Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that his 2012 keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) would be his last. But Ballmer made a surprise appearance Monday during Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs' speech at the 2013 CES, and by some reports, stole the show.
The Washington Post's Hayley Tsukayama reported, "After declaring last year would be its final turn in the central role at the International Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft still made a surprise appearance on the keynote stage Monday. Chief executive Steve Ballmer joined in the keynote of Qualcomm chief executive Paul Jacobs to talk about the continuing mobile revolution. Qualcomm, for those who aren’t familiar with it, produces the chipsets of a vast array of mobile devices."
All Things D's Mike Isaac observed, "The Microsoft CEO couldn’t stay away from the evening’s big event, after leading the charge for the past 12 years. About 20 minutes into the event, Jacobs brought Ballmer onstage to talk about all the 'cool stuff' Microsoft is doing, running on Qualcomm’s chipsets. But despite being onstage for only about five minutes, Ballmer stole the show. It turned into a pitch for Microsoft, as the CEO showed off a slew of smartphones running Windows Phone software and the latest tablets running Windows 8."
According to VentureBeat's Devindra Hardawar, "Ballmer showed off new Windows 8-powered computers relying on Qualcomm processors, like the Samsung Ativ and a Dell XPS notebook. He also showed off the Lumia 920 and HTC Windows Phone 8X smartphones. Mostly, Ballmer lent an air of legitimacy and energy to Jacobs’ keynote, which got off to a slow start thanks to a loud Gangnam Style intro and was followed up by bad actors pretending to be mobile-empowered teens."
Windows IT Pro's Paul Thurrott added, "Ballmer also addressed Windows 8’s slow start, which the firm blames internally on PC makers being slow to market with their promised devices. He says that there are now four times as many Windows 8/Windows RT tablets available as there were at the launch in late October, and that each are perfectly suitable for both 'work and play.'"