Stephen Elop would reportedly kill Bing and sell Xbox if named Microsoft CEO


Earlier this week we told you that the Microsoft CEO search has been narrowed down to four people. Interviews are still going on, but those four are the front-runners. One of those candidates is Nokia’s Stephen Elop, and if you were rooting for him before you might change your mind after hearing what he would consider doing.

Bloomberg is reporting that Elop has some big plans for Microsoft if he is made CEO. First, he would like to change Microsoft’s strategy of having Office on primarily Windows devices. He would push for better Office on Android and iOS. He would like to sell Office more as its own thing instead of using it as a way to get people to buy Windows devices.

Elop’s other strategy is much more controversial. Bloomberg suggests that Elop would be willing to consider shutting down Bing and selling off the Xbox division. As crazy as that sounds analysts in the past have also suggested the same thing. I think killing Bing would be unfortunate, but I can see why they would do it. Selling Xbox, on the other hand, would be a mistake. Xbox is the one “cool” brand Microsoft has. They should cling to that.

What are your thoughts? Should Microsoft ditch Bing and Xbox? What other services should they get rid of?

[via The Verge]

  • Skeet

    I think MS would be silly to sell off Xbox, especially with the Windows 8 integration. It may not be a huge profit maker, but surely profit is profit?

  • Edgar Cervantes

    I don’t mind them killing Bing, but selling Xbox would be insane.

  • Ryan Lounsbury

    Microsoft is losing money on XBOX (it is a loss leader) it wouldn’t be so crazy. Consider the fact that PC sales in Q3 2013 will be greater than the sales for XBOX 360 for it’s entire lifespan it isn’t a critical unit for Microsoft.

    Extrapolate that out even more and consider that the 250 million units sold for mobile devices is just over 3x totals sales for the XBOX 360 for it’s life there is even less reason to keep it around. For the moment the future is mobile and Microsoft’s core money makers are enterprise (servers/cloud/services) and Office.

    If Microsoft wanted to compete with Sony, Samsung, Apple, Steam, Amazon, and Netflix for the entertainment sector then yes they would be crazy to dump XBOX but that isn’t where the money is. The money is in the services and software that you sell to not just Windows/XBOX users but Android and iOS users. If Elop’s vision of making Office easily available and the best productivity software suite available for mobile devices that would take a cash cow and make it more successful than ever.

    Neither Bing or XBOX are core units for Microsoft and in both cases they lose money. Shedding them just makes Microsoft a leaner and more profitable unit. Also, dumping either brand doesn’t mean that they will cease to exist either.

  • Ryan Lounsbury

    Except XBOX isn’t profitable.

  • Seeing as how they just unified all their media content under the XBOX moniker, and are expanding Bing pretty rapidly, that would seem a bit drastic. I think they are both positioned to do well in the future.

    Sure, they may not be making them money at the moment, but with more and more people moving away from the Windows and Office ecosystems on things like Android tablets and Apple hardware, its good to have other areas where you can hook people into your ecosystem and potentially grab a sale of other stuff.

  • Brakkus

    yes.focus on upgrading is where you are earning money.

  • Jon Rista

    I completely disagree. XBox and XBox Live brings in billions in revenue. The primary loss sector is in Microsoft’s web endeavors like Bing. Personally, I don’t think they can eliminate either, and given Elop’s position on them, he would be the worst possible candidate for CEO. Why? You say neither Bing nor XBox are core units for Microsoft…that is fundamentally incorrect. Both Bing and XBox have been DEEPLY integrated into Windows 8. Bing is the core heart of search in Windows 8, especially its everywhere or “universal” search in 8.1. Bing is the source for vast amounts of informational details that are threaded through all the core apps that come with Windows 8. XBox has also been intimately married to key core apps like XBox Music (a big revenue generator), XBox videos, and the whole host of XBox games and the XBox Live account integration.

    These things are INTRINSIC in Windows 8. They cannot be removed without rewriting some core aspects of the OS. And that is just Windows 8. Bing and XBox are also fully integrated into the Windows Phone 8 devices. You can’t do shit for search on a Windows Phone 8 device without Bing. All global search, many voice activated commands, audio search, etc. are fundamentally dependent upon Bing to function. I can’t imagine using any Microsoft device without these integrated features, or the cloud sharing across all my devices and PCs they bring to the table.

    Elop is a naive fool to think he can just drop the two key monikers that Microsoft JUST centralized EVERYTHING under over the last year. Bing and XBox are THE core names for Microsoft, under the umbrella of Windows. I just hope to god that Gates blocks any nomination for Elop before the fool actually gets some power in the company and destroys it.

  • James

    This would be the most stupid idea ever, 2 years ago maybe, but now that they are actually gaining marketshare and becoming profitable in these areas, I have to say WTF is this guy thinking? I know a year ago I hated Bing and now it’s my primary search engine.

  • Bill

    I think Microsoft should release XP and then shutdown Microsoft. FUCK WINDOWS 8