The company's CEO Steve Ballmer has also announced that a further 10,000 apps were added to the Windows 8 app store over the past month and that downloads to date have already hit 100,000. Speaking at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Ballmer revealed the figures as part of a stage-managed stunt which saw him gatecrash the event's keynote speech, which was being given by Qualcomm's CEO Paul Jacobs. Ballmer and Jacobs also took the opportunity to discuss Microsoft devices that run with Qualcomm chips and revealed that Windows Phone sales were five times higher during the Christmas holiday period than they had been at the same period in 2011.
Although billed as the world's most important technology show, Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook, arguably the world's most important technology companies, never attend CES. This year Microsoft officially joined this list of absentees, having announced last year that 2012 would be the company's final appearance and final keynote speech at the event. However, despite its absence, Microsoft and Windows 8 technology is one of the main focuses of the event with everything from tabletop computers from Lenovo and 3M, tablets from Asus and Acer and convertible notebook computers from a host of manufacturers being launched that take full advantage of Microsoft's latest operating system in order to combine touch and gesture controls with more traditional forms of input such as typing and track pads.