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Microsoft is breaking up with the Consumer Electronics Show. Balmer

The tech giant has announced via a company blog that this year’s keynote and exhibit booth will be its last at the show – a notable departure, since the company’s keynote has long been the unofficial kickoff to CES.

“We have decided that this coming January will be our last keynote presentation and booth at CES,” said Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s vice president of corporate communications. “We’ll continue to participate in CES as a great place to connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries, but we won’t have a keynote or booth after this year because our product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing.”

It’s hardly a devastating blow to the show, which still has the support of television manufacturers and more, but combined with Apple’s boycotting of CES, Microsoft’s decision to bow out will create a notable hole in the computer/tablet space.