Speaking in an interview with Fox Business, the founder and former CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates, has voiced his opinion that he would not object if Microsoft decides to spin-off their Xbox and Bing divisions. He was asked the question if the value of the company can be increased by breaking up some of the company’s brands, with Bing and Xbox the first ones to come to mind.
In his reply, Mr. Gates stated that it is difficult to separate Bing because of its use for Microsoft as it allows them to see “what’s going on the internet” and thus, it is a “Fundamental technology” for the company. After giving a few historical examples that Microsoft does support the idea of a spin-off, he closed his argument by stating that “i can’t see that making sense to breaking it off”
When asked if breaking up the Xbox division would be possible, since it is vastly different to what Microsoft usually offers, Bill Gates said
“Well, we’re taking PC gaming, Windows gaming, and Xbox gaming and bringing those a lot closer together. The power of the PC graphics chips means you can do great games there. So I’m sure Satya and the team will look at that, and, you know, it’s up to them. But we’re going to have an overall gaming strategy, so it’s not as obvious as you might think”
On his reply, the interviewer asked if he would support the current CEO Satya Nadella if he decides to spin-off Xbox Division, to which Gates replied
It should be noted that this idea isn’t a new one and it first appeared late last year, but gained momentum again after Satya Nadella was appointed as CEO and this time, it also included Surface which the investors wanted to axe off. Moreover, the co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen stated last year
“The search business and even Xbox, which has been a very successful product, are detracting from [software and services.] We would want them to focus on their best competencies. My view is there are some parts of that operation they should probably spin out, get rid of, to focus on the enterprise and focus on the cloud.”
It remains to be seen if there are indeed whispers of actually doing this in the upper ranks at Microsoft or they consider Xbox a vital cog in their machine? If they do decide to sell their Xbox division, one can only assume what will happen