Steve Ballmer makes symbolic handoff of CES to Qualcomm

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We knew Microsoft was out of the Consumer Electronics Show in 2013 and going forward. The company decided that, like Apple, it could do better on its own. However, Steve Ballmer decided to make a cameo appearance tonight on the CES stage during Paul Jacobs’ keynote address.

It was a handoff from old technology to new, but with a bridge in between as the Microsoft CEO and Qualcomm chief showed off their respective Windows Phone handsets (both Nokia Lumia 920’s) in an effort to demonstrate how the two technologies meet.

The new Snapdragon chips are powering many of today’s mobile devices, including Windows Phone 8 handsets. Steve Ballmer spent about five minutes with Jacobs talking up the technology, but left as quickly as he appeared, marking what is likely the end of an era — Microsoft is now gone from the world’s biggest showcase and the torch has been passed to a new generation.