Dreaming of Elop - Taking the safe route is the most dangerous.

Since Steve Ballmer declared his retirement from Microsoft as CEO, speculations on who will be the next big boss have been tossed around. One of the top candidates who appears on every list is the former CEO of Nokia, Stephen Elop; he supposedly had the heart to run Microsoft, but recent information that we reported on this morning has shown that he may do more damage than good.

Bloomberg had reported that Stephen Elop would decide to take Microsoft off the current path they are on and put the company’s main focus on Office. It would be a high priority for Elop to deliver the world known Office suite to a variety of devices, including those which run iOS and Android.

Microsoft has been using Office to help drive sales of its own Surface tablets and its Windows Phone operating system, but Elop wants to kill that strategy and focus on making Office available more globally. For a company that has spent so much time creating its own software division – Elop’s decision seems akin to dropping the ball.

Microsoft has been a company primarily focused on software for over twenty years, and have fought valiantly into the world of hardware. Years ago, our only notion of major Microsoft hardware was the Zune and Xbox (Oh, and that ergonomic keyboard, who can forget that). Today, we can look at the collection of hardware including Surface, and truly see how far the company has come. Is Microsoft really willing to let all that effort die?

Microsoft Hardware

A quote by an anonymous individual, once said: “There are always two choices. Two paths to take. One is easy. And its only reward is that it’s easy.” Retreating from the world of hardware and focusing on what was once the beating heart of Microsoft, is a safer bet for now, but will it stand up in the future?

There is no doubt that Microsoft could survive on just software, but will they stand tall in the future next to those who choose to go father? Integrated systems are becoming more and more important and when a company develops both the software and hardware, we are likely to see better results.

The Surface represented a strong communication between Microsoft and set out to show what the company had to offer. If the future is the tie between hardware and software, where will Microsoft fall? Will Office be enough of a seller in fifty years? It is possible that those purchasing hardware will begin to prefer the integrated solutions and Office falls the way of IBM’s Lotus notes (does anyone born in the 1990s even know what that is)?

While the above may make Microsoft fans cringe, the plans to focus on Office are nowhere as dramatic as his other intentions. Elop would be “prepared to sell or shut down major businesses to sharpen the company’s focus”. What would be on the chopping block you ask? Major businesses include Bing and Xbox.

Imagine that, Elop taking the CEO position at Microsoft then killing off Bing and selling Xbox to a third party. An analyst from Nomura Holdings, Rick Sherlund, stated that if the company did sell of Bing and Xbox, “it could lift fiscal 2015 earnings by 40 percent”.

It doesn’t take much to look at a corporation and understand that a world of culture truly helps to define success. When we consider brand loyalty, Xbox One may not look the strongest next to Sony’s PlayStation 4 as of now, but it is one of the strongest bonds Microsoft has with its consumers.

It is not difficult to see what Elop has pictured, the idea that Microsoft is trying to balance too many projects at once could lead to a downfall, but Microsoft is no small company. Despite turbulence, many of Microsoft’s projects do hit a level of accomplishment that the company can be proud of. Putting all of the corporation’s eggs in one basket just isn’t forward thinking enough.

There is an idea that if someone cheats in a relationship to be with you, they might turn around and end up cheating on you also. While it might be up for debate, Elop didn’t exactly part Nokia on the world’s most positive terms of endearment. A CEO should have a heart for the company he runs, and I don’t think the world saw that with Stephen Elop at Nokia.

I must admit that up until today, Stephen Elop was my number one choice as a replacement for Steve Ballmer, but as information cooks up, it becomes evident that the passion Ballmer had for Microsoft will never be replaced.

Bloomberg’s reports on Elop’s possible decisions may still edge on the world of rumor territory, but the consistency of reporting for one of the world’s most prominent business sources doesn’t deal cards in favor of Stephen Elop.

When Elop left Nokia, he cut the company into pieces and cut 40,000 jobs. There are quite a few choices for replacing Steve Ballmer, but in the process of hiring the next great visionary leader, let’s not let a wolf in sheep’s clothing slip in.

“Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.”– Thomas J. Watson, former chairman and CEO of IBM.

Stephen Elop – a future for Microsoft or the butcher of Microsoft’s future? You decide.

Frank Shaw, spokesman for Microsoft, commented about the rumor: “We appreciate Bloomberg’s foray into fiction and look forward to future episodes". And Nokia did not comment.

  • Decisions are tough as is running a corporation. While Bing is a fantastic service and the Xbox is in many ways a success, we shouldn't let our emotional attachments to them drive business decisions. The fact is, neither service really fit in with Microsoft. If these rumors about Elop's possible choices are accurate...and that's a big if, since I'm not putting too much weight into them yet...then it's just him being blunt about Redmond and their future. He did the same with Nokia and if it happens to Microsoft, it's no different a strategy. I'd be shocked if there wasn't one single candidate for Microsoft's CEO position "mulling" the same hard decisions that Elop is supposedly contemplating. And because of that, I find a lot of this hypothetical browbeating presumptuous and inadequate. 
  • I see what you did there with "mulling". :P
  • Daniel, but then what happens to the three screen vision? Xbox One then is DOA? Makes me worry about even considering an Xbox one anymore if it doesn't have MS's muscle to back it anymore.
  • Xbox wouldn't be DOA, it would be spun off as a separate company, run by the same people who are probably running it now.
  • No doubt without the financial backing they currently have with Microsoft. Just wouldn't be the same. Unless they were sold to a giant, Xbox would never be the same.
  • Xbox and Bing work really well with Microsoft's portfolio of products and services. Microsoft has invested a ton of money developing and promoting both of them over the past few years, money they would not get back by selling them off at this time--right when both are really starting to make headway (Xbox 360 marketshare is > Xbox marketshare; Bing is increasing slowly but surely and is a major component of Windows 8, as well as their ticket to more data in the sense of outsourcing it to Facebook and Yahoo). I am not in the running for new CEO, but if I were I'd double down on the "One Microsoft" strategy. I'd beef up Xbox support for Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT and market the heck out of it. I'd market Windows Phone and tablets even more so as the only mobile devices that can run Ofice. Microsoft is at an interesting fork in the road. They can either continue putting their killer applications on competitors' products (Office, Skype, Xbox to iOS and Android), or they can putt back and say 'You want this stuff? Buya Windows product'. It's risky but it could also lead them back to domination. Xbox in particular is the one brand they have that is 'cool', so to speak (though they tarnished that image a bit this year with their mishandling of the Xbox One announcement). Giving that up will simply push Microsoft toward the IBM route, meaning that in 10 years time they'll be a niche company turning a profit but a company that otherwise no one really cares about.
  • This!
  • Too many of the "I want me returns yesterday" people don't really understand how to build something and don't understand this vision.
  • This!
  • +920 I´m with you on this issue. 
  • I don't see how Xbox One would survice, since it relies on Bing, MS Hypervisor, Windows, and MS Development Tools. No company would buy the brand, because they would have to pay for Microsoft software to acutally be able to make it run...
  • IF X-Box is not a part of Microsoft, it is dead.  It can not compete with Playstation on the basis of gaming alone.  I was just getting excited about X-Box given the One's centralized role in the living room replacing the cable box.  The recent commercials showing how it will serve as our Jetson's tv, video phone, quick-reference computer, etc., and multitask while doing these things, is showing true synergies finally being realized.  Bing is also a key part of this, in some repsects the foundation of the UX convergence across the three OSes. Seperating these two businesses from the core only makes sense from the short-term perspective of a securities analyst like Sherlund.  Unfortunately, so many CEOs of public companies have no choice but to dance to the quarterly tune of the securities analyst if they wish to keep their job.  This is a situation where only a large shareholder can enforce a vision of the future.  And luckily, MSFT still has one.  It's going to be up to Mr. Gates to embrace this "one screen" vision and tell all the other forces at work here to fuck off.  He needs to have the nads to say '...this is the strategy.  It's a good one.  And we're sticking with it until we acheive our vision.  If you don't like it, sell your shares."  Then he can buy more of them back at ever cheaper prices, increasing his power to the point where there is clearly no way but his way. The shareholders who will remain will be fully on-board with the bold vision and will reap imense reward over the long-term.  The stock is finaly back to a level it has not been since circa 2000.  This is the result of the market seeing where MSFT is headed.  For the first time in a long time, it looks like MSFT has a role to play somewhere besides the bowels of the enterprise.
  • But I think it would same effect as the burning platfrm memo, the popularity and sales would continuously go down and if currently they are not able to make money out of it despite their popularity how can a seperately spun of company do that. It is a complex market segment and extremely difficult to make money but xbox is still eveloving, it is with xbox one that they have moved ahead from just a gaming console to a home entertainment device eventually they should be able to monetize much more, MS wants to conquer entire home entertainment and make its way to all devices we own that is forward looking and with the cash it has got there is nothing wrong in trying there are still half way down the path they are yet to bind ppl to the ecosystem and that might still take some time, probably by windows 9 & WP9 which is probably the time when both will be unified and work in tandem with all issues ironed out, bing will have a major role to play and xbox too. and being safe wasnt what MS was doing till a couple of years back, earning money and PCs and office and ignoring tablet revolution. I dont think surface will make money in any future recent times and elop will kill that too?  
  • Three screens (computer, tablet, phone)
  • I agree, if only Microsoft or elop would release a statement commenting on this. If it’s the case that elop feels this way it will be detrimental to Microsoft. And if Microsoft as a company see's this as a possible hick up in the way Microsoft runs its business, I’m sure they will or should release a statement to squash such a heinous statement.
  • Do you really believe other candidates for the same position aren't thinking over the same decisions? They'd be crazy not to. All options have to be on the table, no? I don't' get why any of this is controversial at all. 
  • Bing is the heart of everything MS right now. I feel if integrated correctly its a force to be reckoned with, which is why Google is scrambling to stay ahead of the game. Xbox has so much potential if that to is integrated correctly. Had they done so already even if half of the Xbox users grabbed a WP or W8/RT tab it could be a nice impact.
  • Bing might be integrated into everything MS now. But outside of the USA its functionality sucks. Therefore I think it wouldn't be that bad to get rid of it. Doesn't look like MS is even trying to give Bing in other countries even half the features than in the USA.   So good riddance Bing, nobody will miss you.
  • What I don't get is why anyone would think getting rid of Bing and Xbox are even remotely options that are on the table.  
  • Because Bing constantly loses money has little chance of catching up to Google?
  • lose money or lose an entire market segment to Google? I'd take the former anyday.
  • +1
  • +1
  • How does Bing lose money? Just because it doesn't work well outta the country doesn't mean it isn't worth it in the USA. Bing and Xbox makes wp8 and windows 8 functional and complete.
  • Don't get me wrong, but I am economist on UE and South America. If Elop really want to follow this road, Windows Phone is one of the branches that is less profitable. I believe if someone followed this road (for instance Ballmer)..Windows Phone would be the first cut, suffer the first axe, since in 3 year NEVER EVER get near close the 5% of the marketshare. Sorry but your arguments are completely invalid and wrong Rubino. If really looking for cut costs, and made it profitable, I would first sell to any OEM the Windows Phone development, since it never ever get some profits..Not even now. Sorry, but your arguments defending this way of thinking, it is the same of many on Nokia that wish to see Android run on it...  
  • +520
    +920 Totally the truth. Windows Phone was and is the the main problem of the Microsoft these years. Microsoft spent thousands of millions of dollars on it, developing, buying apps and devs, and never got even close to 5%...Really thinking in this stupid way, Windows Phone deserve the first axe...
  • I couldn't agree more!
  • I would give you a +2520, but I haven't bought such a device yet hahahaa Needless to say I totally agree with you, Tatiana, and while I like Daniel's reviews on apps, I must admit that when it comes to such debates like this, I always find his arguments to be nonsense. Don't get me wrong, Daniel, I like you and you're a good journalist... most of the time, but it seems to me you NEVER really take your time to analyse your arguments in a debate. Cheers from Chile, Tatiana!
  • I agree, WP is the biggest money sucker of them all with hardly anything to show in terms of market penetration after spending millions on Marketing and platform support. Why would you want to axe Bing and Xbox ahead of WP? I'd been a loyal WP fan since WP 7 days, but finally I admit that MS completely bungled up this Smart phone race, they should just give up if they can't break 10% barrier by 2014. I have a 920 now and I owned 4 different iPhones before, never really liked Android from the beginning. But lately I started having a closer look at Android (GS 4) and I'm really impressed with the kind of things you can do with a Android, both iPhone and WP can only dream of. That's why it has 82% market share. No matter what the critics say about the security and ugliness of Android, it continues to gain more market share and remains the most productive mobile platform for users. It's akin to Windows of 90's which continued gain market share, most productive OS  in spite of all the security problems and ugly UI (compared to Mac OS at least). Part of the problem with WP is with the leadership and lack of urgency within the team. If they really want to turn it around, they should start by firing Joe Belfiore, although I like the guy's quirky nature, he's no leader that can make things happen and aggressively put his foot down to deliver a product that's well above rest in the market. WP as a platform is always a year or two behind even compared to iOS.
  • Hate to admit it but I would think WP would be the first to go. As much as we love it 4% after 3 years ain't cutting it. But then again overall MS isn't losing money though..
  • +920 I´m with you on this issue. 
    My point exactely! Thank you!
  • Is Xbox loosing as much money as Bing? And how much is Bing loosing? Its on every wp and didn't I read on wpc that iPhones will be using Bing? Maybe wrong
  • So is there any reason for me ( or really anyone at all ) to pick up a 1520 or other windows phone. Is it getting the axe next? And what about the whole " family of devices powered by a service enabled shell" which I'm assuming bing and Xbox would have been pretty important to.
  • Didn't people believe the same thing when Google first challenged Yahoo?  Google eventually made something better and crushed Yahoo.  
  • But I think it would same effect as the burning platfrm memo, the popularity and sales would continuously go down and if currently they are not able to make money out of it despite their popularity how can a seperately spun of company do that. It is a complex market segment and extremely difficult to make money but xbox is still eveloving, it is with xbox one that they have moved ahead from just a gaming console to a home entertainment device eventually they should be able to monetize much more, MS wants to conquer entire home entertainment and make its way to all devices we own that is forward looking and with the cash it has got there is nothing wrong in trying there are still half way down the path they are yet to bind ppl to the ecosystem and that might still take some time, probably by windows 9 & WP9 which is probably the time when both will be unified and work in tandem with all issues ironed out, bing will have a major role to play and xbox too. and being safe wasnt what MS was doing till a couple of years back, earning money and PCs and office and ignoring tablet revolution. I dont think surface will make money in any future recent times and elop will kill that too?  
    Bing is much much far from google as it is being popularized only in US, even before they try to expand it, they want to kill it?
  • Google didn't become google overnight. They made tough, bold decisions and were willing to take on the likes of IPhone. Consider what google would be right now if they just stuck to their "Office" (Google search) product. Why don't you Ask Jeeves?
  • @Daniel So you quit just because your search engine isn't the top one? I wouldn't want that type of thought process anywhere near my business.
  • So is Windows Phone. How about selling that division?
  • So does windows phone and yet here we are.
  • Everyone seems to be depicting MS as a dying company and that is far from the truth. Why gut a company that just posted a record quarter? THAT should be the least controversial of all decisions.
  • Exactly! It's not like anyone is saying they "want" this to happen. It's just that they are distinct possibilities when talking about multi-billion dollar companies looking to save and make money.
  • Daniel, I respectfully disagree with you. Bing and Xbox are the two most public facing sides of Microsoft right now. To shutter them would be akin asking Google and Sony to take in your customers. The thing about business is that customer perception is equally as important as profitibilty. If customers perception turns south, and I think shuttering Bing and Xbox would alter perception, then the rest of your business suffers. There is not doubt that today a lot of our perceptions have changed about Stephen Elop as well. Ballmer wasn't perfect, but I think his vision of unifying Microsoft services and products will later be seen as genius if the next CEO can see them through to fruition. Customer want things to be unified and easy to use. Office is Microsoft's past, not its future. There is too much competition in office productivity suites for Microsoft to dominate the market forever with just that tool in the shed.
  • Exacly, this decisioun would be akin to long-term suicide. No matter how great Office is now, it will not be enough in future and only the best possible integration between all of Microsoft's services will offer them the best path to sucess. I find it very, very hard to believe that Elop would be stupid enough to do this.
  • Haven't you ever seen what he did to Nokia with his memo? Back in 2010, he told everyone that the whole company was burning down and going to hell right when Nokia was selling more than twice what iPhone and Android were selling TOGETHER. Don't know about that? Do some research and I'm sure you'll get to my same conclusion: Ellop IS that stupid.
  • +1
  • Xbox is essential to Bill Gates dream of Windows being at the heart of everyone's house, and Xbox is the new media player for Windows Phone (Xbox Music, Xbox Video) ... So .. Yes, it's at the heart of Microsoft.
  • So what happens to WP with no bing, and what about the whole unified experience that had been hinted at? And Cortana, which I was assuming would be tied into Bing?
  • emotional attachments to bing? LOL. Reality is that without Bing you hand Google a monopoly over your services running on your own devices, services & software. That is as stupid as they come sorry.   Comparisons of MS & Nokia are brutally ignorant considering the cash position of MS and healthy $23B net profit last year alone.
  • Daniel somehow I find it impossible to believe that Elop would even ponder making decisions as stupid as this. After all this time in converting the company into a devices and services company, turn it back into just a software company? Not a chance Elop would be as narrow minded as that. I would still bet that bloomberg is making stuff up just to soil his image, and the reply from Microsoft adds to my suspition.
  • Agree. Ballmer clearly laid it bare..and I paraphrase..google and apple will foreclose on Microsoft's ability to innovate if Office has to run on devices where superior experiences can't be developed.
  • 2007H3 I have to believe you're right. Without control of the hardware software as the defining product with be the death toll of MS I see this as an attempt to sabotage Elop candidacy. As the CEO it's doubtful Elop or any CEO could push this through without the support of the major stockholders
  • But I think it would same effect as the burning platfrm memo, the popularity and sales would continuously go down and if currently they are not able to make money out of it despite their popularity how can a seperately spun of company do that. It is a complex market segment and extremely difficult to make money but xbox is still eveloving, it is with xbox one that they have moved ahead from just a gaming console to a home entertainment device eventually they should be able to monetize much more, MS wants to conquer entire home entertainment and make its way to all devices we own that is forward looking and with the cash it has got there is nothing wrong in trying there are still half way down the path they are yet to bind ppl to the ecosystem and that might still take some time, probably by windows 9 & WP9 which is probably the time when both will be unified and work in tandem with all issues ironed out, bing will have a major role to play and xbox too. and being safe wasnt what MS was doing till a couple of years back, earning money and PCs and office and ignoring tablet revolution. I dont think surface will make money in any future recent times and elop will kill that too?  
    just look at his decisions at nokia, killing N9 & N950, shutting down meltemi etc.
    it proofs he is averse to risk taking and wants to follow the safe path. it might work in any other company but in the field of technology you would be a dead dodo very soon.
  • I wish people would stop writing editorials with Elop as the harbinger of doom based on nothing but ANONYMOUS SOURCES.
  • ^ This. I see that anonymous source as a powerful group of investors trying to influence decisions (or make a quick buck).
  • Daniel, one of the key points Microsoft is planning for is to make a "family of devices powered by a service-enabled shell" and this enabled shell represented by Cortana will be able to learn and adapt, relying on machine-learning technology and the "Satori" knowledge repository powering Bing.
    "Bing is more than a Web search engine; it's also the indexing and graphing technology that will be powering Microsoft's operating systems, too"
    So Bing is a key factor of what Microsoft is looking (and already working on for long time) for, It will be stupid to just cancel it.... Also bing is the long term profit and future of Microsoft.
  • What Elop did with Nokia, to me... was common sense. If Elop did this to Microsoft it would seem like madness. So then I question myself. Do I feel this just because I have a bias towards Microsoft products? But no it's not so because if Elop took over google and sold off android (which they don't really make money off of directly)... I'd feel there he'd be making a horrible decision. it's pretty much gutting the company from the inside out.   Short term profit? I can go sell my body on the corner for short term profit. But the Gonosyphillis D I get later on that lowers my standards and length of living will make me regret that 40% increase of profits
  • "We appreciate Bloomberg’s foray into fiction and look forward to future episodes". This sums it up nicely. Elop or any other CEO candidate can think what they want, if they don't have support from MS board they will not be selling off anything. And thinking MS will get rid of Bing and Xbox is the hight of stupidity, and I am getting rather tired of this ignorance.    
  • Thank you for your words of wisdom. I absolutely wholeheartedly agree with you 1000%. Your statement is exactly what I was thinking; selling off Bing & Xbox won't happen especially since Bill Gates is sitting on the board.
  • Agreed that this is all based on rumor, and includes a mountain of maybes. Selling XBox and Bing would be a HUGE mistake.  Retreating into your safe-place is ass-backwards thinking driven by short-sited shareholders who want to make a quick buck. Microsoft is one of the few companies who has the scale to do the things they do.  They think in PLATFORMS, not just products.  Windows is a platform, and now with XBox One, it reaches into the living room in addition to phones, tablets, and hybrids/pcs.  Bing creates competition against the near monopoply Google has in search, and it provides an excellent platform for app developers.  Bing platform offers search, geo-location, as well as speach and translation services.  It has the makings of great contextual glue that adds powerful capabilities to apps and for things to mesh together. Microsoft needs to keep thinking BIG, not small.
  • Bing (and to a lesser extent Xbox) is not some separate entity that can just be sold off. It is an integral part to an ever increasing amount of Microsoft products. Without Bing Kinect doesn't work. Nor does large swathes of Windows Phone. Like Local Scout. Or Windows. Especially Windows 8.1's new built in search. They all rely entirely on Bing. Then there's MSR that leans heavily on Bing. Without Bing we lose translation. OCR also gone. Voice control like Tellme? Toast. Oh, that up and coming new shell for all of Microsoft products?... aka Cortana.. yeah, not happening without Bing. Then there's all the apps that rely on Bing's data or APIs, both 1st and 3rd party. Oh hey, what about that new Entity API that expands Bing's API even further for Devs? Of course that would be dead. And so on... For Xbox, not only is it a massive success for Microsoft not just for the console but for Xbox Live, Xbox Studios, etc. Now with Xbox One Microsoft has finally combined Windows with ALL their devices. They aren't going to just sell off something some important and integral that they are just "starting" to finally able to ship and build up. This is all only the very beginning of a long term plan for Microsoft. It's not that Bing is a "fantastic" services, nor that Xbox is successful, or even any emotional attachment; it's that these aren't parts of Microsoft that can be removed, especially Bing. If anything Bing is quickly becoming *the* most important part of Microsoft products... it's not just a search engine... it's a core service that drives almost all online related parts of Microsoft. For any amount of temporary funds a sale "could" make, it could never be worth the devastation of tearing those parts out of Microsoft, not to mention the future investments Microsoft is currently working on with them. It's purely nonsense. Frankly this Bloomberg post is complete and utter bullshit. It makes no sense in its claims and clearly has no clue referring to Bing, Xbox, or even Office. Speaking of being "frank", here's what Frank X. Shaw has to say about the post: “We appreciate Bloomberg’s foray into fiction and look forward to future episodes.” Yeah... And here's the icing on the cake. Even if there was *ANY* truth to this, that Elop was "considering" it (more than just momentary... "hmm... nah"), and he was hired as CEO... there's no way the Microsoft Board would allow the sale of Bing and Xbox. Any fictional naiveness Elop might have about Bing and Xbox would be quickly cleared up immediately before he signed any "Welcome back to Microsoft" paper work.    
  • +920
  • Don't get me wrong, but I am economist on UE and South America. If Elop really want to follow this road, Windows Phone is one of the branches that is less profitable. I believe if someone followed this road (for instance Ballmer)..Windows Phone would be the first cut, suffer the first axe, since in 3 year NEVER EVER get near close the 5% of the marketshare. Sorry but your arguments are completely invalid and wrong...  
  • Except market growth is in the mobile market not the gaming market. Will Microsoft & Windows Phone ever lead the mobile market in total sales? No. Can they lock down #3 and possibly overtake Apple as the #2 mobile platform; sure. It's clear that Android is the new Windows for what is now the fastest growing device market which is mobile. But Microsoft can still be a player in that market. Even 3-4% market share they are moving more units in mobile devices (which result in mobile software and services sales) than they ever could in XBOX sales.
  • I think XBOX as a company indepedent of Microsoft would be better than as a Microsoft property. The only concerning part is the loss of all those R&D dollars. XBOX might be a branding success but from what I've heard/read it is still a loser for Microsoft's bottom line. 
  • Hi Dan: I notice your statement of neither service fitting with Microsoft, but isn't Bing positioned to be a highly integral part of Cortana which will play an integral role in Windows Phone and it Windows next year and forward. If Bing is nixed that would destroy Windows Phones positioning against iOS's Siri and I ven more importantly Androids increasingly context aware and ubiquitous Google Now. Based on what we have heard of Cortana, it appears that should it come to fruition it would do Windows Phone and the Windows(Microsoft ecosystem) a great service. It sounds as if it would not only help Microsoft play catch up, but actually position Windows Phone with some features and connectivity and context awareness that surpasses the competition.
    Nixing Bing would destroy Windows Phone's prospects.
  • It's really myopic and straight out dumb for anyone to suggest that microsoft dump Bing and Xbox. The world is progressing irreversibly into a connected world where highly intelligent integrated vertical technologies ultimately run by global cloud based higly intelligent and extremely versatile and capable  "e-organisms' across multiple platforms based on highly evolved operating systems using salient peripheral nervous pathways (synergistic search engines and web browsers with exponential learning and adaptive capacities) and very interactive user friendly devices   used by enterprises and consumers to accomplish multiple tasks (work, entertainment, etc.)  as their needs dictate. If Microsoft gives up Xbox and Bing, it'll just be an applications company like millions of other applications , and like it's celebrated office suite 'killed' Lotus, Wordperfect, Novel netware etc, it will be a sitting duck for another future superior set of software to banish it into oblivion. All software made by Microsoft are under significant challenge especially by 'Google'. The only way for Microsoft to remain pre-eminently relevant is to become a vertically integrated devices and cloud based services company. If I am a Microsoft loyalist , I will treat anyone who suggests killing XBox and Bing as a dangerous toxin, highly infectious microbe or a cancerous agaent that most be avoided at all costs. If Elop, remotely thinks that way, please get rid of him. I a UCLA trained neurologist will do a much better job astronomically , I might add. The future of technology is simple.. The grand intelligent e-organism, represented by the internet (lthe the earth) , followed by significant big intelligent clouds (continents and countries) , smaller clouds (Cities & municipalities, institutions, social web) and smart devices (machine people-phones, tablets, PCs, watches, entertainments hubs, etc). The only connecting medium for all these to walk seemlessly are the search engines and web browsers, WANs, LANs, etc). Microsoft will die if it gets rid of Bing and XBox. Only microsoft hating heretics will suggest that. I love Microsoft, which means I must loathe those people passionately.
  • With the way Microsoft has been restructured, it can easily be argued that Windows, Xbox, and Bing are its most important pillars. While removing those pillars may make a quick buck, improving them for the future will create an all in one experience. "He did the same with Nokia and if it happens to Microsoft, it's no different a strategy." - Very true, and it would be even more disastrous to Microsoft.  
  • Windows Phone and Surface lose even more money than XBOX and Bing, they are new aditions that don't fit with Microsoft, let's sell them too and just concentrate in the corporate market.
    But with BYOD and convergence into mobile we don't need Windows a legacy desktop OS. In the server and the cloud what's the point of Windows Server if linux is free, let's sell them too. So the next Microsoft is going to be a big linux hosting service and the office app? But google docs and iworks will be good enough for 90% of the use cases and the cloud is a commoditized service.  
  • I don't even know how to comment on this because, I understand and agree but at the same time...I don't.
  • First of all Xbox has been making profit for years and Microsoft has said the One will make profit from day 1. Two ...Windows and Office will die without consumer support. If you don't grow up on Windows you don't use things like Office. Schools will stop using Windows and eventually businesses will have no attachment to Microsoft whatsoever. The same goes for Windows Phone. People use iPhone then feel more comfortable using iPad and the Macs. Third. I could see closing down the online search engine part of Bing, but keeping it as an information source built into Windows.
  • I've often pondered this. If MS didn't have XBox would they be able to focus on their other software better such as Windows or Phone. Smart money would be to spin it into its own company.
  • I don't know if this is a product of being a publicly traded company, but MS constantly gives up on products that don't become instantly successful. I'm sick if investing, marketing and seemingly believing in their products more than they do, only to have rug pulled out from under me. If they can't see their vision through, I'm done with them.
  • I think a lot of people are looking for an eco system. Perhaps like going to the supermarket to shop, one place to get all you need. MS is the same, xbox music pass, games, search, video etc etc. MS has progressed along this path i don't need to go elsewhere. I hope MS continues on this path as anything less means looking elsewhere. Like Amazon, they seem to understand this principle. I chose MS, Lumia 920 and Surface so I can get what i need together across different screens. For me its simple, offer me an eco system and I am a loyal customer, take the eco system apart and I look elsewhere. So, hoping these rumours remain rumours :-)
  • There's a great article in Fortune magazine this month about Jeffrey Ubben who with his venture capital group that bought $2billion of Microsoft's stock earlier this year who believes MS should get out of the product cycle business. He even thinks MS's deal to purchase Nokia's phone unit is ill-advised. I guess what I'm trying to say this type of talk is coming from big time MS investors. And Elop may be saying the right things to get the CEO job. This article suggested Ubben helped force out Balmer. Essentially this type of talk and thinking is to raise Microsoft's stock prices. Personally I think it would mean a weaker Microsoft in the long run. But who am I to argue with a $12billion dollar venture capitalists? That's right not important at all. :)
  • Man, I wish Bill Gates would be CEO again.
  • Well, my understanding is that he is still a senior member on the board with A LOT of influence; look at the Courier for proof of that. And Gates' vision is the Xbox in every living room, unifying gaming, tv, internet and more. So, if Gates wants Xbox, he gets Xbox, regardless of what Elop or Forbes thinks. He may not be the CEO, but he is still 2 things: one of the most influential people at Microsoft, and the richest man in the world.
  • I take it you didn't read Gate's latest interview? He's not concerned with Microsoft, he's more concerned with his goodwill work. He pops in now and then but he no longer wishes to meddle in the running of Microsoft, let alone have a "vision" for it.
  • +920
  • I really hope they don't hire Elop worst thing for the company, i rather stick with Steve Ballmer. OR BRING back Bill Gates.
  • I don't get it, why everyone keeps on saying "bring back bill" when he never left Microsoft. In fact, he is chairman of the board. This means he steers the board into making the right decisions, which is in the best interests of Microsoft. Therefore, it doesn't matter who is CEO -- they still have bow down to Bill "the messiah" Gates. ;)
  • I'll just repost what I wrote in the inital story since that got buried in the comments. I'd end up repeating myself anyway: First, the days of standalone gaming consoles are numbered. The Xbox One/PS4 may very well be the last generation. Technologies are converging into a sort of ubiquitous media center and when that happens it will probably make more sense to roll everything under the Windows umbrella. I think the only segment where we'll continue seeing some competition is at the low end and I don't know if it's a market the big guys want to bother with. For portable gaming, smartphones and tablets have already largely cornered that market. Microsoft is already in that space and is growing. Bing is another story altogether, especially since we don't know what changes would entail. It's possible they'd just ditch the name and roll search under Microsoft, maybe as a feature of outlook.com. It wouldn't be all that different from what Google already does. The Bing name has probably helped as much as it possibly can and at this point feels somewhat disconnected from everything else, like it's calling too much attention to itself. My fear in all this is an effort to be more efficient they stifle innovation and lose sight of future goals. I wouldn't want them just going back to being about Windows and Office because that would be a surefire way to kill the company. That said, I think what we're actually seeing is an acknowledgement of future trends.
  • Agreed, Xbox should be a service rather than a hardware platform like it is in Win8 and WP.  The xbox console should evolve into the Microsoft PC as a general computer that can play games, make a good HTPC, be used for office and school work, and at least basic content creation capability.  Consoles are relivant right this moment, but in 5 years it will very much be a dead and dying thing replaced by tablets and phones which can host or stream similar content to a TV, and also make use of bluetooth controllers. Bing itself is a perfectly fine service, but renaming it to something else would probably do the platform some good.  Ultimately it needs to finish the leap from being a web page to being a service built into MS devices and software. And Office is a mess.  Drastically increasing the price of the software (no more 3PC installs) as a sales pitch for a device that nobody wants is a bad call.  Openoffice and Libre office are both pretty good free options today.  It would not take much for Apple's iWork suite to be more useful and is now free.  Google Docs has a strong and growing following and is dirt cheap for most users.  Meanwhile MS continues to move things around in the UI every 3 years and expects people to pay a premium for it.  I don't think that they should give it away for free, but there is no reason why Office home and student/business should cost more than $50 for a household copy (not a single PC copy), and it should include online versions of word, excel, ppt, and onenote.  If you want bigger programs like Access then you pay the $100/year per employee for the big online subscription, and multi-user document support, and programs like Access, and a decent amount of skydrive space, and all of that premium stuff that businesses need. The thing that plagues Microsoft is that you have 100 different divisions moving in 100 different directions.  If they could harness those into complementary products then they will be just fine.  But if they continue to have products that merely coexist rather than coaless then they will be run over by the likes of Apple and Google who are very good at making different products gain functionality as you own more products within the ecosystem.
  • Hi Daniel, you have some very interesting and valid points. However, I have to somewhat disagree with you about Libra Office and Open office. These office suites are absolutely rubbish, as they are no way as intuitive as Microsoft Office. Therefore, I think the average consumer won't like them, as much as Microsoft Office. Furthermore, I think those office suites will always be niche products, for geeks or tight twats lol
  • While the days of standalone gaming consoles may be numbered, the Xbox name is eolving to include key consumer entertainment services. Games, music, video, live events and programing, kinect and virtual reality, etc. Xbox may have the potential to be as big on the entertainment side as Office.  Just look at the various competitors that are jockeying now to get a piece of these markets. MS is in a great position, having the infrastructure and ecosystem to successfully bring it all togrther. I had also been rooting for Elop and I'm hopeful that this is nothing but a bad rumor.  
  • Help me out here how is a major company going to survive selling apps Android maybe ok for a phone but as an OS it's the worst excuse for an OS in history of computing What programs can you run on it that will help in your business that are based on a web version of Office it's a tool for the tools it's not really a computer OS
    Now if you allocate MS to software only there is no more Windows in 3 -5 years because you can't sell it and there's no way they can just give it away if there's no payback. Now you have a dead company from the consumer stand point Enterprise company only
  • It would not be practical long term to spin off Xbox and shudder Bing. If Microsoft does that then pretty much their vision of an ecosystem would be destroyed. I hope mr elop is out of the running if that's his vision
  • XBOX and Bing have nothing to do with a unified Windows platform. Microsoft's ecosystem and vision rely on a unified Windows platform.. Namely Windows RT merging with Windows Phone to create a single mobile platform. Far less to do with Bing and XBOX.
  • Are you serious? Bing is used both in win8 and wp8 as main search engine but not just for internet, but for local media too. Xbox is also very important because of screen sharing capabilities..
  • Who's to say that the other potential CEO's in contention for the job don't have the same idea?
  • Exactly. Or "worse".  Potential CEOs are like presidential candidates. Everyone "loves" them until they hear what they want to do ;) That and everyone is suddenly an experts on running Microsoft.
  • Ugh, I shudder at the thought. The fact is, these are "business" people that are beholden to their shareholders, not innovation or sentimentality. Though we may not like it, there may be some sacrifices made in order to increase their profits.
  • Increase in the short term and as MS spirals downwards in the long term, those same investors will leave MS to fend on its own. Just sayin.
  • Sacrifice is what the last 7 years was for. A devices and services strategy is a historic inflection point for Microsoft. Anything less than robust execution and focus on this model would send them into the corporate strategy rathole again, namely because of the thing Baller said when announcing the strategy; he said in a nutshell, that a Microsoft devices strategy was a way to keep innovation flowing in its software products. that it could not deliver meaninful innovation  and compelling user experiences on competing platforms. Microsoft Office on Android isn't going to be nearly as innovative as it will be on RT or Pro.
  • What then are your thoughts regarding Windows Phone? Compared to Bing and Xbox its an abject failure, if a new CEO is fine with ditching Bing and Xbox then WP will definitely be gone. Are we then left with only google and apple as choices for consumer tablets and smartphone?
  • Excellent question. Are (some) of the staff of WPCentral equally as comfortable and in support of Elop shutting down WP as they are with shutting down Bing & Xbox?
  • You know, I was thinking the same. WP has less profit, sales figure, and presence in the market than Xbox. When Elop becomes the CEO and drops WP division, Rubino might move to iMore. Hey we can all speculate right and cry later if it happened for real?
  • Indeed. Microsoft badly needs to reclaim the phone and tablet market. Tons of people have picked up Android and iOS devices in the past few years and it's having a big affect on their PC purchases now, as I often hear customers ask sales rep "how well will this PC integrate with my [iPhone, iPad, Android]?" And the reps always say, "Well, if you have an iPad and iPhone, clearly getting a Mac would be better, but..." Microsoft needs to be in the tablet and phone market, no holds barred, or soon their PC marketshare will erode. They also need Xbox and Bing badly too, particularly now that Google is trying to weasel their way into everything, having Chrome with it's own app store, etc., designed to run perfectly inside of Windows so that you don't need Windows. Microsoft cannot afford to shed divisions; they need to embolden them.
  • Great thread as it illustrates why Bloomberg article is total bullshit; because it doesn't shed liight on the next logical consequence for removing these systems other than a short-term profit motive. Remove Bing and search innovation, and you have a ripped a meaningful part of the OS out, especially RT, and Windows Phone and handed it over to Google - which won't play nice with MS, as it has clearly demonstrated. Remove XBox and you've removed a big part of consumer brand recognition. These would truly be watershed back breaking moments at MS.  If anything, the successor CEO needs these divisions to execute better, but a "burning platform" strategy here is NOT an option.
  • I'm with you, as are most people on this site, but we're scared to death that the new CEO might not be.  I really worry that they'll seek short-term profits at the risk of long-term dominance simply because everyone in Wall Street is so focused on the short-term that there is a lot of pressure to immediately deliver. No one has patience anymore, and there is a nontrivial chance that the new CEO will think it's a good idea to nix these or other divisions, even though it actually would be a terrible idea.
  • Thing is,   Elop has a track record, he sold a ton Nokia assets so it's not far fetch to think that he'll do same at Microsoft if he get's the nod. There was a lot of speculation about Alan Mulally doing same if given the chance because he also did the same with Ford. To be honest 
  • Hi kingpin, the problem is Nokia weren't making big profits like Microsoft do. Therefore, I think only a crazy person would even think of doing that. Furthermore, I think the chairman would do everything possible, to not let that happen to his baby. However, if Microsoft find themselves losing profits in the future, then your theory makes total sense in regards to Elop.
  • MS might not be in the same financial position as Nokia when Elop sold their assets but the underlying reasons are the same. Most investors think Microsoft is wasting money on Xbox and Bing and because of that it's shares has remained flat.  Most people believe that if they sell the non-profitable aspects of the company ( Bing, Xbox) it will help the quarterly results which will in turn drive the share price of the company through the roof. Investors will be able to sell some of  their share at a higher price, making huge profits in the process. That is why Alan Murray and now Elop have become popular among investors. 
  • Yes, but who is the biggest individual shareholder? Yes that's right, the chairman of the board Bill Gates, hence the comment about the chairman not letting this happen to his baby! Furthermore, it's a well documented fact why investors want want Bill Gates to resign from the chairman role, as they want to make even more profit. Even if means breaking up parts of Microsoft, but Bill Gates prevents that happening ;)
  • Who is the bigger, individual shareholder has nothing to do with decisions, which group controls 51% of the voting shares will decide the future.....
  • Hello Fritzly,
    Obviously mate, 'if' all the majority shareholders decided 'together' they wanted Bill out. First, they would have to vote, and if it was deemed that he has to go, then he would.
    Also, let me rephrase my comment. It is 3 major shareholders who own around 5%, who want Bill Gates to resign from being the Chairman. They want this because 'they' think Bill has too much influence on the CEO, just like he did Ballmer although Microsoft made massive profits. Nevertheless, my point is he is still a very 'influential' person at Microsoft. I also think until he sells off every share he has in Microsoft (which if goes to plan, will be achieved within several years), he will continue to be influential. That is, unless 'certain' shareholders get their way, just for 'short term' gain in profits. However, if that happened Microsoft board would basically be run by 'number crunches', therefore I think they would sacrifice long term innovation for short term profit. This may be why this article about Elop surfaced, as he is clearly an innovator who thinks long-term -- just like Bill Gates. Who knows, we can only speculate but I think Microsoft without Bill Gates, would be like Apple without Steve Jobs in the 90's -- and we all know what happened their, until the iMac, iPod etc. came along, which was probably seen to completion because of Microsoft money -- funnily enough Bill and Steve were friends. Hopefully these investors don't get what they want, which may lead to Microsoft being irrelevant like IBM and Apple of the early 90's. If that ever happened (highly unlikely), Microsoft may need Apples helping hand -- which is highly unlikely.
  • Thing is, Nokia was hurting for money. Selling unnecessary assets was needed. MS is making money every quarter but shares are stale. This is all about investors, their money, and shares, and nothing to do with regular consumers.
  • Don't like the sound of this one bit i like my xbox etc he better not take it away :(!
  • Effing tech pundits and analysts...
  • I'm in my twenties and I can say that for most of my peers, Xbox is the only Microsoft brand that carries over any "cool factor" with them. IMO it would not be wise to cut Xbox out of Microsoft.
  • +920, its the key to the younger generation like us
  • I'm sick of everyone over reacting to this wouldn't these type of decisions have to go through the board of directors which includes bill gates and Ballmer??
  • Exactly mate too many overreacting -- this would only happen if the board says so. Furthermore, Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw's statement gives everyone, a good idea what Microsoft thinks.
  • B.G. would be ideal but likely not going to happen. Elop would be an e-flop with this strategy. Look at both Apple and Google... Hw/sw for both and with Google having its own search and Apple working its way there they seem to be doing well being so large... I think more has to do with image and that hate some hold for Microsoft but to correct the image and recreate a brand and image that will lure people back and new customers in. Elop seems to have broken up Nokia with his only good move was going under Microsoft's wing. Chopping up Microsoft would be like what happened to HP breaking off to Agilent to Avago to all being near crap and nearly forgotten. Microsoft is just starting to see some real growth again and he seems to miss that. Just watch, with the leaks about zero privacy, people may just want some offline machines again, maybe a rebirth of the PC desktop and laptop? I bet you if they were to take advantage of that there would be a surge in PC sales. So far no action from them. Feel safe with your stuff in the cloud now?
  • Elop wants to devalue Microsoft then sell it to Google and then become CEO of Google, that's more logical.
  • Would Microsoft board be stupid or evil enough to put a specific bonus for doing just that into Eflop's contract?
  • you may be right... he seems to be a person who wants to burn and cut company to pieces and move on. We dont know what is reality though
  • So what should we do, go back to Google and Sony right now? Tell us Microsoft.
  • May be. :(
  • I want Microsoft to do more, not less.
  • Speculation and rumors do not constitute news.
  • I have no idea why but i trust Stephen Elop ,i follow him when he take over Nokia and i think he did a good job (Nokia vas in a really big trouble  when he took over) + he is a great speaker. If someone saying Elop sold Nokia i disagree , the investors sold it .  
  • I don't believe Bloomberg. Their credibility is suspect.
  • This is not right. If Stephen Elop separates Bing and Xbox, Microsoft fans (including me) would not like it at all. This could be a really bad idea. No Bing and Xbox=No fun at all. Bring Steve Ballmer back!
  • I dont understand this logic what so ever... Office is the #1 used suite for Business customers in the world. It's not dieing .. its not even hurting .. its not even under attack!! .. what you think iWork has something on it or Open Office .. wronnnnng. So why would he try to FOCUS the company on an already very successful product and kill two other products that show growth year over year .. hell XBOX .. is a cash cow and has been kicking everyone's ass for years... These reports cannot be truthful imo.
  • While Bing, Xbox & MS services are fantastic, change is inevitable. We fear it, but we must embrace it.
  • Change should be multiplying your results by combining your assets. Selling things off gets you a one-time payoff, and that's it. Ask McDonald's about Chipotle.
  • Microsoft will sell substantially all of its softwares & Services
    business and licence its patents to Google when elop become a ceo
  • If this guy hurt Windows Phone/ Bing, i will switch to iPhone.
  • Like I said, this is unimportant until I hear officially. I will respond accordingly as well.
  • True talk WinFan1
  • I am going back to NEXUS 5
  • I'm quite surprised that Elop is still in contention for the CEO , he comes across as a nice guy but he with his performance at Nokia tell me he isn't the kind of guy to take Microsoft to the next level . He laid off several Nokia employees , sold off most of Nokia's assets and yet couldn't turn around Nokia . Is this the kind of guy Microsoft wants?  Bing and Xbox doesn't bring in a ton of money , but it's one of the things that ties in all the other aspects of the company together. it's up to Microsoft to harness their full potential. I'd love to see how they're going to progress with Windows 8 and Windows Phone without Bing.  Google will be quite happy about it. 
  • Bro, Nokia was bloated and dying an ever quickening death when he took them over. He trimmed the fat and was able to sell only the struggling part of the company for a very good price. Considering his legal duty is to the shareholders he just did the absolute best possible thing he could for them. People say he played Nokia, but really, I think that he played Microsoft through Nokia. He positioned Nokia such that Microsoft had to buy them and now the company wont fail. If he went the Android route, why would anyone want to buy a tiny player in a huge game? Perhaps few will agree with me, but if I was a Nokia shareholder, I'd say he was a near genius and someone who can play the game that effectively might bode very well for Microsoft in the future.
  • When Elop joined Nokia, it was still making profit , they were still the biggest smartphone manufacturer, but what happened? He decided to kill off Symbian , Meego and adopted windows phone as the primary smartphone OS. There is nothing wrong with that unless you consider what happened afterwards.  Yes , Symbian was dying and needed to be replaced , but he announced Symbian was going to be discontinued in February when their first  Windows Phone  wasn't coming to market until November, this single act is the biggest disservice to Nokia . He decided to make Windows Phone the exclusive platform for their devices when all information pointed to the fact that the vast majority of customers preferred android. Sony, LG, ZTE, Huawei , Lenovo old sold more smartphones than Nokia last quarter.Both Sony, LG, Lenovo made profits with android last quarter, Nokia made a loss with windows phone last quarter.  In hindsight can we say that Elop was a good CEO to Nokia based on the actions that he took?  My answer will be an emphatic NO 
  • Nokia was the largest feature phone manufacturer, they have never been the largest smartphone manufacturer, and that was the problem. The market for smartphones began to swell exponentially with the introduction of the iPhone and Nokia was nowhere to be seen. When Elop took over, their best phone was the N8, which I had, and it was leaps and bounds behind the competition of its time - apart from the camera and build quality, of course. Symbian was dead and MeeGo was also going to be late to the party, as was WP. Look at how much trouble Microsoft and Nokia have had trying to attract top-tier app developers to Windows Phone together, do you think that Nokia would have had an easier time going it alone with their much smaller resource base and MeeGo? He had to kill MeeGo, it was going to be a non-starter. Great OS, I'm sure, but 3 years too late. All that left was his WP v Android decision. He could have adopted Android, sure, and there are some persuasive reasons as to why he should have done so. One of which, as you pointed out, is its popularity. However, where might Nokia be now? We cannot know, but what I can say is that the vast majority of non-Samsung Android makers lose money on their phones. Sony does not make money on smartphones as you claim, they lose a significant amount, in fact. Their whole business might be profitable, like Nokia's is, but they lose money on phones, like Nokia also does. HTC, who makes what is often called the best non-Galaxy Android phone, the One, loses money hand over fist. I know less in regard to Lenovo and LG, so I'll take your word for it. All of that to say, that there was no guarantee that if Elop decided to go strictly into Android, that it would have been successful - and considering HTC's misfortunes, another company that largely just produces handsets, amongst the others that also lose on Android, I don't think that anyone can say it would have been a good, or surefire, idea. What he did by adopting Windows Phone wholesale, and diverting so many resources towards it, was make Nokia indispensable to Microsoft's future. With declining PC sales, Microsoft cannot afford to not have a major presence in mobile. Since no one else was focussing exclusively, or particularly hard on Windows Phone, there was an opportunity for Nokia to take a major power position within that ecosystem - which they did, with near 90% marketshare. This is what made them indispensable, if they left, WP was dead. All it took was a rumour that they were building an Android, and in no time, MS bought them. They would have had no such power position, and likely no suitors willing to shell-out $7-billion for a money losing handset business, had they not done this with Windows Phone and simply been a small fish in the Android pond. Some have said that Elop could have done both Android and WP. While I have heard that Nokia was probably not big enough to handle both and do it well, I also think that this would have detracted from the overwhelming marketshare they garnered in the WP space by diverting all of their efforts there; this likely being a big part of why they were bought out and the price paid in return. Insofar as Elop's duty was with the shareholders, I think what he did was make the best out of a bad situation for them. As a fan and loyal customer of Nokia, I was sad to see their handset business sold; but I also think that Elop did a masterful job for the shareholders given the hand that he was dealt.
  • Nonsense, Nokia was the largest smartphone company in the world. Before Elop took over Nojia sold about 28 million smartphones and about 100 million feature phones *each quarter*.
  • 1. To reach back that far, we would probably stretching the definition of a 'smartphone' a bit. 2. Don't forget we are talking about Elop, by the time he came in, their market share had significantly declined. Respectfully, you are making it sound like Elop came in and then the wheels came off, where in actuality, they were already long gone. 3. The thrust of my argument was that the 'smartphone', or at least the modern conception thereof, didn't really take-off until the advent of the iPhone (sales of smartphones sky-rocketed at this point, and this is largely where the term became widely accepted) and Nokia did not have a comparabable product until sometime thereafter. In fact, they did not have a comprable product until Elop came in, and some might credit that to his 'burning platform' memo.
  • i can't believe wpcentral is spreading this kind of misinformation about Stephen Elop. Even if he is really planning to sell the Xbox division it will NOT make MS a software-only company. There's Surface tablets and Window Phones. i believe dedicated game machines are a thing of the past
  • Never said it would make Microsoft a software only company. Just that the direction would put more emphasis on software and bring Microsoft closer to its original software-only roots.
  • Alan Mulally or nothing. He is probably one of the best minds in business right now, and is open-minded enough to listen to the consumer's demands.
  • Selling off Xbox would be the stupidest thing they could do at this point, in my not so humble opinion. It is, along with Office, arguably one of the only things Microsoft is having success with in the consumer market that will be relevant in 10 years. Yes, PCs outsell Macs, and yes IE is the most popular desktop browser, but so what. Those are becoming outmoded technologies very quickly. To my mind, one of Microsoft's best shots at success in portable consumer electronics probably lies with the Xbox. If they can duplicate fundamentally the same OS across tablets (and perhaps PCs), phones and the Xbox, such that they can all run the same apps from the store and deliver a similar experience, then perhaps they could harness the Xbox's popularity to develop familiarity with their other portable product offerings amongst the wider consumer market. This would be a great step-up from the 'which Android is that' I keep getting asked by iSheep when I pull out my L920. With better integration, thus making Xbow 'fit-in' better at MS, when people pay for apps and games on the Xbox, perhaps they will be enticed into buying a Windows Phone or tablet if they know they can extend the value and play of those games on those devices. That is only possible because of the Xbox's popularity and it will be a lost opportunity if they sell.
  • I wonder how much power does a CEO have against the board of directors with bill gates on it also being one of the larges share holders of Microsoft?? Could elop cut things up?? Or could bill stop it???
  • i don't know why but i think that Bill is waiting for some reason.........i'm totally 100% sure Bill will put an END in this.
  • Gates and Ballmer are not the biggest shareholders ... the biggest shareholder is ValueAct . Venture capitalist like ValueAct love selling of assets, because it makes for good quarterly results which drives stock prices allowing them to offload some of their shares at hefty margins . If it comes down to voting, Ballmer and Gates will be easily crowded out..
  • Kingpin valueAct own about 0.8 percent shares. It's president (Mr Morfit) has only just sign an agreement which enables him to have business talks with the Microsoft board. Also, this deal gives him an option to join the the Microsoft board in '2014'. On the other hand, Bill Gates is Chairman of the board with a total of 357,989,165 shares, which is about 6%. This makes him the biggest 'individual' shareholder. Therefore, I'm afraid your statement is totally false regarding what valueAct can do. Nevertheless, if you mentioned the Vanguard Group Inc, which has a little more shares than Bill "the messiah" Gates, at 366,593,433 shares then your statement may have had more credibility -- now do you realise what kind of power Bill Gates has?
  • If this happens, I'm dropping Microsoft software and hardware altogether. The job description of the CEO should not be only to make money for shareholders. If Microsoft focuses only on Enterprise, leaving entertainment services like video, music, gaming, etc. behind, home users would not be interested in their OS. If home users stop using their software, soon after Enterprise will stop using it, since down the line the average user would feel more comfortable using atlernative operating systems. At least that's my take on it.
  • +10000
  • Bloomberg and journalists that doesn't have MSFT in their heart are trying with such FUD to put pressure on a possible candidate. Bloomberg is spreading rumours - true or false - this is just speculation.  
  • Yep, this is an editorial opinion piece. It is speculation, but doesn't hurt to look at future possibilities. As far as Bloomber spreading rumors... that is your own paranoia. Bloomberg is a world renound source for business news.
  • Elop is nowhere on record of making any of these comments or claims.
  • As I have seen over the years with the military as commanders come and go, the changes or processes that worked so well where you came from are rarely that great where you go to.  Nokia only had a couple of choices, and the choice Elop made I think was spot-on.  However, Microsoft is nothing like Nokia.  The history, the customer base, the vision are very different.  This is why taking on the devices portion of Nokia made sense.  I am a customer.  I am NOT a shareholder.  I could care less what the shareholders think about the short-term--and I'm absolutely convinced that's what they are really focusing on.  Shareholders almost never have any real vision, living only in the quarter.  And, quite frankly, shareholders come and go.  They can be as fickle as you can imagine.  But customers can be cultivated into a pretty steady base that carries a company.  Look at Apple and Google.  And, quite simply, look at the growing fanbase of Windows Phone customers. I'm smarter than the average consumer.  I have a vision for what my life should be like in the near AND the long-term.  I am looking for companies that produce products and services that can best get me there.  And, even with the MANY stupid choices Microsoft has made in product, deployment and communication, I still understand what they are trying to do -- and I am excited.  If Microsoft wants to insert itself into most aspects of my life and can do so in a manner that is non-intrusive, safe, secure, exciting and relatively inexpensive, then I support it.  Being able to move from phone to tablet to laptop to desktop to entertainment center to household is exactly the right thing.  I fail to see how divesting themselves of major arms of this approach is a smart thing, just as it's FINALLY starting to get traction.  The biggest problems I see at Microsoft are that they aren't agile enough with the various arms and they simply are hit-or-miss about how to market themselves. Microsoft, SHOW me what the endgame looks like.  SHOW me what life 2, 5, 10 years down the road will be like if I embrace your products and ecosystem en toto.  I know what I WANT as a customer.  I think I GET where you're headed, and you are, hands down, the only company REALLY moving that way.  And, frankly, I TRUST you, Microsoft, far more than I could ever trust your major competitors.  So, for the shortsighted shareholders and feeble minded fools at Bloomberg, I suggest they quit whining and decide whether or not they are investing in a company with a vision in order to reap the rewards that way, or if they are simply acting like day-traders, only concerned in the short-term.  But let me suggest also that if Microsoft doesn't have customers, they make no money.  If they make no money, YOU don't get return on your investment.  I'm very big on the Voice Of the Customer.
  • Spinning off Xbox and Bing is like Apple spinning of the Mac line since they don't bring that much money to apple. I don't think is a great idea at all.
  • How many people by show of hands could actually see Microsoft being stupid enough to sell the Xbox division to GOOGLE ???
  • GOOGLE: XBOX GALAXy 2025.... Coming...
  • One reason I bought into wp was because of the hope full integration with Xbox ,w8,etc but if this elop guy hacks it all up then no need for me to stick around to see what might happen! I really though this whole wp8,Xbox,w8, thing was going to be the next best thing working together?.. I guess all good things must come to an end ! Sad!
  • MS can't kill off Bing, the idea is absurd.  If they did, they wouldn't have an integrated search platform and they will be open to the exact same scenario where Google first kicked their butt.  As long as MS produces products that generate output that needs seaching, MS will need to provide a search solution.
  • Is there a HP central, or IBM central, or Geico central?
    Yes, Microsoft may be a smaller, more profitable company by focusing on Office and enterprise. But it will lose the chance to be a company that can lead the innovation. And even that enterprise business advantage is shadowed by Google/Apple's penetration.
    No, I don't want Microsoft go that route. It should be the company leading digital life innovation.
  • At the end, they'll complain MS is not innovative enough to compete. But the CEO was only doing what he was told to do, make the investors pockets fat. Sell Bing, sell Xbox, Sell WP, drop w8.1, drop surface, what else? And just keep office. Good luck in the long term.
  • I'm not putting too much weight into these rumors
  • Everybody is an expert in economics now on what's best for a company. Interesting. Bing is technically not on par with google. People tend to forget Microsoft was first a software company. I think they have there hands in too many things which is why many complain about the lack if service, updates, etc.
  • Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniack, Bill Gates, Steve Baller... none were economic majors. Leading a company has a lot to do with vision and common sense. ;) That being said, I'm not an economic or business expert and I just want to give my view of the possible situation.
  • Look, I think opinions of Bing are changing and people are and will continue to gravitate towards it. Xbox is branded as a Microsoft product and this is good to stay relevant in the consumer realm. What I'm hearing is hand gaming to Sony and search to Google. That is what these biased analyst want to pad their pockets. Neither Bing or Xbox should be sold!! I wanted Elop to be the next CEO but not ANYMORE!! If he becomes CEO, I'm selling All my Microsoft shares.
  • Talking about office, I'm a subscriber of 365 , can't use outlook... You can't move mail messages between different accounts, pst and osd.tried so many things, gave up again for the second time
  • This rumor is utter BS spread by people still butthurt that Elop went with WP and sold off Nokia. Purpose of such rumor? Do enough damage so that BoD of Microsoft won't even consider him, even if this rumor is false. This is not a tinfoil hat topic. And look at it. It worked, every tech site is talking about it and a lot of people are already upset. Rumor is half successful already.
  • I dont know much about running a big tech company, but selling off bing and Xbox is a bad idea. The point is providing a complete circle of services for every need, be it cloud computing, VoIP calls, gaming, search, and all others bundled together in Microsoft made software and hardware. Remove Xbox and bing, the circle is no longer complete. We don't want anymore of Elops burning platform ideas. We still remember what he did to Nokia. Microsoft is just too big for Elop.
  • The bitch is running wild.
  • What company in their right mind will sell off their ecosystem and forfeit the consumer base to a competitor? Somewhere Google is praying that this happens. Apple has no search engine and I bet they would be interested in Bing. Its already baked into iOS.
  • Why doesn't anyone mention the enterprise businesses of Azure and SQL? That has a lot of potential. If Xbox and Bing leave Microsoft I have to imagine Surface and Windows Phone are dead too. What value is Skype then? Might as well destroy the entire company. This doesn't seem right.
  • This sounds like a smear campaign against Elop. Bing especially is integrated and will be more so in the future and Xbox is the holistic entertainment in the house so MS would never be able to simply sell them. It would be too complex.
  • This may make sense. Kill off the Microsoft hardware and brand it Nokia.
  • Seeiously ?! Did you actually thought before posting? How silly is that, since Microsoft only bought Nokia's mobile division not Nokia itself.
  • If Microsoft kills/sells Xbox and Bing, I'm absolutely thru with them. Buying Nokia only to then sell Xbox makes no fucking sense at all. Fuck everybody involved in this. I guess I'll be going to Apple or probably Google. At this point loyalty is for pussies.
  • choose Apple is better than screwgle
  • Company is heading towards a Devices and Services, now two weeks from Xbox, 150 and 2520 launch, less than a month from Surface2 a rumour saying it's all about Office ?!
  • Spot on! Totally agree it is nonsense.
  • If Bing and Xbox are sold, I am so done. I am the customer, I am always right.
  • Microsoft needs a leader who likes to Win :)
  • The fact is that Office is Microsoft's cash cow much like ads are to google. It clearly makes enough of a profit to keep Microsoft riding high full steam ahead. I highly doubt they would axe either Xbox or Bing as they are simply too essential to both Microsoft's momentum & trajectory. Doing so would likely ensure large returns to stockholders in the short term but cripple any real longevity. While I believe it would be a terrible mistake actually considering this move only shows cunning. Thoughtlessly following the One Microsoft vision would be an equally large mistake as all options must be thoughtfully considered. It's probably awfully hard to lead a horse to water wearing blinders. And for the record I think Elop's choice to sell off Nokia's phone division was one of the best choices he has made. Lately it has become increasingly clear that you need to be HUGE to turn a profit in the handset business. Nokia was simply missing that cash cow.
  • Wow I really don't want this guy running Microsoft... hell no! There is no way Microsoft could run solely off the back of Office... yes profits may be up for a few years, but after then they'll slowly decline to dust, and Microsoft WILL be done. I'm really worried by this increadibly narrow minded view, especially from a guy who took a leap of faith with Windows Phone, and is driving sales of that platform up massively. Microsoft NEEDS to be omnipresent. People want intergration of services, I personally love how synced Windows 8 is, it's so simple and amazing... and I hope this extends into Windows Phone. The Xbox One is bringing this revolution to the living room, and with all these innovations, they pull each other up, further pushing brands like bing and office. Though i do strongly feel microsoft should license Windows Phone and Windows 8 RT free... they are spear heading these brands already through Surface and the Lumia phones, and Windows RT can run better, and provide a full windows experience (not mobile internet... this makes a BIG difference) on cheap hardware really well. There is no way this should happen... if it does it will be the death of Microsoft =/
  • All this gnashing of teeth in the comments is just the realization that MSFT is going to be a *much* smaller company in the future. One that will be largely irrelevant in most people's lives. They're going to "retreat into the enterprise" ... which is the corporate equivalent to an executive leaving "to be with family" (aka "I got fired") ... and milk whatever cows they have remaining. They've knifed the world's largest software ecosystem, Windows (which they refer to sneeringly as "legacy Windows"), by alienating users with a radically different Shell. They've destroyed the world's largest developer pool, those that use the Win32 API, by introducing an incompatible, poorly performing, and pointless new API: WinRT and its siblings. Why should we be surprised that they're also going to kill the only "cool" thing they still have (XBox)? Engineers have been out for years up in Redmond; the businessmen have taken over ... and they'll run MSFT into the ground for short-term gains like they've always done at technology companies. I had 10% of my net worth in MSFT up until June and have since cut that down to 5%. Once they pick a new CEO I'll most likely dump the rest on any bounce. I absolutely hate what's happening (and I have more personal ties to MSFT than most here). However, I still think there's a chance they could turn things around. The only glimmer of light is the rumor that Myerson is going to focus on WinPRT as their mobile base OS. To me, that means a deprecation of WinRT and a return to a more standard "Windows" experience on PCs (and where WinPRT apps would simply run in a Window). That alone would be enough to save the company.  
  • Its ok to consider a split up. I think its needed for ms.
  • I love the new consumerised Microsoft, it feels like they're finally cast off the anti trust shackles and are trying to be innovative again. Sell off Xbox and hardware decisions though and I'll go buy a mac and an iphone, id rather buy my consumer hardware and software from a consumer company, not a company dumping consumers to concentrate on enterprise.
  • You can't win in the major leagues at software without an ecosystem. You make your entire ecosystem weaker if you kill off important components. Windows 8.1 and WP need Bing. The whole ecosystem needs XBox. Google's not playing nice so they won't fill the void and keep MS products useful. Meanwhile, it's not like the Bing engineers are suddenly going to start making Office cure cancer. It's already the best Office suite, so why take a company with great profitability and hamstring its future for no benefit? It's a stupid strategy. Unless he's trying to live up to his bad reputation as a trojan horse, only now serving Google. Hopefully the rumor is false.
  • Haha I think this guy will sell Microsoft just like he done with nokia. He is mad.
  • Sell it to Google maybe :p
  • Yaah and google to isheep and he will become ceo of all these tech giants and die when using siri
  • I've said it before, Microsoft needs a visionary, not a businessman. Someone like Mr. Gates or Mr. Balmer. They believe in the company and it's tech, they, or someone like them, can make Microsoft successful.
  • Just like Apple, some of the most steady income is from any device or software that drives people to make purchases at the app and media stores. The store profits are bound to beat the Xbox hardware profits. And Bing results can link to music and video purchases. The free iTunes software itself loses money for Apple. But it is a route to the revenue stream of content. Somebody at Microsoft surely understands this.  
  • NO! Just no. I thought Elop might actually drive focus to the Windows Phone more but not at the price of any other service. Microsoft is fast turning into a giant that NO other single company is and providing us with solutions to most connected things on the net. Office is okay, we do not need to sell off anything to sharpen focus even more. Just think about it, what is the closest competitor to Office? How many cosporates use it? MS only needs to create a light version of the Office for free that can compete with the likes of GDocs and Evernote.
  • If this is what we have to put up with, then I'd rather Bill Gates return.
  • If he's going to sell Xbox, then sell it to Nokia. Given the phenomenal work Nokia has done with Lumia I'd much rather see them do something (anything...) with Xbox.
  • If a business division hasn't produced a single dollar profit in 10 years then it's probably best to get rid of it. It's pure irony that MS is covering the huge losses the entertainment division is making each year with calculating the Android license fees against it. At the moment Android is financing the Xbox One.
  • Xbox One's launch is really the first we're seeing Microsoft services offered to multiple key markets outside of US, it shouldn't be signed off just yet -- lest it end up scoring tens of millions of subcribers to Music and/or Live. What would that be... $10 or $20 a month for even 20 million users, $2.4bn to $4.8bn a year!? This shortsighted mentality is one of the reasons why MS is stick figthing for scraps in the mobile market. Mark my words, the moment MS leaves the scene the living room will become a huge thing. I say brave it out, stick to it. be risky and visionary.
  • If he does that then I will jump ship to apple
  • Xbox is the last MS stronghold in living room. If it is killed and that "android @ home" takes flight, all would be lost. That Office
    as MS "the main strategy" could be well turned into "the only strategy".
  • xbox might actually be as big as windows and Office right now. getting rid of it means losing the battle in the techworld.
  • Why is this site presenting unfounded speculation by Bloomberg, which has been on attack mode with respect to Microsoft for years, as if it is factual?  It is baseless speculation from the segment who have been calling for this garbage for years.  It is not going to happen and it is not based upon anything ANY of the cadidates have said. It is just BS from people who want to make short term profits off divestments.  This is not an article. It is ill informed op ed treating unfounded rumor as fact. The alleged editors and staff of this site would do well to take even an online journalism course. All too often stuff presented here is about as well conceived and factually supported as the poor high school term paper. The people who run this place are frequently worse than the trolls who frequent such sites. It would be nice if they would chill out, and in unwilling to invest even a modicum of effort in basic journalistic standards, shut up.
  • It just seems silly to spend so much resources, time, and money to get here with 8, Bing, and Xbox melding together just to blow it all up. Bing and Xbox is cooked into Win8 and Phone8. Seems crazy to stop now.
  • i was hoping that elop would run microsoft, but now after this news, i say no way, condeming bing and xbox is the worst possible business decision a person could make. its already bad enough that google is running a monoply in the mapping service, this will totally cripple microsoft as  a company, relying only on office. if this is Elops plan, he clearly has no vision as a leader, he is only in this to fill his pocket. switching to android and google software is the hardest pill to swallow as someone living in a microsoft eco system. if this is the case microsoft must avoid elop as ceo at all costs. cutting bing ,xbox is an instant win for google, eventually windows phone will die, windows will die becuase of lack of bing integration.  if this is elops plan i may as well go to the store and buy a chrome book. because this will be the end of microsoft
  • I would make a better CEO of microsoft than elop. I would take the company to a place where we could rule the world.
  • This needs to be updated with Microsoft's response: "We appreciate Bloomberg's foray into fiction and look forward to future episodes." http://techreport.com/news/25629/report-as-microsoft-ceo-elop-could-kill...
  • the solution is, they need to merge xbox gaming to windows for a total take over.  Xbox can be an option to living room and eventually dissolve as video game distribution goes online.  This will kill Steam + Sony (bed room and living room).  Two birds one stone.  After this merge, they can then go with OnLive style of cloud gaming, on your windows phone.  This will slowly eat away android and apples dominance in mobile market.  Its enticing to know xbox games going cloud and streamed through Surfaces, and Windows Phones.  That will be their key to dominating all platforms.  Let me run the company for 5 years and I will make this happen.
  • My suggestions: 1. Merge Windows RT and Windows Phone into a new OS powered by Azure, drive that to the consumer. 2. Windows Desktop? Keep iterating and updating, keep it around for enterprise/professional users. 3. Xbox One? Work on getting that to align with the new Consumer OS... Commonality all the way, but work on bringing hardware costs down and dependence on services (to make money) up. 4. Services? You know what? Open up shop on iOS and Android. 5. Devices? Do it, but sell them cheap and rely on services to make up the difference (a la Google).  
  • I could only see this guy as a clown from now on, if rumors are true.
  • He's the butcher of Microsoft
  • Spinning off Bing or Xbox, and emphasizing Office, is just saying you're going to spinoff Windows as well, because there is decline of PC sales. Windows's life support right now is Office. Putting it on anything else will be the same feedback you saw when Office Touch was said to be coming to iOS before Windows 8. This is going to be the biggest mistake ever if Microsoft did approve this. It would be the biggest discouragement to Microsoft consumers. It would have the same affect as how Skype on other OSes get better support and features than it does on WP or even W8. It's basically a repeat of why Microsoft is in such a ditch. They need to focus on their One Microsoft vision, and focus on support their products before anyone else. We need to have the best Microsoft experience, not the nonMicrosoft OS. I really hope MS finds someone from within, someone with as much passion as Ballmer to realize how stupid doing something like this would be. It would essentially destroy what Microsoft is, and Microsoft is Windows.
  • Ballmer was a good businessman, not a technical person. He was great as the Number Two guy. MSFT needs either a designer or a technical person at the top ... and one with authority. I previously leaned towards Belfiore but I worry about his ability to dominate others (he's a nice guy). However, I'm now leaning towards Dave Cutler. He has unmatched credentials on the technical side and commands great respect from others. If he surrounded himself with good businessmen and designers, he could pull MSFT out of the ditch in a hurry.
  • I was really amped about windows phone and surface but I'm not gonna spend anymore money on these products until I know what's going to happen. I hate to say it but I'm tempted to go back to apple. At least with them I know iOS is not going anywhere. I just don't have hundreds of dollars to waste on what may become a dead ecosystem. I really wanted to like WP and stuff
  • By far the dumbest idea or rumor I've heard today. I can not believe for a second that Daniel or anyone even thinks this makes any sense. For years Microsoft has had to live under the stigma of being a company that lacks innovation nor have what it takes to compete in this new age market because they were unable to become more than just enterprise centric. Hell that's why their Windows Phone and PC market started to tank in the first place. When Apple and Google came along it was almost as if Microsoft thought their crap didn't stink and that what the two companies were doing was just a phase so there was no need to respond quickly. Yeah so they'll turn a profit out the gate when they write off Xbox and Bing it doesn't take a genius to see that. It's only because they wouldn't have to add the net loss from the two divisions, but what message do you think that will send to Microsoft's users of all other services? Think of the hit its bottom line will take when those users of Xbox abandon all things Microsoft related due to shear outrage. Word of mouth is all it would take to get family members and friends to stop using Microsoft services and then the news of it's ultimate closure would start to circulate the interwebs in an almost Blackberry fashion this would put the nail in the coffin. Who will want to continue to tie their life to a company that is willing to cut one of its most memorable departments for short term revenue and market standings? This isn't one of those "well Windows Phone members only make up a small percentage of Microsoft users" and we wouldn't affect the end game. There are over 46 million live users. One post by Larry Hryb would hit nearly all of those users in a matter of days. Only an idiot of a CEO would chase the dollar sign blindly in this manner because I can tell you right now every one of my future Microsoft purchases would be cancelled without hesitation and I will deactivate every service (Skydive, Office Mail, Xbox Music) the moment they sell off Xbox and I will recommend Apple and Google alternatives like I'm making money from them. I know this is a rumor and Daniels playing more the devils advocate, but the fact that Elop didn't immediately put down these rumors shows the shear accuracy behind them. I'm definitely playing the waiting game now and putting my Xbox One purchase off to the Spring to see who's chosen as the new CEO. If Elop is chosen and the first words that come out of his mouth isn't "I want to put an end to the rumors of me selling off Bing and Xbox. No, it isn't happening" they can kiss their ass goodbye.
  • +920
  • Kill bing I might swallow it but Xbox? Hell's NO!
  • F him
  • Elop is right.. MS need a couple of financially calm years to undo the last 6 years of the ballmer disaster.
  • Balmer disaster?
  • I'm not hoping that MS cancels the Xbox One in the Netherlands altogether now...... :P
  • Wouldn't settling on the cash cow what is Office be exactly the easy road. Short term. A visionair would see the path to longterm growth, possibly with uniting PCs, Xboxes WPs to, like "someone" said, one Windows? Hardware and software. Of course THIS road is looking forward to risk and hard work...
  • Don't hire this fucking idiot MS.
  • OMG don't even talk to be about Lotus Notes. My work uses Notes 8.5 and im looking at it right now on my work laptop. The technology behind it feels like it was last updated in 1997 (and probably was)
  • If this were true then Elop has not seen the XBox One. The UI is designed to get people (especially young people) familiar with the "Metro" look. You know so they feel at home in front of a windows PC. About Bing... Bing is the only hope for competition in search. Google has killed everyone else.
  • If there was ever a dumbest idea discussed in here i wasn`t around at the time, for sure. @Daniel Rubino, you`re an excelent source of indormation to learn about apps and a bazzilion other things about windows phone on the market, and for that i am grateful. Other things like future strategy, product or brand management, i respectfully could`t disagree with you more. And, no, i`m not "...an expert on running microsoft".
  • ...It is not difficult to see what Elop has pictured ~~Article
    I thought it was just a claim that he has pictured this. It seems Bloomberg's sources are the ones who asked us to believe that Elop was a mole to bring down Nokia and now that he's coming back to finish off Microsoft too. It looks really shaky to me. I'd give it a 4--5 at most on the rum'o'meter.
  • Eflop destroyed Nokia's toys for Microsoft...and now he destroys Microsoft's toys. Ah! Karma's a b*tch. I'm really laughing at all those MS-fanatics that are now shouting against Eflop for his presumed intentions of doing to Microsoft exactly what he did to Nokia (but then those fanatics weren't bothered).
    I'm almost hoping he gets the CEO job with this plan...almost.
      By the way...the CEO who focus Microsoft on Office and delivering stuff to Android and iOS is also the CEO that signs Windows Phone's death sentence. Oh yes. Don't think that it's only Xbox and Bing that get the axe. Windows Phone is also axed (and Surface might also not survive) if that's the plan.
      I personally couldn't care less if Xbox and Bing are gone. I don't use Bing and I prefer the PS. As long as Microsoft keeps Windows and Office, which are the Microsoft products I really like,  I'll be fine. As for Windows Phone...that's going out of my door two years after the last Nokia device is produced, IF the deal goes through. So if it gets axed...too bad. It's just infuriating that in the meantime it destroyed the best phone OEM.
  • +920! Exactly right!
  • "Integrated systems are becoming more and more important and when a company develops both the software and hardware, we are likely to see better results." The "One OS" and a unified ecosystem is critical to MS.   There should be no axe; no cutting XBox or Windows Phone.    
  • Read alot of these comments. People seem to have this view MS needs Xbox. They don't. It has nothing to do with their core platforms. Its a TV and entertainment product. Is TV the future of everyday computing..no. Not to mention the ham handed way MS has handled the One rollout. It could probably do better on its own as an independent company that uses MS technology.