What's the Latest Development?

While you can't ignore the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, don't expect the release of any blockbuster products. As the nature of the technology industry changes, larger companies like Apple and Amazon prefer to host their own events, creating a captive audience for their own products. Microsoft, too, wants to go their own way; the company announced this year will be its last exhibiting products at the CES. Nobody know if the loss of big-name companies marks the beginning of the end for the trade show.

What's the Big Idea?

Trade shows like the CES were crucial in the days when suppliers relied on salespeople to market their products, but leaner times have resulted in many companies marketing their products directly to consumers. Technology companies also object to the timing of the conference. Were consumers to see big product announcements just after the holidays, they might feel companies were duping them to score a little extra cash. Microsoft's withdrawal may be related to the Show's effort to replace their long-held keynote speaking position.

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