OPINION: This week's big Xbox drama showcases how little people trust Nadella's Microsoft — a legacy forged in the death of Windows Phone

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fjtorres5591

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Whoever is in charge of external relations (PR, etc) and internal security need to be shown the door. The leaks don't help and going two weeks before addressing the leaks is unprofessional and intolerable. What could have been seen as trolling, wishful thinking, or misunderstanding was given credibility via inaction.

At a time XBOX should be celebrating the windfall of the unplanned PALWORLD success they are wracked with deflating rumors and nobody has stepped up to deny, clarify, or even lie. Any of the three would be proper business practice; silence isn't.

At this point, where is Nadella?
Doesn't he care about their third largest revenue stream?
 

BINARYGOD

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A baffling article, with baffling replies (only 3 but still) here in the comments.

"it's MS fault a bunch of us got whipped into a fury of mass hysteria online over what amounts to basically nothing, magnified by society-failing social media, and MS didn't come right out to claim they are not going 3rd party just a few months after closing the deal to own Call of Duty and Diablo and Overwatch!"

It's almost like you SHOULD wait for next week, and perhaps also come up with sky-not-falling possibilites as to why they said basically nothing, and why next week. Nintendo is doing something next week. That's interesting.

Nah, never mind that, let's get toxic on the internet and then blame the large trillion-dollar corporation for why we act like fanboyistic babies. Even if you are correct and Halo is going to PS5 - the stress and all that over a week is for what? Who is getting anything out of that, other than twitteroids and failed website writers who got TONS of juice out of the Next Shocking Story Click Here to Find Out!

BTW - Windows Phone, by nearly all accounts, should have been killed off sooner - anyone's possible actual regret is not an admission they should have stayed the course. And the Hololens stuff is an entirely different beast altogether, and quite frankly, that stupid iWhatever that Apple just launched for over 3 grand proves that, actually. No one would bother caring about that if the same exact thing was made by any other company. If it really is the start of something, well too bad, its late for even that, AR and VR are already things long before Apple chose to show up and this is not an iPod moment.

Anyway - your claimed lack of trust, or your willingness to automatically believe all or most of the 3rd party "rumors" has almost nothing to do with Nadella or Spencer. That is, again, if any of this is even real - I mean, I too, I guess, could pretend to care about fake news if it meant it kept my paycheck going.
 
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Ron-F

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Microsoft started as a small company that created software for hobbyists in the 1970s. However, by the end of the 1990s, it was already a company focused on the enterprise market. This means they had a small number of customers that paid a lot of money for the services. Also, they could deal only with the small ITs teams, instead of the enormous number of users in their clients. This is all incredibly good, but it doesn't equip a company to deal with the consumer market. Microsoft always had an ambition in the consumer market that never found success, except for the Xbox. Although there is enough time for corrections, I am not sure consumer services and products could ever blossom in Microsoft, especially when they became big and attract more scrutiny.
 

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Great article. To be fair, Nadella has proven to be a great business CEO. I consider him a "curator" CEO. Like a museum curator, he carefully selected what was valuable and highlighted them in the exhibit (Microsoft). If something wasn't currently valuable, he threw it out. This worked well because Ballmer left behind so much innovation in everything from Azure, to Office365, to Office, to Windows, to Windows on ARM, to Surface, to XBox, to Windows Phone, and even Hololens in the basement. He was probably trying to do way too much.

So, Microsoft is a great stock, but not exciting. Fewer of us ever buy new Microsoft products (HoloLens, Surface Duo) now or pay much attention to their announcements (Surface Neo). Your article was spot on, we don't trust Nadella.
 
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Completely agree with XboxGreyThor, this is one of the best articles you've done and a true eye opener.....BUT (yes it's a big but)
I truly don't believe it's a consumer confidence issue but as always a fan boy (status) issue, most supporters of Microsoft ( not shareholders) are the players they don't really care about the decisions made unless it effects them specifically i.e. no more plastic box to claim as there own.
It's the same as Apple people really don't care about the product as long as they have it, it's all about status, if they were to discontinue iPhone and put there OS on a generic phone, only the most dedicated would buy it, the Apple Vision Pro & Hololense are a prime example only the most dedicated who can afford them will buy them just because of the status perceived buy owning them, You could buy a decent PC or laptop for that price and most come with Windows (yes you can install other OS) but it's the software that makes the difference.
And this is what we're looking at here, what's the experience to the average consumer if they go put games on PlayStation or even Nintendo switch it's no different the the current push they have on Samsung TV, you don't need the Xbox you just need a controller and subscription to Gamepass to still enjoy the main reason to claim support of Xbox...the Games.
Yes they have had some major support problems with hardware Zune, Windows phones, Hololense etc but I don't think its hindered the average user, they still support Microsoft as a whole, and it could be worse look at the amount of projects started by Google only to be dropped a few years or even months later.
Yes google & apple have also attempted to limit Microsoft's to not have the ability to run the apps on there hardware but Microsoft have achieved workarounds like steaming without the Gamepass App so the average person can still play their games on that hardware because they know it's the software that people support more than the plastic boxes and this is what they consider more important, thus I don't think they would loose developers when it's achieving a bigger and more diverse reach of people, hence why the Activision Blizzard King deal was important for them.
Anyway as a Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5 & Nintendo switch owner if the plastic boxes weren't there I'd love to have the ability to get rid of them and be able to play anything, anywhere at anytime on any device which is what Microsoft are trying to achieve with Gamepass.
Anyway again fantastic writing for a good thought provoking look at the possible future of the Gaming industry as a whole. And you "keep pretending to be interested in fake news to get a paycheck" (looking at you BINARYGOD) as far as I'm concerned you do a great job at it
 
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xsikal

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Couldn't agree more, Jez. It echoes what a lot of people have been saying for years, back to when there was a comment section and Rubino would get into flame wars arguing the opposite (using the now seemingly soon to be moribund Surface line as the proof).

I gave up on MS hardware several years ago because I stopped trusting the company. It seems more and more people are doing so. As a consumer, the company has become a massive and untrustworthy disappointment. But the growing truth is that every company cares more about their shareholders than their customers... some are just better at hiding it than others.
 
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naddy69

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Once again, everyone misses the main point about Microsoft.

"But the growing truth is that every company cares more about their shareholders than their customers... some are just better at hiding it than others."

EVERY company cares about their customers. You don't stay in business very long by ignoring your customers.

But you HAVE to realize - and accept - that the customers that MS cares about are corporate customers. That you have personally spent "thousands of dollars" over the years on Xbox and games (and phones and music streaming and whatever) means nothing. There are corporate customers that spend thousands of dollars DAILY on MS products and services.

Who do you think MS is listening to? Who would YOU listen to?

"Today, we're exploring why active Xbox consumers don't trust Microsoft with this "plan," and how Satya Nadella's Microsoft jeopardises its entire operation beyond gaming with short-sighted, quick-money decisions that erode long-term trust in its products and services. "

Again, missing the point entirely. ALL of those "short-sighted, quick-money decisions that erode long-term trust in its products and services" were ALL about consumer products. The LONG TERM result of the "short-sighted" dropping of consumer products - incidentally, consumer products that were losing billions of dollars - is that MS is today the World's Most Valuable Company.

Why O Why are you still looking for MS to supply your consumer electronics needs? Its not going to happen. All of Microsoft's consumer products are LONG gone. What is the result of that? That's right. MS is today the World's Most Valuable Company.

You don't run a trillion dollar business with your heart. You have to use your head. Killing products that are not selling well, are losing money AND are not part of your overall business strategy is a good business decision. You don't keep such products around just to please fan boy websites.

Having said all of that, Xbox is doing well. I would be very surprised to see it killed. At worst they might sell it off, but even that makes no sense at this point. Xbox is not Windows Phones. It is actually selling well AND making tons of money.

Which is something Windows Phones never did.
 
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Luuthian

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Fantastic article Jez, thank you. I really couldn't add to anything you said, it was poignant and underscored a lot of what many of us are feeling.

For what it's worth I always feel really weird coming here still. Windows Phone was how I found this place and I've been in and out ever since it was Windows Phone Central. Used to comment in the forums back when there were actual Xbox Live games for the devices. You guys always fought the good fight for the devices but Microsoft never rallied the troops. It feels like every few years I come back here the same thing plays out and it sucks.

I moved to Apple devices full time in 2018 and have absolutely no intention of coming back to Microsoft because the hand can only be bit so many times... But despite that, I put my faith in Xbox back in 2018 because of gamepass and needing a gaming device to offset all the Apple computing. For a while it was everything I could want, but now I feel like my hand got bit again. Too many remakes of old games or Square or Capcom things I wanted kept skipping the platform this generation. It's the last time I feel like putting myself out there for anything "Microsoft" because any time I take a chance on something with them the same thing happens.

I'll still pop in to this site off and on to keep up with news. I think you're all fantastic writers and deserve all praise. But getting rid of my xbox really felt like the last cord to cut with them so far as consumer devices go. Hopefully they get the message one day like you said... but I'm not willing to be the first to find out any more
 
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jlzimmerman

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A baffling article, with baffling replies (only 3 but still) here in the comments.

"it's MS fault a bunch of us got whipped into a fury of mass hysteria online over what amounts to basically nothing, magnified by society-failing social media, and MS didn't come right out to claim they are not going 3rd party just a few months after closing the deal to own Call of Duty and Diablo and Overwatch!"

It's almost like you SHOULD wait for next week, and perhaps also come up with sky-not-falling possibilites as to why they said basically nothing, and why next week. Nintendo is doing something next week. That's interesting.

Nah, never mind that, let's get toxic on the internet and then blame the large trillion-dollar corporation for why we act like fanboyistic babies. Even if you are correct and Halo is going to PS5 - the stress and all that over a week is for what? Who is getting anything out of that, other than twitteroids and failed website writers who got TONS of juice out of the Next Shocking Story Click Here to Find Out!

BTW - Windows Phone, by nearly all accounts, should have been killed off sooner - anyone's possible actual regret is not an admission they should have stayed the course. And the Hololens stuff is an entirely different beast altogether, and quite frankly, that stupid iWhatever that Apple just launched for over 3 grand proves that, actually. No one would bother caring about that if the same exact thing was made by any other company. If it really is the start of something, well too bad, its late for even that, AR and VR are already things long before Apple chose to show up and this is not an iPod moment.

Anyway - your claimed lack of trust, or your willingness to automatically believe all or most of the 3rd party "rumors" has almost nothing to do with Nadella or Spencer. That is, again, if any of this is even real - I mean, I too, I guess, could pretend to care about fake news if it meant it kept my paycheck going.
This was an opinion piece. With that said, I too agree with Jez. I've been an avid fan of MS since 1996. I've had all the products, giving them umteen chances to make good on their promises. From Zune to Band 1/2 to Project Spark to Visual J++ to Courier to Kin to WM/WP to Kinect to Groove Music to CodePlex to MS Points. MS has made strokes of genius with products beautiful and functional light years ahead for its time.....all to just yardsale it or walk away after they swore a commitment. So yeah, when they start looking to host Xbox games on competitor platforms, those of us who have WATCHED THIS PATTERN FOR MANY YEARS knows what it means, and it isn't good for Xbox.

It may turn out well for MS gaming revenue (which it's all they care about, let's be blunt) but it would be the end of the Xbox brand.
 
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reapercet

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This whole thing reminds me of that "cinnamon toast crunch shrimp tails" hoax.
I remember thinking that it was incredibly stupid that general mills was made to feel as if they had to to officially respond to unfounded Twitter nonsense.

This is a similar scenario. Microsoft does not need to actively dispute every single murmur on the Internet. Especially when the murmurs are being amplified by media outlets that should know better.
 
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CadErik

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I somehow get the phone thing - they prob poured billions into the windows phone without getting a dent in the market, and unclear if more $$$$ would have changed much. I still suspect they could have had a decent 3rd position and offer a mobile game pass device. But man the hololens, we cannot be looking at anything in the same range. That's niche hardware, just keeping some innovation going there is prob something they could afford. And with the Xbox, their hardware is similar to PS5. There is no good reason their production costs are that higher from Sony (only Nintendo makes profit on the hardware). Plus, it's x86 stuff so they should be able to work with their surface division to figure out the hardware and stay competitive. I'm with Jez here and they could be losing to the next decade if they stop xbox hardware.
 
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TBBudak

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Commentators and multiplatform game journalists are openly confused about why Xbox fans are freaking out this week. But if they'd been watching Microsoft like most of us have, they'd understand why. Microsoft has a trust problem.

OPINION: This week's big Xbox drama showcases how little people trust Nadella's Microsoft — a legacy forged in the death of Windows Phone : Read more
Satya Nadella is one of the most respected CEOs in the world. His leadership turned Microsoft into the most valuable company of all time. Instead of saying that "people" do not trust him (the people being Xbox fanboys and a very loud minority) you should praise him for trying to help keep Xbox alive.

I know you're a shameless shill who pretends he isn't, but your blind fanboyism cannot continue to ignore the facts.

Xbox sales have collapsed. And GamePass has missed growth target for 3 years in a row. Stop ignoring these facts. Microsoft may be rich, but why continue to invest in a dying brand?

The Xbox community can blame whoever they want but ultimately, the blame falls on the Xbox community. It's their fault for renting games and not buying them. It's their fault for stacking 5 years worth of GamePass subscriptions for $50. It's their fault for buying the cheapest, weakest Xbox. Microsoft would have never thought of going multiplatform if the Xbox community actually bought games.

And if you want to talk about trust, let's talk about your waning trust as a "journalist". Mr "people are going to feel silly next week" even though you were one of the first people to cry about this rumor.

People like you are the reason why Xbox is in this current situation. You defended Microsoft when they were acquiring companies, you befriended a trillion dollar company, you thought Phil Spencer was your friend. And because of it, you failed to criticize Microsoft on things that mattered.

Boohoo.

PS: I find it worrying that you continue to write hit pieces when Xbox is shown in bad light. First, you accused an FTC lawyer of corruption (because fought against MS) now you're writing a piece saying that Satya Nadella is not trusted. You are a narcissist and genuinely an appaling person. I cannot fathom loving a brand so much that you participate in such behavior when your favorite brand is on fire.
 

TBBudak

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This was an opinion piece. With that said, I too agree with Jez. I've been an avid fan of MS since 1996. I've had all the products, giving them umteen chances to make good on their promises. From Zune to Band 1/2 to Project Spark to Visual J++ to Courier to Kin to WM/WP to Kinect to Groove Music to CodePlex to MS Points. MS has made strokes of genius with products beautiful and functional light years ahead for its time.....all to just yardsale it or walk away after they swore a commitment. So yeah, when they start looking to host Xbox games on competitor platforms, those of us who have WATCHED THIS PATTERN FOR MANY YEARS knows what it means, and it isn't good for Xbox.

It may turn out well for MS gaming revenue (which it's all they care about, let's be blunt) but it would be the end of the Xbox brand.
This mindset is embarassing. Nothing is going to happen to your Xbox games. You will still play Xbox games now you're just getting the choice where to play it on.
 
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TBBudak

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Once again, everyone misses the main point about Microsoft.

"But the growing truth is that every company cares more about their shareholders than their customers... some are just better at hiding it than others."

EVERY company cares about their customers. You don't stay in business very long by ignoring your customers.

But you HAVE to realize - and accept - that the customers that MS cares about are corporate customers. That you have personally spent "thousands of dollars" over the years on Xbox and games (and phones and music streaming and whatever) means nothing. There are corporate customers that spend thousands of dollars DAILY on MS products and services.

Who do you think MS is listening to? Who would YOU listen to?

"Today, we're exploring why active Xbox consumers don't trust Microsoft with this "plan," and how Satya Nadella's Microsoft jeopardises its entire operation beyond gaming with short-sighted, quick-money decisions that erode long-term trust in its products and services. "

Again, missing the point entirely. ALL of those "short-sighted, quick-money decisions that erode long-term trust in its products and services" were ALL about consumer products. The LONG TERM result of the "short-sighted" dropping of consumer products - incidentally, consumer products that were losing billions of dollars - is that MS is today the World's Most Valuable Company.

Why O Why are you still looking for MS to supply your consumer electronics needs? Its not going to happen. All of Microsoft's consumer products are LONG gone. What is the result of that? That's right. MS is today the World's Most Valuable Company.

You don't run a trillion dollar business with your heart. You have to use your head. Killing products that are not selling well, are losing money AND are not part of your overall business strategy is a good business decision. You don't keep such products around just to please fan boy websites.

Having said all of that, Xbox is doing well. I would be very surprised to see it killed. At worst they might sell it off, but even that makes no sense at this point. Xbox is not Windows Phones. It is actually selling well AND making tons of money.

Which is something Windows Phones never did.
Great comment. Jez Corden is too often blinded by this love he created for Microsoft. Any rational though about Microsoft evaporates when it comes to Jez Corden. And his cringey obsession with the Windows Phone, my god, just move on already.
 

TBBudak

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"Xbox uber fans are notorious for freaking out first, asking questions later."

Jez, you are one of the "uber fans". You were practically crying about this rumor. The lack of self awareness is cray-cray 😭
 

TBBudak

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Whoever is in charge of external relations (PR, etc) and internal security need to be shown the door. The leaks don't help and going two weeks before addressing the leaks is unprofessional and intolerable. What could have been seen as trolling, wishful thinking, or misunderstanding was given credibility via inaction.

At a time XBOX should be celebrating the windfall of the unplanned PALWORLD success they are wracked with deflating rumors and nobody has stepped up to deny, clarify, or even lie. Any of the three would be proper business practice; silence isn't.

At this point, where is Nadella?
Doesn't he care about their third largest revenue stream?
He cares a lot about their third largest revenue stream. That's why he's expanding it to more consoles.
 
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TBBudak

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Well written article, and it echoes what I've said for years. Microsoft's problem isn't that it can't innovate, deliver on a vision or create great products, it's that when the going gets a little rough, Microsoft gives up and slinks away.
The Xbox has been "rough" since 2014. They've been trying to bring Xbox back for a decade. That's not "giving up". They tried. It failed.
 

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