Phil Spencer: Microsoft's New CEO Supports Xbox One

By Pete Haas 10 months ago discussion comments
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Some are speculating that new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will move the company away from producing hardware such as the Xbox One. However, head of Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer says that Nadella is very favorable toward the gaming division.



In another tweet, Spencer mentions that he thinks that Satya is a "good leader and good guy." He also added that Microsoft "understands Xbox is a very important consumer brand for us."

Sascha Segan at PCMag makes that case that Nadella will make Microsoft look more like Google than Apple in the coming years. As the former head of the Cloud and Enterprise group, he's more interested in business software than consumer hardware like Xbox. He points at Nadella's first letter to Microsoft employees as proof.

"This is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft. Make no mistake, we are headed for greater places as technology evolves and we evolve with and ahead of it. Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world," Nadella said in the letter.

Segan believes that Nadella will ultimately spin off Xbox as an independent company. He further argues that Microsoft will shed PC hardware business like keyboards and mice.

Still, Nadella's mission statement is far from specific. You can read it as a declaration of focus on mobile devices and software if you'd like. There's plenty of ammo for the counter-argument, though. Take this paragraph from the letter:
I believe over the next decade computing will become even more ubiquitous and intelligence will become ambient. The coevolution of software and new hardware form factors will intermediate and digitize many of the things we do and experience in business, life and our world. This will be made possible by an ever-growing network of connected devices, incredible computing capacity from the cloud, insights from big data, and intelligence from machine learning.

Xbox One's integration with smartphones and tablets certainly fits Nadella's visions of "an ever-growing network of connected devices." It also leverages several Microsoft software products like Skype, Bing and Internet Explorer. What's more, "computing capacity from the cloud" was a prime selling point for the XB1. Microsoft argued in the past that the cloud will make the console more powerful over time. You can argue that the Xbox One fits Nadella's vision for the company quite well.

Another reason people were expecting Microsoft to get rid of the Xbox division was Stephen Elop. Elop, a former Nokia executive, will be joining Microsoft soon to oversee all devices, including Xbox, Surface and Windows Phone. When Elop was being considered for the CEO, he suggested he would sell off the Xbox division to focus the company. However, Spencer isn't worried about him, either.


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