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.