As the 2013 International CES (no longer officially the "Consumer Electronics Show") winds down in Las Vegas, a few observations.
- The show broke records in terms of show floor space--1.9 million square feet-- and attendance--150,000 people. The show felt much more crowded than it did last year. Long lines, very crowded show floor, etc.
- Noticeable was the continued absence of Apple and the absence on the show floor this year of an official Microsoft booth(s), this after Balmer announced Microsoft's withdrawal from the show last year. The official absence of both Apple and Microsoft felt like there were a couple of huge holes in the show. Given the empty conceptual space, if you will, the view provided--however broad and deep--has important limitations, chief among them is that it's not possible to leave the show with a reasonably complete picture of the "space."
- At the same time, Microsoft did have a substantial presence, but one had to look for it in the products of Microsoft's partners in the smartphone, PC, tablet, and other verticals.
- DRM remains alive and well in the TV / video / Blu-ray / Xbox / mobile space. The major smart TV vendors (LG, Samsung and then Panasonic, Sony, and may Sharp) remain committed to controlling video content, especially streaming movies, TV shows, and the like.