Ballmer is no stranger to CES, he was part of the 2011 and 2010 Microsoft keynotes, but both of these only hinted at what was to come with Microsoft.
This is why the CES 2012 keynote will be so important – we know that Windows 8 is coming but we need him to explain a lot more about the operating system and what to expect from the software which is said to bridge the gab between computers and mobile devices, touchscreen and keyboards.
"We are pleased to welcome Microsoft back to the CES keynote stage," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA.
"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."
CES 2012 is set to kick off 2 January 2012 and will feature more than 2,700 tech companies showing of their wares – and many more journalists struggling with the balance of reporting on the show night life of Las Vegas… we, er, assume.
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Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.