Following it’s January 9th keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft is planning to nearly completely leave the year Las Vegas trade show.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Communications, Frank Shaw:

“After thinking about questions like these, we have decided that this coming January will be our last keynote presentation and booth at CES. We’ll continue to participate in CES as a great place to connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries, but we won’t have a keynote or booth after this year because our product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing.

As we look at all of the new ways we tell our consumer stories – from product momentum disclosures, to exciting events like our Big Windows Phone, to a range of consumer connection points like Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft.com and our retail stores – it feels like the right time to make this transition.”

While the timing of this announcement clearly seems to be interesting by anyone’s analysis, I find it especially strange that Microsoft choose to make the announcement during what Aaron Sorkin would clearly identify as a “Take Out The Trash” kinda day: a day when the news cycle has slowed enough to have an ability to somewhat manage your message and more importantly, a time when interest by the general public is particularly low. There’s obvious reasons like, not wanting this announcement to trigger a Microsoft Death Watch storm of articles, but I get the feeling they’re attempting to put a damper on expectations going into this year’s keynote.