Microsoft is the latest company to drop a physical presence at CES, as the increased prevalence of COVID-19 spooks exhibitors. It joins a growing list of major companies ditching the world’s largest technology show.
“After reviewing the latest data on the rapidly evolving COVID environment, Microsoft has decided not to participate in-person at CES 2022,” a company spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement. (The spokesperson declined to give their name because that’s how Microsoft prefers to announce event status changes.) Instead, the company will have a digital presence for both the Microsoft Partner Innovation Experience and Automotive Press Kit.
Microsoft was a featured exhibitor at the technology conference, and is now the latest to say it will not attend. Lenovo, T-Mobile, Amazon, the company formerly known as Facebook, GM, Intel, Twitter and Google have all pulled out, citing COVID-19 fears. The disease has been rapidly rising in prevalence again in the U.S., as a new variant sweeps through the population.
Yesterday, CES organizers insisted the event would go on regardless, with required proof of vaccination, masks, and free rapid tests. On Wednesday, the Consumer Technology Association, which organizes the event, said 42 exhibitors have canceled.