Microsoft Joins GM, Google, Others In Canceling In-Person Participation At CES Due To Rising Omicron Threat

Microsoft Corp MSFT has joined a list of companies that are switching to virtual participation at the world’s largest annual Consumer Electronics Show, held in Las Vegas, due to the rising number of omicron cases.

What Happened: Microsoft said it has decided not to participate in-person at CES 2022 and will instead have a digital presence, The Verge reported citing the company spokesperson.

Microsoft joins legacy automaker General Motors Co GM, tech giant Google’s parent Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL and others in deciding to avoid in-person participation this year.

GM CEO Mary Barra was scheduled to reveal a new fully electric Silverado pickup at the event on January 5, and was slated as a keynote speaker at the event. The Detroit-based automaker is now sticking to the plan, albeit virtually. 

See Also: GM To Begin Deliveries Of Non-EPA Rated 329-Mile Range Electric Hummer In December: Report

Google's self-driving unit Waymo also announced on Thursday it will skip the CES in early January.

Several other companies including Meta Inc FB, Twitter Inc TWTR,  and Inc AMZN have cancelled their in-person presence at the event, Reuters reported last week.

CES 2022 will begin on Jan. 5 and end on Jan. 8. Last year's show did not have any in-person attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was “an all-digital experience.”

What Next?: The organizers for the annual show said in a twitter post that they are giving those who cannot attend in-person the option to experience the show digitally. 

The omicron variant of COVID-19 has sparked global fears due to its fast-spreading nature, leading to new travel and other restrictions in many countries. The omicron variant was first detected in Hong Kong last month and Southern Africa.

Price Action: Microsoft shares closed 0.45% higher at $334.69 a share on Thursday.

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Posted In: NewsTechCESConsumer Electronics ShowLas VegasMary BarraOmicron