At the Re/code conference in San Francisco, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella assured that the Xbox and Bing business units were not for sale. Rumors from last year indicated that several board members and investors were open to spinning off the entities to other companies.
Nadella said that Bing is "a lot more than Bing.com," and that there was a lot of potential to integrate the search engine's capabilities in future devices. We are already seeing this to a certain extent with Cortana, Microsoft's intelligent personal assistant that utilises Bing to fetch results.
Earlier last month, Microsoft rolled out a Smart Search update to Windows 8.1, through which you can ask questions like, "how do I download a game?" and get relevant results. Microsoft also added new functionality to Bing.com last month that allows you to get personalized updates based on your interests. Nadella likened Bing's 30 percent market share to that of the iPhone, a figure which includes market share from both Bing.coma and Yahoo's services.
Along with Bing, Microsoft is also redoubling its efforts on the Xbox One, announcing that a new Kinect-less version is set to debut next month. In addition to new hardware, the Redmond-based organisation is set to make a major push into original programming and is set to launch new TV shows that will be exclusive to the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and other Microsoft devices.
Nadella said that while Microsoft is gravitating to a "mobile and cloud first" strategy, developing new hardware is key to reaching that goal. "It (hardware) is the thing that is really going to power all the experiences on all the devices today and tomorrow. In order to be in the hunt for those experiences, and get it right, you do need to from time to time build devices, so you don't leave anything to chance."
As such, Nadella said that Microsoft is working on building the next big thing. "We have to build something big. If, along the way, we have to buy things, that's fine. But we have to build something big. [If] we build, let's say, three big things — three and a half, if you add Xbox into it – it's time for us to build the next big thing."
What do you think of Nadella's statements? Are you glad that Microsoft is sticking by Xbox and Bing? Let us know in the comments below.