CES 2022 has lost another tech company: Microsoft.
The Verge reports that Microsoft announced its decision not to attend the annual conference on Dec. 24. “After reviewing the latest data on the rapidly evolving COVID environment,” a company spokesperson told The Verge, “Microsoft has decided not to participate in-person at CES 2022.”
Microsoft isn’t alone in canceling its plans to attend CES 2022 in-person: Intel announced on Dec. 23 that it would “move to a digital-first live experience, with minimal on-site staff,” as well. T-Mobile, Lenovo, GM, and other major companies have also pulled out of the conference.
Presenters won’t be the only ones missing from CES 2022. Many news outlets (including PCMag) have also decided not to attend the conference this year. The products shown off at CES 2022 will still be covered, of course, but primarily from the comfort of people’s homes.
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) said on Dec. 22 that it wasn’t canceling the in-person aspect of CES 2022 because it was “confident that attendees and exhibitors can have a socially distanced but worthwhile and productive event in Las Vegas” despite prior cancellations.
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That’s partly due to “comprehensive health measures — vaccination requirement, masking and availability of COVID-19 tests — coupled with lower attendance and social distancing measures.” But it’s also because CTA had found replacements for the presenters that pulled out of the event.
That was before Microsoft, Intel, and other companies announced their plans to be virtual-only, however. Even if CTA believes the world is ready for CES to be in-person again, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has clearly led many companies to disagree with that assessment.
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