Rumour: Elop to consider dropping Bing and Xbox if appointed Microsoft CEO?
Stephen Elop is a potential candidate for the position of Microsoft CEO, succeeding Steve Ballmer when the current head steps down. According to a report over on Bloomberg, Elop would consider shaking things up at Microsoft. Office would be targeted, as well as Bing and Xbox. So what kind of changes would we be looking at?
As always with rumours, we recommend you take this with a grain of salt, but it's certainly interesting to imagine how Elop would settle down at Microsoft. It's also worth noting that Elop has not been appointed the position and Microsoft is still currently accessing both internal and external candidates.
That said, Stephen Elop is set to join Microsoft should the deal go through, taking charge of a new Microsoft devices unit that will be responsible for hardware including the Surface tablets and Xbox video game console. So why would Office, Bing and Xbox be on the cards for change if the current Nokia head became the next Microsoft CEO?
Bloomberg's sources have said Elop believes Microsoft could increase revenue by maximizing sales of Office, rather than limiting the suite to Windows hardware. With the current PC market dwindling, one could assume Elop could look to capitalise on competitor platforms, including Android and iOS. Currently the company is delaying any launch of the Office suite on non-Windows smartphones.
Not only that, but it's said Elop would also be prepared to "sell or shut down major businesses to sharpen the company's focus." This would reportedly include ending Bing and the continued struggle against Google's dominance in the search engine race, as well as Xbox if it were determined the division wasn't part of the strategy.
Indeed, quite a few analysts have called for the exact same moves for Microsoft, so those ideas are hardly new. It's just no one at Microsoft has embraced them. Yet.
Whether Microsoft would listen to analysts and investors and sell its Xbox division among other assets is yet to be seen. It's still early days and the company continues the search for the next CEO. In the mean time, there's an Xbox One launch to get through, along with new Lumia hardware.
Of course, these "sources" from Bloomberg could be trying to poison the well for Elop and his chances at Microsoft. So remember, not only may this be 'FUD' but it may be a strategic decision to sink his chances. Regardless, do you think those proposed ideas good or bad?
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.