The Consumer Electronics Show is usually a bellwether gathering, the first major show opening the year for the event industry. Hopes were high it could come back strong in-person in a few weeks after its first-ever virtual show in 2021. But the Omicron variant had other plans.
Microsoft Corp said on Friday it will not participate in person at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 in Las Vegas, joining a list of companies opting not to have a physical presence at next month’s event on concerns over the rapid spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
The U.S. software giant added that it will continue to participate at CES remotely, according to an emailed statement. The Verge was the first to report on Friday that Microsoft will not participate physically AT CES.
Several other companies including U.S. automaker General Motors Co, Alphabet Inc.’s Google and its self-driving auto-technology company Waymo, Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc, Twitter Inc, Lenovo Group, AT&T Inc and Amazon.com Inc dropped in-person attendance plans earlier this week.
CES officials on Thursday said the event will still be held in person Jan. 5-8 with “strong safety measures in place,” which include vaccination requirements, masking and availability of COVID-19 tests.
(Reporting by Vishal Vivek in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler and Hugh Lawson)