Ballmer, who is struggling to deliver any form of consumer innovation, has recently seen vendors dump both the Windows 7 platform for tablet devices and the Windows Mobile Phone offering for Android.
Even worse, is the fact that Ballmer has been asked to deliver the pre-show keynote, despite the last three Microsoft keynotes by Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer getting panned by the media for a lack of innovation.
Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA, gushed in his press release announcing the keynote: "As leader of one of the world's most innovative technology companies, a keynote address from Steve Ballmer is the perfect way to kick off the 2011 International CES. Microsoft's entrepreneurial spirit and drive have been major forces behind the success of the company and its impact on the global consumer technology industry. We look forward to hearing Steve's strategic vision for the future of Microsoft and our industry."
The headline on the ZDNet story in the USA said Ballmer lands keynote at CES 2011 but can he make it to January? This refers to speculation that Ballmer may be forced out in coming months from running the company's consumer division.
Microsoft's recent consumer failures, which include the "Courier" tablet project and the recent Kin phone have been compounded by the company being forced to replace the management of its mobile phone and consumer devices in May.