Next week the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is being held in Las Vegas and as the premier trade show for personal electronics gear, expect the hype to be deafening. I’m already seeing CES press releases from companies that want to be heard above the din.
Rachel Rosmarin explains the phenomenon at Forbes in “The Greatest Show On Earth?”:
While most people are still sleeping off the effects of their New Year’s Eve debauchery, more than 130,000 industry gearheads and 2,500 hopeful exhibitors will flock to Sin City for the annual Consumer Electronics Show. CES is a buzz-filled mecca, where the latest and greatest electronic wares are hyped by small startups and global conglomerates alike.
With more than 1.6 million square feet of space crammed with wires, chips, plastic, booth babes and various attention-grabbing gimmicks, the show is a true circus. No, not Circus Circus, but still the biggest show in town. In fact, the show floor has expanded this year to encompass not only the entire Las Vegas Convention Center but also the Las Vegas Sand’s Sands Expo near the Venetian.
It’s often difficult to separate the actual innovative products and industry-moving announcements that come out of Vegas in January, from the grandiose claims and puffed-up displays. That’s why a healthy dose of skepticism among show veterans goes a long way.
More by following the link. Anyhow, concerning Microsoft’s presence:
Microsoft promised developers a complete, full-featured preview version of the highly anticipated new Windows operating system, dubbed Vista, by early January. That sounds like CES to us; the show would be the perfect stage on which to unveil and demonstrate the software.
Philipp Gollner and Eric Auchard also provide a pre-show guide at Reuters in “Top US electronics show offers cars, sex, software” where you’ll learn that the sex is in a separate parallel show and that Apple will be holding fire until Macworld which is scheduled for the following week in San Francisco. As for Microsoft (if indirectly):
And personal computer and storage makers such as Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Seagate Technology will seek to show how they can connect the living room to every other room of a networked home.
In years past, many analysts had predicted that the PC might overtake the television as the prime way consumers enjoy digital entertainment.
Now most industry observers see the contest as more multifaceted, with no one dominant device.
“The PC has tripped on the carpet going into the living room,” said Richard Doherty, research director of Envisioneering Group in Seaford, New York.