Boy, if you did not know any better, you would think it is the International Downplay Week. Ford’s Alan Mulally tried to talk down speculation that suggested he was leading the race to become Microsoft CEO, and now Redmond itself is toning down its CES 2014 plans.

But what Alan Mulally said is somewhat understandable it seems that Microsoft really is not all too keen on attending these consumer exhibitions.

In other words, while Microsoft will be participating in next year’s event in Las Vegas, the company is more interested in meeting with partners, as opposed to having a keynote address or an exhibit booth on the show floor.

Gary Shapiro, the president of the Consumer Electronics Association trade group that owns the Consumer Electronics Show was pretty excited yesterday when he let out that Microsoft was planning a big return to the trade show. Microsoft, however, has been quick to give its appearance a lower profile.

The technology titan gave a statement to The Verge, saying:

“We remain good partners with CEA, and as we did last year have reserved a substantial set of rooms for meetings with partners.”

The statement is obviously referring to January this year, where for the first time Microsoft was not as active as it has been in the years past. CEO Steve Ballmer, however, made a surprise appearance at CES 2013 during the Qualcomm press conference.

In any case, Microsoft will surely have some things to show off to partners and the press in the meetings room next year. Word is that a LTE version of the second generation Surface should be ready by then.

And of course, the widely rumored Surface Mini is also slated for early next year.

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