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Steve Ballmer, the chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., will once again kick-off the Consumer Electronics Show in early 2012. Some web-sites are already reporting that Microsoft will unveil the first public beta of Windows 8 at the trade-show.

Chief executive of Microsoft traditionally addresses CES a little ahead of the show. Microsoft has used the CES keynote stage in previous years to unveil innovative new products, including the original Xbox, Avatar Kinect and more recently the Windows 8 itself. In fact, back in 2009, Microsoft used CES 2009 to launch the first public beta of its Windows 7 operating system, reports WinRumours web-site.

Citing "company insiders", for Microsoft, the CES 2012 will be dedicated to Windows 8, which means that Steve Ballmer will have to address the next-gen operating system during his keynote. Naturally, the company is likely to demonstrate working Windows 8-based devices, such as tablets.

Microsoft is expected to deliver a beta copy of the next-generation operating system at its Build developer conference in September this year, reports WinRumours.

Microsoft did not confirm any milestones or dates for Windows 8. Many expect the new OS to be released in mid-2012, other suggest that a more realistic date is late Q3 or even Q4.

“We are pleased to welcome Microsoft back to the CES keynote stage. From mobile to desktop to gaming and beyond, Microsoft has a significant impact on all aspects of the consumer technology industry, and Steve Ballmer's keynote is a great way to kick off the exciting 2012 International CES. We are excited to hear Microsoft’s latest initiatives and Ballmer’s vision for where consumer technology is heading," said Gary Shapiro, president and chief executive officer of CEA.

Ballmer’s preshow keynote address is slated for 6:30 p.m., Monday, January 9, in The Venetian. The CES 2012 is scheduled January 10-13, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows

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