With Steve Ballmer on the way out as CEO of Microsoft, there have been rumblings of Stephen Elop, the former CEO of Nokia being one of the people to take the mantle.
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On top of that, Bloomberg has reported that Elop would attempt to get the company back on track. According to people familiar with the former Nokia CEO’s approach, Elop would be looking to lop off Microsoft’s Bing search engine and possibly sell off the Xbox brand if they were deemed nonessential to Microsoft’s success.
While the Xbox One is coming out shortly and things actually picked up in the services (Xbox Live, etc.) department, Xbox hasn’t been the most profitable department under Microsoft’s umbrella. The same was said about Sony’s Entertainment Department which includes the PlayStation brand.
The video games market is one that changes often and it can take some time for a console to turn a profit, take the top spot, licensing, managing developer studios, advertising, and regain the top spot if it’s lost. All of that would need to be done in while dealing the different fan segments.
A console would need to do that all in its lifetime. The Xbox brand has its fan base and it’s looking at actually having more first party material, but the Xbox brand is part of a much larger machine.
That’s more of a gamble compared focusing just on developing operating systems, emerging technology, and mobile technology. All of these are things that will reach an extremely large market. When money starts to leak in an area—even if the company is making a good chunk elsewhere—a company will look to see what can be sawed off.
That brings us to Xbox and Bing. The Xbox and PlayStation brands are in different position than Nintendo or what Sega would’ve been in if it were still in the console game. The bulk of Nintendo is gaming. The company doesn’t have itself spread out across a lot of different technology divisions. It doesn’t make TVs, smartphones, wearable tech, and it’s not feuding with other tech companies in court on a normal basis. Nintendo focuses on games and consoles.
The Xbox brand getting shaved off talk falls in “If” territory. If Elop is hired, he might ship off the Xbox brand. Do you see Xbox getting dropped if Stephen Elop comes in? Let us know below.