I saw Microsoft's massive booth at CES and a giant Bing sign so, optimistically, I went on over to talk with them while our friends from WMExperts hit up the devices. The Bing folks were great, but had no specific knowledge about Bing for iPhone other than there was an app and it did stuff but was kinda beta outside the US. Fair enough. So I headed over to the main reception and asked if there was anyone there from the Microsoft iPhone team. And that's when it got funny. "What iPhone team?"
Eventually they sent me over to the Windows Phone counter, who just laughed at me and got annoyed that I was sent there.
Why am I posting this? Microsoft is one of, if not still the, biggest software maker in the world. Whether they offer a competing mobile platform or not, there are probably approaching 70 million iPhones on the market, and Microsoft provides Exchange ActiveSync, and apps like SeaDragon (okay, Microsoft Labs, but still), and Bing (which they'd like to be a big deal). That there was no one from Microsoft's iPhone team at Macworld last year was silly but understandable. That there's no one here at CES 2010 this year -- or at least if there is, they're not at all discoverable -- is just dumb.
If you're not going to do integrated offerings, if you're going to be the "network nervous system", if you're going to offer software and services for other popular platforms -- show up and evangelize them. If you want to compete against Google and be taken seriously, if you're going to be in the game -- have some players show up.