Microsoft CEO candidate Stephen Elop reportedly considering dropping Bing and selling Xbox business

By Justin Kahn
Nov 8, 2013
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  1. As we all know, Microsoft is on the hunt for a new CEO to replace Steve Ballmer before his retirement comes into effect within the next 10 months. Several names have been floating around as a replacement, two of which being...

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  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,319   +370

    That's interesting. Just a few years ago several industry analysts predicted that MS would break off many of their assets to become 3rd party subsidiaries in order to maintain focus on their primary products.
  3. yRaz

    yRaz TechSpot Booster Posts: 852   +73

    A few things I could understand, but Xbox? I don't own a console, but I understand that Xbox is a huge money maker.
  4. treeski

    treeski TechSpot Guru Posts: 867   +128

    Xbox is one of the few things that makes Microsoft look cool. That would be a huge mistake.
  5. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,283   +229

    Does this surprise anyone? A guy who has been up to his eyeballs in mobile manufacturing and marketing forever, suggesting the company moves harder into mobile and trims the "non-mobile" fat... It's almost a cliche.
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,746   +1,419

    I don't know the guy but if what you say is true, that does make sense.
  7. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,283   +229


    I think part of the problem is that it doesn't necessarily fit well with the current Microsoft agenda. There is a push for "convergence" in everything MS is doing, with the stated goal of being a devices and services company. While the Xbox seems like it would fit into the devices side of that equation, the Xbox itself would not lend well towards the convergence of software/OS thrust. At some point, the ideal is for everything to be cross-platform compatible and have identical interfacing. (Windows 8 and the adoption of the Windows Phone tile interface concept is a prime example). When you start trying to apply that kind of integration into the Xbox, it becomes less and less a console and more just another version of a PC platform, so it risks completely losing an identity. Even though it's really just a specialized and standardized PC hardware package at heart, Microsoft goes to great pains to distance themselves from that consumer perception. It's a big paradox, and it may be that splitting or selling off the Xbox portion of the company would be easier than trying to figure out how to fold it into the grand scheme. Plus, selling it off while that portion of the business is doing well would mean a massive potential payday.
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  8. I'm no expert, but this sounds like disaster. They all do the same thing-CUT this, cut that, instead of cutting half the VPs. Improve the business licensing, make sure (even if it means WIN 7.1) you have a firm hold on business desktop, laptop and servers. The commercial world is fickle, but commercial PCs aren't going away. Although I like the Surface, I don't think I would push this to the detriment of the OEMS. Keep it a high end device, and let your OEMS push volume.
    I would probably use WIN Phone on ARM tablets instead of RT.
  9. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,009   +681

    Amen to that. Those surface commercials with dancing, well-dressed, trendy 20 year olds aren't cutting it.
  10. Armand Winter

    Armand Winter Newcomer, in training

    I'm looking for Elop to become CEO and dismantle Microsoft from the inside... after all he did such a good job with Nokia
    Julio Franco likes this.
  11. This doesn't really sound good to me. Xbox is one of the only places where Microsoft has really succeeded with consumers, throwing it away would be counterproductive towards their goal of becoming a devices and services company, in my opinion.
     
  12. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,781   +700

    I fully agree with you there. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Elop takes the reigns.
  13. The new Xbox is already turning itself into more of an entertainment rig and less of a game machine. All these "great new features" that have been added, in the mind of this gamer, are nice and all but I don't need them. I would rather have a great game console that has outstanding graphics/video rendering and sound then whether or not I can get Netflix on it. I have a BR Player that has Netflix. There are TVs out that have Netflix. The Xbox is less gaming console than it's predecessors and more HTC box.
  14. "Does this surprise anyone? A guy who has been up to his eyeballs in mobile manufacturing and marketing forever, suggesting the company moves harder into mobile and trims the "non-mobile" fat... It's almost a cliche."

    Elop would reportedly considering ditching Microsoft's Bing search engine as well as selling off its Xbox business, something investors have suggested over the years. In fact, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is in agreement with the Elop strategy, Allen's asset manager, Paul Ghaffari, said that "there are some parts of that operation they should probably spin out, get rid of, to focus on the enterprise and focus on the cloud." Investment analysts say that Microsoft's financial earnings could be bolstered as much as 40% by 2015 with this strategy.

    ^You must of stopped reading before you got to this paragraph.
  15. This is why he would not make a good CEO for Microsoft. He has no idea what the industry is about. The future in not desktop, the day has come and gone. The future is XBOX. That is the most unique and sustainable product in the lineup.
  16. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,283   +229




    And you must have skimmed the article and missed this part?

    Point is, it's not surprising that he'd be fine with ditching the Xbox in favor of more mobile push, since it's what he is familiar with. Cloud integration is more and more mobile-centric, so again, it fits well within Elop's familiar bias.
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,746   +1,419

    Maybe they will sell XBOX to Valve. :)

    Not to mention that mobile strategy is what Balmer has been striving towards since the introduction of Windows 8. After all Windows Phone wasn't working, so they made a push in the desktop market. Now they have the opportunity to introduce a CEO that thinks mobile more than Balmer or Gates ever did.
    Vrmithrax likes this.
  18. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,667   +868

    Finally! Bing sucks. As for the xbox division, isnt that where a chunk of MS's profits are coming from at the moment?
  19. Like AMD selling ATI and focus on the cpus.
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,746   +1,419

    It took a long time, but I finally disagree with one of your comments. I see absolutely nothing wrong with Bing and never have. When I type a search, I always (always as in when I don't Google is no help either) get the result I'm looking for on the first page.
    JC713 likes this.
  21. andyo

    andyo Newcomer, in training

    AMD brought ATI to build APU's. A large part of the mobile marker now.
  22. Butch

    Butch TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 112

    Its funny that when I read the articles about this type of stuff about Microsoft it's all about Xbox and Bing. Why? I don't know. For those of you not in the real corporate world, remember that Microsoft's REAL bread and butter is Office, Operating Systems, Server OS's and databases (SQL). Oh, and not to mention that small little piece of business called Exchange Server. There are many more MS business apps I could list here but you get the idea. These are the areas the make the most money for MS. The Xbox stuff is tiny in comparison.
    Now, with that being said, I love the MS mobile hardware/OS. I have a Nokia 920, Surface Pro and an XBox and would not want to go back to iCrap or Android and would love to see MS continue to support and enhance these products. However, if I was being considered as CEO of MS I would really think about getting back to what made MS great.....software and operating systems. NOT hardware and games..
    I know many of you would disagree but when you really think about it and take out the emotional aspects, it really does make sense. I have a lot of money invested on MS/Nokia hardware but I am one of the few that agree with Elop's ideas.
  23. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    What a *****- the xbox platform is Microsofts cash cow. Everything else is slowly going downhill.
  24. Butch

    Butch TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 112

    Downhill? To where? To who? As databases go you have MS-SQL and ORACLE. SQL in by far the dominate player. Email? Exchange is in 99% of all mid to large companies IN THE WORLD. Not to mention Windows and Office... Are you kidding me? Xbox revenue in tiny compared to this..
  25. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TechSpot Booster Posts: 939   +94

    And you must have skimmed the article and missed this part?

    Point is, it's not surprising that he'd be fine with ditching the Xbox in favor of more mobile push, since it's what he is familiar with. Cloud integration is more and more mobile-centric, so again, it fits well within Elop's familiar bias.

    Again, you're forgetting his ideas are backed by Paul Allen and investment analysts. aka this idea didn't just come out of the blue. And you also have forgotten that M$ is already on the mobile train with Surface, ultrabooks, and Windows Phone as well as the Metro UI. When you look at the whole picture, his ideas make perfect sense. Bing is good, but its not Yahoo or Google good, and with everything M$ has on their plate right now, the chance that Elop can help turn that around is comforting to consumers AND investors. If you spread yourself out too much it can and will most likely backfire.


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