Microsoft announced yesterday that it has canceled its plans to have a physical presence at CES 2022 in January. “After reviewing the latest data on the rapidly evolving COVID environment, Microsoft has decided not to participate in-person at CES 2022,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement to The Verge.
Rising COVID-19 cases in the US have pushed many other tech companies including Intel, Amazon, Google, Twitter, and Facebook to also pull out from the annual trade show. However, CES 2022 is still happening in Las Vegas on January 5-8, and the Consumer Technology Association wants to reassure participants that there will be strong safety measures in place. All visitors will need to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, and masks will be required indoors in addition to increased social distancing measures.
"Over 2200 companies are confirmed to participate in person at CES 2022 in Las Vegas, the CTA said yesterday. "Our focus remains on convening the tech industry and giving those who cannot attend in person the ability to experience the magic of CES digitally,” the CTA said yesterday.
Since the unanticipated cancellation of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona back in February 2020, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has pretty much decimated the trade show industry. CES 2022 coming back to Las Vegas next month was an early sign of things getting back to normal, but it remains to be seen if other major companies will also pull out from the event. As of yesterday, over 42 exhibitors had canceled their physical presence at CES 2022.