After learning of Microsoft's plans to stop holding CES keynotes following the 2012 edition, the immediate attention turned to this: would it use its last opportunity on the main stage to make a lasting impact? Evidently, that answer is "no." We've confirmed with the company that Steve Ballmer will be "focusing quite a bit on Windows Phone and the its Xbox / entertainment story," while also sharing "momentum from across the company for Windows, Office, Bing, etc." Ultimately, we're told that there "won't be significant news, but more of a wrap up of the strong year the company has had in consumer." We've got a call out for further clarifications (as well as questions on whether or not another BUILD, MIX or some other spinoff event will take the theoretical place of CES), and we'll be sure to update as we learn more.

Update: While Microsoft can't confirm specifics, we're getting the impression that the company's partners will be the ones leading and driving announcements in the CES events to come. And while it wouldn't comment specifically on the future of MIX or BUILD, we're told that "it will continue to invest in those kinds of owned venues going forward."

Update 2: The CEA, also known as the entity that puts CES together, has officially responded to the news. It also affirmed that Microsoft will not reserve the massive Central Hall exhibit space that it has used in past years, but it seems pretty unconcerned about the whole ordeal. The full statement is after the break.
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Statement of CEA on Microsoft Participation in the 2013 International CES

In the fourteen years that we have invited Microsoft to deliver a keynote address at CES, the company has unveiled some great innovations, from operating systems to gaming platforms to mobile technologies, Both CEA and Microsoft have agreed that the time has come to end this great run, and so Microsoft will not have a keynote at the 2013 CES.

The International CES is widely recognized as the world's best stage for technology debuts, and each year we experience incredible demand from the world's leading technology companies for invitations to keynote at CES. We will announce our amazing lineup of keynoters for the 2013 CES beginning in the early summer of 2013.

Microsoft has also informed us that, although their plans for the 2013 CES are not yet finalized, they will not request the Central Hall exhibit space that they have used in past years. Given the huge success of the 2012 CES, with more than 1.8 million net square feet of exhibit space (the second largest show floor in our history) and more than 2,700 exhibitors, we have received expressions of interest for that space from the long waiting list for Central Hall exhibit space. Exhibitors will choose space for the 2013 CES during the 2012 show, and in past years available Central Hall exhibit space has sold out within hours.

Microsoft is an important member of CEA and we wish them all the best as they evolve their plans for new ways to tell consumer stories. We also look forward to their CES keynote on January 9, 2012.

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Microsoft's CES 2012 keynote won't deliver 'significant news,' more of 'a wrap-up'