The second best false Microsoft meme is that the company will break off and sell its Xbox business. Why would it do that? It isn’t clear. It’s also not happening. At all.
This morning, in a company-wide email that was also published online, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella detailed his strategy for the company. Despite the copy going through what appears to have been too many drafts at the hands of failed writers, it contained a worthy bit on Xbox:
So let’s say it again, this time with gusto: Microsoft is not selling Xbox. Or Bing, for that matter, but let’s not refute all the bullshit before the morning traffic wears off.
Nadella has said this before, of course, making his shout-out less surprising than the anti-success of the Maginot Line.
The other side of the argument is more interesting, perhaps. Why would Microsoft get rid of Xbox? During the Great CEO Shuffle, it was reported by Bloomberg that then-Nokia’s Stephen Elop was willing to sell off Xbox if he was afforded the crown:
Elop would be prepared to sell or shut down major businesses to sharpen the company’s focus, the people said. He would consider ending Microsoft’s costly effort to take on Google with its Bing search engine, and would also consider selling healthy businesses such as the Xbox game console if he determined they weren’t critical to the company’s strategy, the people said.
Why is that horse pucky? Xbox is part of Microsoft’s larger strategy, given that it was recently brought into the Windows orbit with the release of the Xbox One console. So that argument is out the window.
Microsoft is not selling Xbox. It won’t sell off a piece of its larger Windows strategy. The company talks a big game about supporting other platforms — which is correct — but at the same time it would vastly prefer that Windows regain its former status as the preeminent metal in the platform space. Something to keep in mind.
Let us never speak of this again.