Microsoft says 2012 CES tech show will be its last

NEW YORK (AP) ? Microsoft is deflating the largest trade show in the Americas, saying next month’s International Consumer Electronics Show will be the last show in which it has a booth or the CEO delivers the customary kick-off speech.

The show will be held Jan. 9-12 in Las Vegas. Microsoft Corp. has been one of the biggest U.S. participants in the event, which gathered nearly 150,000 people this year.

Microsoft says it will continue to use CES as a place to connect to customers, but it won’t have a booth because its product milestones don’t align with the show’s January timing.

It’s following in the footsteps of Apple, which doesn’t participate in trade shows at all after pulling out of Macworld in 2010. Apple prefers to organize its own events when suitable.