Microsoft gives way to Qualcomm at CES

Microsoft is probably going to regret giving up its top slot at the CES show.

After years of shy and retiring Steve Ballmer being the key note speaker at the important trade show, as Forbes’ Eric Savitz pointed out, Microsoft has decided it can’t be bothered any more. Organisers of the show have decided to award the top slot to Qualcomm, the maker of ARM-based processors for smartphones and tablets, and putting its CEO, Paul Jacobs, into the limelight.

The choice is fairly logical given that the world has become increasingly more mobile, but it is also not likely to be as animated as a Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer appearance.

Given that Ballmer is supposed to be trying to copy Apple and project a more consumer orientated Microsoft, he will probably be regretting his decision not to jump into the Las Vegas limelight in January.

Although when Microsoft announced it was not going to do CES for the first time since 1999 Ballmer had not yet decided on his new consumer plans, but it is exactly the sort of event the company should be doing now.

By the time January rolls along, Ballmer will need to hit the headlines to keep the momentum of any Windows 8 launch going. Sadly it seems that he did not see CES as being that important a year ago.

Microsoft announced last year that it would no longer attend, saying its big product announcements no longer lined up with the timing of the show.

The other reason for pulling out was that CES is now “no longer a PC show” but then again, Microsoft does not want to be a PC company anymore.