently, since Bill Gates stood down as the CEO, it’s been Steve Ballmer who’s delivered these speeches.
So it’s his decision not to participate in the event after the 2012 show that’s attracting attention. Is it his public speaking ability or a lack of confidence that’s triggered Microsoft’s decision? Probably not.
Steve Ballmer might not always be the most eloquent of keynote speakers, but he more than compensates for that with a raw energy that’s palpable.
His enthusiasm for his company’s products and services defines him as a speaker. So, it’s improbable that the decision to forsake a keynote speech at the CES 2013 show has anything to do with a reluctance to speak in public.
More realistically one could expect that a series of annual announcements made at the CES show and others no longer fits with faster-moving product developments.
Expect Steve Ballmer to continue his speeches, expect Microsoft to attend the CES 2013 show, but don’t count on this show or others being used as platforms for major Microsoft announcements. The sense is that Microsoft events will be better outlets for these.