When Microsoft made the decision to forego exhibiting at this year's CES, I think the general reaction from the industry was one of confusion. After all, Microsoft has long been a major presenter at the event, sporting one of the biggest booths front and center. Stranger still was the fact that the company decided to pull out at a time when it should have been working hard to convince people that its products are worth getting excited over - Windows 8 released just three months earlier to much tepid reaction, after all.
Not long after the last CES wrapped-up, Paul noted that Microsoft's presence at CES isn't important just to sell itself. "CES was also a great opportunity to build solidarity between Microsoft and its hardware partners." With Windows 8 at the time not being a runaway success as it had planned, you'd think that the company would at least make its presence felt and give backup to all of its partners that took a chance on it, along with Windows RT. Paul further stated, "this might have been the most important CES in Microsoft's history." It's hard to disagree there.
While Microsoft contended that it was comfortable with its decision to forego a CES presence, it looks like the company has decided to make a re-entry beginning with next year's event. This was revealed in a BBC interview with CEA's head Gary Shapiro, who stated that "Microsoft is officially back in the International CES". Apparently, the company is taking out significant meeting room space.
What's unclear at this point is whether or not the company will lead the front of the Las Vegas Convention Center with its typically mammoth booth. It seems rather unlikely that the company would only be at CES for meetings, but one thing that's clear is that it isn't scheduled for any keynotes - likely the result of the company's CEO Steve Ballmer set to make his exit not long after.