CES 2022: Microsoft Follows Others And Pulls Physical Attendance

CES 2020

Software giant Microsoft joins other big names in the tech industry and withdraws its physical presence from the upcoming CES show

More bad news for trhe Consumer Technology Association (CTA) which organises the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, as another big name in the tech industry announces it is withdrawing its physical presence.

The 2022 CES show is slated to take place from Wednesday 5 January to Saturday 8 January next year, but a number of big name tech firms have already announced they will not send any of their personnel to the show.

Despite this, the CTA has been insisting the conference will still go ahead with physical attendees, amid growing concerns of the highly infectious Omicron variant of Coronavirus.

Microsoft cloud

Safety precautions

Organisers for the CES 2022 show have imposed for a number of strict health precautions for attendees, to safeguard people attending in person.

This includes includes vaccination requirements, the wearing of masks, and the availability of Covid-19 tests.

Last year, as the Coronavirus pandemic was rampaging around the world, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) opted to make the 2021 trade show a virtual event, instead of its usual physical event that typically attracts around 180,000 attendees.

But a year later and Omicron is resulting in huge infection numbers in the US, UK and other parts of the globe, but thankfully seems to be less dangerous than previous variants.

But just before Christmas, a number of big names in the tech industry signalled they were pulling their personnel from attending the trade show, or limiting the number of staff attending.

Firms withdrawing

It began with Amazon, Meta (Facebook’s parent), Twitter, Pinterest, announcing last week their withdrawal decision, all citing the Omicron variant of Coronavirus as the reason.

Then later in the week General Motors and Alphabets’s Google and its self-driving auto-technology company Waymo said they were withdrawing their personnel.

Firms such as ByteDance-owned TikTok and Nvidia have said they will attend in a virtual capacity, and Intel said it would minimise its staff at the show.

Lenovo said it would send any staff to the show.

Then on Christmas Eve on Friday, software giant Microsoft said it will not participate in person at the CES 2022, citing concerns over the rapid spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, Reuters reported.

Redmond however said it will continue to participate at CES remotely, according to an emailed statement.