02-10-2014 02:09 AM
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  1. Reflexx's Avatar
    I don't think most board members are even experienced enough to run a tech company. They are usually from the financial/economics background. You ideally want someone with an engineering background to run a software/technology company

    Business background and management experience is way more important than having an engineering background. Most brilliant engineers would be horrible CEOs.

    However, if you have someone with great business experience, great management skills, creative thinking AND engineering prowess... well, then that's pretty darn good.
    02-06-2014 07:41 PM
  2. ajst222's Avatar
    Honestly, it would be stupid to do either one of those things. Just...why? Microsoft has the resources to work on many things at once, plus they all serve a purpose in the whole unification "OneMicrosoft" thing.

    Posted via the WPC App for Android on my BlackBerry
    02-06-2014 07:42 PM
  3. rmeigs's Avatar
    Don't judge all "shareholders" on the minority.
    Very true. I was reading the comment in the context of the OP, i.e., "two Microsoft Shareholders." To me they sound like your "minority that wants a quick buck and don't care about the future of the company."
    02-06-2014 08:09 PM
  4. a5cent's Avatar
    lol, aren't all those divisions making money currently?
    Sorry, not gunna happen :P Xbox has been a cash cow.
    XBOX is interesting in that it does make money
    Sorry guys. That the Xbox earns MS money is incorrect. MS and Sony both sell their consoles below cost (initially), so they lose money on every sale. Some of that money is earned back over time, primarily with (a) subscriptions and (b) the cut both companies take on game sales. Unfortunately, that hasn't been enough. Profits are really only earned at the tail end of each console's lifecycle, once the hardware becomes considerably cheaper to manufacture. By that time however, the next generation usually isn't too far off, so the money loosing cycle starts anew.

    That is why the previous generation lasted as long as it did... both companies required almost a decade to earn back at least some of the money they spent when the products launched. During the last few years, the Xbox 360 has been profitable, but over its entire lifetime, the Xbox 360 has lost MS billions of dollars (source). With the XB1 the cycle has now started anew, and dispite MS' goal to break even, that doesn't appear to be happening (take that with a grain of salt... reports on the web are contradictory).

    Nobody outside MS has the exact numbers, but most analysts estimate that XB1, WP and Skype are all money loosing endeavors, together incurring losses between 2.0 and 2.5 billion annually (one of many possible sources). MS covers this up by factoring in revenue from Android licensing, which is how they are able to claim that all divisions are profitable.

    Those loss incurring endeavours is what investors are unhappy about, some more so than others. Investors calling to spin off Xbox is almost a tradition at this point... it's been happening for years. This was the last thread on the same issue.

    Like everyone else here, I think selling off Xbox would be a tragic mistake.
    Last edited by a5cent; 02-06-2014 at 11:31 PM. Reason: Spelling
    Laura Knotek and Citizen X like this.
    02-06-2014 10:37 PM
  5. 5150 Joker's Avatar
    Why would selling off the Xbox division be a mistake? It really detracts from the core focus of Microsoft of being an Enterprise, PC desktop/laptop and mobile devices company. All Xbox One does is add brand recognition to a bunch of teenagers from whom very little revenue is derived. As WP has proven, Xbox live on the phone is next to worthless so really the whole living room trojan horse goal has fizzled out. At this point MS would be well served to get rid of Xbox and sell it to whoever wants it so they can get back to focusing on PC + mobile gaming.
    02-06-2014 11:50 PM
  6. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    Why would selling off the Xbox division be a mistake? It really detracts from the core focus of Microsoft of being an Enterprise, PC desktop/laptop and mobile devices company. All Xbox One does is add brand recognition to a bunch of teenagers from whom very little revenue is derived. As WP has proven, Xbox live on the phone is next to worthless so really the whole living room trojan horse goal has fizzled out. At this point MS would be well served to get rid of Xbox and sell it to whoever wants it so they can get back to focusing on PC + mobile gaming.
    What about attracting those teenagers toward the rest of Microsoft's ecosystem? It might be better if those users decide to stay with Microsoft's 'professional' products/services once they are adults, rather than letting them choose Android/Apple instead.
    Zippier likes this.
    02-06-2014 11:54 PM
  7. Jas00555's Avatar
    Why would selling off the Xbox division be a mistake? It really detracts from the core focus of Microsoft of being an Enterprise, PC desktop/laptop and mobile devices company. All Xbox One does is add brand recognition to a bunch of teenagers from whom very little revenue is derived. As WP has proven, Xbox live on the phone is next to worthless so really the whole living room trojan horse goal has fizzled out. At this point MS would be well served to get rid of Xbox and sell it to whoever wants it so they can get back to focusing on PC + mobile gaming.
    I think one of these shareholders is lurking in the forums (;

    Seriously? I hope you're kidding. Entertainment is HUGE. Sure, maybe at launch they'll take a loss, but by the end of this Sony will be the only one barely making money back. The way that Microsoft has positioned the X1 as the all in one entertainment console makes it a cash cow for them (and if they produce good content, one that I'll be happy to fund). PC sales are declining and they have to find other sources of revenue. I really like Microsoft's products and I don't want to see them become the next IBM.
    02-07-2014 12:16 AM
  8. xchange's Avatar
    If MS actually wake from their slumber they should make more of an effort to get Office out on better selling platforms than their own
    rmeigs likes this.
    02-07-2014 12:24 AM
  9. a5cent's Avatar
    Why would selling off the Xbox division be a mistake? It really detracts from the core focus of Microsoft of being an Enterprise, PC desktop/laptop and mobile devices company.
    That the Xbox detracts from MS' other efforts isn't really an argument, because every division detracts from every other division. That argument gives you a reason to get rid of any division you don't like. The far more interesting question is how likely those investments/detractions are to pay off down the road. Google is also working on a gaming console, so clearly MS isn't the only one who thinks the home entertainment console might become far more important in the future.
    rmeigs likes this.
    02-07-2014 12:54 AM
  10. xchange's Avatar
    The PlayStation is also one of Sony's more profitable divisions
    02-07-2014 02:15 AM
  11. ntice_521's Avatar
    Xbox has been a modest success for Microsoft (xbox360 turned a small profit) but where's the synergy? Meanwhile almost everything else loses money. So I can understand the wall street desire to stop throwing money away on long shot investments. But with the new CEO being an insider and Gates and Ballmer around, it's not going to happen. That's good for us consumers.
    02-07-2014 04:04 AM
  12. a5cent's Avatar
    The PlayStation is also one of Sony's more profitable divisions
    lol, yeah, any division at Sony that earns anything at all is automatically one of their most profitable divisions. The rest of Sony is basically going down the drain.

    Anyway, any source for that? Everything I read states the opposite, namely that overall, the PS3 lost Sony even more money than the Xbox 360 did for MS. Sony expects the PS4 to do better than the PS3. Just like MS, they claim to be aiming for a razor thin profit, but it appears that neither MS nor Sony are factoring in marketing costs (only manufacturing cost and sales price). If true, both are headed for another opening round of losses for 2014.
    02-07-2014 04:14 AM
  13. a5cent's Avatar
    Xbox has been a modest success for Microsoft (xbox360 turned a small profit...
    Why do you guys keep saying this? Any source? Everything I see disputes that claim? Profits were only made during some of the more recent quarters. Overall, Xbox 360 lost about 2 billion (give or take a few hundred million) and was a drag on the company. That is not a modest success.
    Last edited by a5cent; 02-07-2014 at 05:52 AM. Reason: clarification
    jmshub likes this.
    02-07-2014 04:15 AM
  14. xchange's Avatar
    It was on Flipboard a couple of days ago but I just tried to find it and lost it. The article had something to do with Sony getting out of the PC business and other divisions that are struggling, to focus on the ones that are doing well, and the PlayStation was among those mentioned. Likewise, the Xbox is a healthy division of MS that it would be a mistake to get rid of.

    MS reallllly needs to get rid of some of the old farts on their board of directors. They're the ones who insist on old practices of locking things down instead of propagation. Deciding to keep office off of android and ios in order to protect windows mobile devices was major stupidity. Even now the recent steps to finally get it on other platforms is half arsed and come with conditions.
    02-07-2014 04:44 AM
  15. a5cent's Avatar
    It was on Flipboard a couple of days ago but I just tried to find it and lost it. The article had something to do with Sony getting out of the PC business and other divisions that are struggling, to focus on the ones that are doing well, and the PlayStation was among those mentioned. Likewise, the Xbox is a healthy division of MS that it would be a mistake to get rid of.
    Okay. In that case the article was either poorly written, or it considered only the most recent financial period and you guys don't understand the difference between annual profitability and overall profitability. I linked to a document that explains the situation for the Xbox. If you need more Google it yourself. There are dozens of articles explaining the overall financial failure Xbox has been so far...

    So no, the Xbox division is not healthy. The finance guys would have no reason to get rid of it if it was. For the PS3 the overall losses were even worse...

    Understanding that point is essential to making sense of why spinning off the Xbox division is even an issue.
    02-07-2014 05:49 AM
  16. dkediger's Avatar
    ..... I really like Microsoft's products and I don't want to see them become the next IBM.
    Interesting example. Although IBM wasn't really in the consumer space as we recognize it now, they did lose control of whatever end user hardware share they had and shed it to focus on devices and enterprise. While they do well in the stratosphere of computing, they have very little practical/applied direct impact in the day to day world of tech.
    02-07-2014 06:42 AM
  17. MrWhiteman's Avatar
    Sorry guys. That the Xbox earns MS money is incorrect. .
    They probably do it for the same reason Google make the Chrome browser. Image / brand recognition. UK supermarkets sell beer below cost at Christmas time and sometimes even petrol. Just to win over customers.
    02-07-2014 07:40 AM
  18. xchange's Avatar
    Okay. In that case the article was either poorly written, or it considered only the most recent financial period and you guys don't understand the difference between annual profitability and overall profitability. I linked to a document that explains the situation for the Xbox. If you need more Google it yourself. There are dozens of articles explaining the overall financial failure Xbox has been so far...

    So no, the Xbox division is not healthy. The finance guys would have no reason to get rid of it if it was. For the PS3 the overall losses were even worse...

    Understanding that point is essential to making sense of why spinning off the Xbox division is even an issue.
    If I had only run across one article stating that consoles are doing good business I might be inclined to take your word for it, but I've seen numerous ones that disagree with you for weeks.
    02-07-2014 08:00 AM
  19. bsayegh's Avatar
    Kill Xbox? The only MS product that anyone outside of PC gamers considers cool? The big box they can use to promote new technologies and push their own products, like WP and Kinect? Kill that thing? Makes all the sense in the world.

    They COULD kill Surface, but if the numbers are accurate, the device is picking up speed. I have never seen a Surface in the wild, but I am guessing there have to be people out there using it, right? I would care THAT much if they ended it as long as other OEMs were building similar devices, but if it is gaining market share they should keep it.

    Bing as a search engine has its ups and downs. I actually feel like it used to be a lot better. Recently I have noticed a lot of weird search results that seem more like links to spyware than anything else. I don't know, maybe I have a virus or something? They use Bing for a lot of stuff outside of the website, and I believe iOS uses Bing too, so I cant imagine them giving it up.
    02-07-2014 08:12 AM
  20. anony_mouse's Avatar
    Microsoft putting all there (sic) services on IOS and Android?
    This seems to me a very good idea. Limiting their mobile services to what is (let's be honest) an unpopular platform seems like a good way to kill those services. If mobile is so important to Microsoft, it is idiotic to handicap themselves in that market!
    02-07-2014 08:15 AM
  21. bsayegh's Avatar
    This seems to me a very good idea. Limiting their mobile services to what is (let's be honest) an unpopular platform seems like a good way to kill those services. If mobile is so important to Microsoft, it is idiotic to handicap themselves in that market!
    They should flood the App Store and Google with apps. Create things that people love, leave them in the store for awhile, and then pull them all at once! That way people would see what they are missing.

    At the very least, they could stop making apps for other devices moving forward. I guess that all depends on them writing apps that people really want.
    02-07-2014 08:29 AM
  22. ntice_521's Avatar
    Why do you guys keep saying this? Any source? Everything I see disputes that claim? Profits were only made during some of the more recent quarters. Overall, Xbox 360 lost about 2 billion (give or take a few hundred million) and was a drag on the company. That is not a modest success.
    Xbox360 is still selling well and has perhaps 2-3 years left. The ps2 made a fortune after the ps3 came out. There is overlap.
    02-07-2014 08:32 AM
  23. jlzimmerman's Avatar
    Why do you guys keep saying this? Any source? Everything I see disputes that claim? Profits were only made during some of the more recent quarters. Overall, Xbox 360 lost about 2 billion (give or take a few hundred million) and was a drag on the company. That is not a modest success.
    I do not agree.

    Xbox as a game console may have seen losses on paper, but it has given Microsoft other tangibles and intangibles that have made their gaming side of the house flourish. Their partnerships with media outlets such as Netflix. Their partnerships with game developers. The enormous amount of money they make off XBL advertisement. The money they make off XBL Gold memberships. Their lease of Kinect technology to non-gaming enterprises and organizations.

    Microsoft made money on every Mass Effect game sold on the PS3 because they were the publisher, then made money when EA took over as publisher for ME2 and ME3. Owning the Halo franchise alone has made Microsoft almost a billion dollars in games, books, media, and other merchandise sales. The Pizza Hut app on XBL made Pizza Hut $1 Million in revenue in just four months. Microsoft gets a kickback in that, even if that kick back is only loyalty. Just a few of dozens of examples.

    This is why Microsoft has made the XBOne a total entertainment console and not just a game console. Because they know where the $$$ is.
    xchange likes this.
    02-07-2014 08:38 AM
  24. jmshub's Avatar
    Someone else finally said it, but XBox hasn't been successful. Especially with the costs of repairing all of the red-ringed 360s, they lost money on XBox. The only money they've made on Xbox hardware is the last few quarters of the 360 where the design investment has been paid in full.

    If Microsoft were to do anything with XBox, they wouldn't outright close it, or sell it to a competitor like Google or Apple. They would likely spin it out to a separate company. Possibly one that is still wholly owned by Microsoft (for instance, the way General Motors did with Delphi in the 80s). Anyway, that is all conjecture. There is no way to know what Nadella has planned for Microsoft.
    02-07-2014 08:38 AM
  25. anony_mouse's Avatar
    They should flood the App Store and Google with apps. Create things that people love, leave them in the store for awhile, and then pull them all at once! That way people would see what they are missing.

    At the very least, they could stop making apps for other devices moving forward. I guess that all depends on them writing apps that people really want.
    Just curious - why are so many people here against putting MS services on other platforms? Surely if they are good services, it's good to let people use them?
    02-07-2014 08:38 AM
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