CES 2022 pushes on in Las Vegas as Microsoft drops in-person presence

The company is the latest in a swarm of announcements to confirm its absence from the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Microsoft is the latest company to drop out of the in-person portion of CES 2022 over COVID-19 concerns centered around the spread of the Omicron variant. The company confirmed the news in a statement to The Verge. “After reviewing the latest data on the rapidly evolving COVID environment, Microsoft has decided not to participate in-person at CES 2022.”

The unnamed spokesperson is the latest to deliver such news during a flurry of announcements from various companies confirming their absence from the Las Vegas portion of next year’s Consumer Electronics Show. We’ve heard from the likes of companies like Lenovo, Google, Intel, T-Mobile, Amazon, and Hisense who have all confirmed they’ll either have only a few people in-person at the show or no one at all.

At this point, it’s clearly safe to say the world’s largest technology conference won’t be so large anymore. Despite that, the Consumer Technology Association is promising to push on, with the official CES Twitter account still promising an in-person experience for CES 2022.

In addition, CES will rely on strict health guidelines every attendee will need to follow which involves wearing masks, being full vaccinated (a requirement that dictates whether you’ll even get your badge), and regular testing thanks to free test kits.

Many media outlets have decided not to send reporters to Las Vegas come January to cover the show, but there’s still a chance I’ll be hopping on a plane after the new year to see how banged up the show really is. I’ll keep you posted on Twitter as my plans evolve.

Until then, things appear to continue getting worse for CES which promised a triumphant return to form this year after 2021’s all-digital approach to the show. Now, it looks like that return will occur a year later in 2023. That is, so long as the spread of COVID-19 gets under control.