Microsoft is to discontinue its annual keynote address and booth display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) after nearly 20 years of headlining the popular computing event.
Microsoft announced in a statement that chief executive Steve Ballmer will deliver the company's final keynote at the 2012 show in January.
Frank Shaw, vice president of corporate communications at Microsoft, said that the decision is largely down to planning issues. The firm wants to unveil products in its own time, rather than tying development and testing processes to the show's schedule.
"We will continue to participate in CES as a great place to connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries, but we will not have a keynote or booth after this year because our product news milestones generally don't align with the show's January timing," he said.
Microsoft has a history of embarrassing mishaps at CES over the years. Founder Bill Gates and Ballmer have been left red-faced on the stage in Las Vegas when product demos either crashed or failed to work.
Apple has also opted to unveil products on its own schedule rather than at an annual conference, and ended its association with the long-running Macworld Expo in 2009.
The 2012 CES conference runs from 10 to 13 January at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
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