The oh-so-enchanting Steve Ballmer keynote: Gone. The sprawling, seemingly never-ending Microsoft product pavillion: Gone. The army of Microsoft marketing flacks, storming CES en masse with hive-like precision: Gone, gone, gone.

Sure, Microsoft may not be appearing at CES 2013 as a marquee exhibitor, but its presence will still loom large in Las Vegas once the show begins. Windows 8 tablets, PCs, laptops, and peripherals will be hard to avoid on the noisy tradeshow floor. In fact, the new OS might even gain some swagger, as PC makers are expected to show off Windows 8 gear with cutting-edge features such as Kinect-like gesture control and voice command navigation.

Windows8_display_PC_tablet

At past CES events, laptops and desktops have been overshadowed by glitzier gadgets like HDTVs and connected appliances. But this year, as Windows finds its way into tablets, hybrids, and living room all-in-ones, you can bet your mouse pad that various PCs—in all their new, fancy incarnations—will become rock star-caliber attractions.

Click here to read the complete article on PCWorld.com.