Elop would consider dumping Xbox and Bing if he becomes Microsoft CEO

Stephen Elop is no stranger to making controversial decisions that he feels is best for his company. When he took on the role of CEO at Nokia, he dumped Symbian and described it as a "burning platform" before shifting focus to Windows Phone.

Given that Nokia is now selling its devices business to Microsoft, and that Nokia is the largest Windows Phone vendor by some margin, some have called Elop a Trojan horse for Microsoft. Whether that is true or not, Elop is reportedly in the running to be CEO at Microsoft after Steve Ballmer retires and, according to Bloomberg, he is ready to shake things up.

It is being stated that Elop would consider dumping Bing and Xbox if he were to be given the reins at Microsoft. The thinking behind this position is apparently based in a desire to focus the company on its core competencies and remove the outlying business units that do not align with these core service lines.

Selling either of these divisions would be a huge change for Microsoft as they have poured billions of dollars into product development and marketing. Although Bing is not having much luck at making serious inroads against Google globally, Xbox has been a strong product for the company and has consistently sold well in the US.

It is no surprise that Bing is mentioned to be on the chopping block by Elop as that division has been a bottomless pit for the company's finances for years, as they have poured in huge amounts of cash in an effort to make in-roads against the Google search juggernaut. Bing has built a decent product but Google continues to dominate, and Microsoft, even with its link-up with Yahoo!, has struggled to dent Google's vast worldwide share of the search market.

If Elop's position has been accurately reported, he would not be alone; analysts have been saying that Microsoft should spin-off Bing and Xbox from the company to shed liabilities and returning focus back to its core products.

Elop is not the only individual in the running for the CEO position but he has long been rumored to be a front-runner for the job. Only time will tell who eventually gets the position but we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer.

Source: Bloomberg | Image via Nokia

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That would never happen...

Even if he did dump xbox...that would be the stupidest thing this guy ever did. Another company would grab the xbox market so fast it would make Microsoft's head spin.

I sure hope not! There is something I don't care for with elop and ballmer, I just don't know what it is.

I heard Bill gates is training the new ceo though. So everything should be fine with MS.

The fundamental questions should be: Is Microsoft going to focus on the business/enterprise arena or the consumer arena? One cannot do that using just one Operating System. There are plenty of user for both Microsoft (business/enterprise) and Apple (consumer) to be very successful. Remember...pigs get slaughtered; both on the farm and in the business world.

TsarNikky said,
The fundamental questions should be: Is Microsoft going to focus on the business/enterprise arena or the consumer arena? One cannot do that using just one Operating System. There are plenty of user for both Microsoft (business/enterprise) and Apple (consumer) to be very successful. Remember...pigs get slaughtered; both on the farm and in the business world.

Pigs?

I was campaigning for Elop and whilst there are valid business reasons considering spinning those units, I just don't think its the right decision for them so no dice elop. Need to find a new contender.

this guy has no idea if he really intend to do that. pooped on Nokia and now wants to poop on Microsoft. I really hope he won't get elected as new CEO

That's right, Neowin members. Besides discontinuing Xbox and shutting down Bing, rumor has it that he's going to abolish Metro and bring back the old Start menu as well.

>>It is being stated that Elop would consider dumping Bing and Xbox if he were to be given the reins at Microsoft. The thinking behind this position is apparently based in a desire to focus the company on its core competencies and remove the outlying business units that do not align with these core service lines.

I'm sure Bill Gates would be furious with that kind of mentality. I'm also sure Steve Ballmer would concur.

bing is only being expanded to allow the platforms to compete in an area where as apple knows: you need to spend money to be on the map. and not just maps, but knowledge graphs.

First he have to go through Mr. Gate body because is he's dream's for the Xbox to become the all in one for all houses and he owned Microsoft.

Andrew Salvat said,
First he have to go through Mr. Gate body because is he's dream's for the Xbox to become the all in one for all houses and he owned Microsoft.

No need to be "Shakespearian"... At the end of the day the Board and the shareholders will decide what happens with HP: Walter Hewlett fought against her but at the end HP board and shareholders backed her and he lost.... Regrettably I would add.

It wouldnt make any sense for elop to drop xbox (which wont happen) seeing as the x1 will be the entertainment hub of the house running modern UI, prolly be able to share stuff with the PC, tablet phone etc its there future of integrating systems into homes etc. As Lord of the Rings fans may like 1 OS to rule them all

Steven Sinofsky would make a very good CEO since he was apart of Microsoft since 1989, and ran the Windows division in 2009. Sinofsky headed the development of and release of the successful Windows 7.

trojan_market said,
He also was the head of windows who created windows 8 ( the most disastrous version of windows)

The only thing make Windows 8 a "disaster" is comments like these. Sinofsky was also the head of Office 2007, and WIndows 7, but no one seems to care about that. Why highlight accomplishments, when you can fling poo instead?

don't get me wrong I am not a troll, I am actually an MS dev. but windows 8 really was an absolute disconnect from windows 7. very poor help system, jumping between desktop UI and twin UI (modern UI) when lunching regular apps. underestimation of number of people using start menu. make the long story short, 8.1 should have been released instead of 8. windows 8 was a really good OS with a really really terrible UI and most users simply didn't know how to use it. even though on desktop side it was better than 7.

Yeah no thanks.... Xbox is too major for MS to let go. Bing is actually seeing major gains in the recent year thanks to people realizing Google's evilness (they just need to bring the same quality internationally, because it's only great in some countries). Also, now that it's baked into all it's products and services that's a no-no as well. So really, they should keep both.

j2006 said,
Cutting off Windows and Office would be lol.... but ya these are really silly ideas.

HAHA, fair enough. As leveraged as the XBox and Bing brands are though, this would be like cutting the company off at the knees....

These are people with lots of Google, Apple and/or Sony stocks that are paying people to spin this thing about the idea that Microsoft should get rid of Bing, Surface and Xbox. Some large investors only invest in a company to have a say in what they should and should not do and sometimes it's about making sure that their overall stock portfolio grows regardless to the damage they do to one company. By getting Microsoft out of Search, Google stocks would go up by a good margin and in the process shadowing a billion or two in Microsoft stocks that may go down. If they make 5 billions on one side and lose 2 on the other, they are ahead by 3 billion.

No Bing = Higher Google stocks
No Surface = Higher Google and Apple stocks
No Xbox = Higher Sony and Nintendo Stocks

NocturnalAlloy said,
These are people with lots of Google, Apple and/or Sony stocks that are paying people to spin this thing about the idea that Microsoft should get rid of Bing, Surface and Xbox. Some large investors only invest in a company to have a say in what they should and should not do and sometimes it's about making sure that their overall stock portfolio grows regardless to the damage they do to one company. By getting Microsoft out of Search, Google stocks would go up by a good margin and in the process shadowing a billion or two in Microsoft stocks that may go down. If they make 5 billions on one side and lose 2 on the other, they are ahead by 3 billion.

No Bing = Higher Google stocks
No Surface = Higher Google and Apple stocks
No Xbox = Higher Sony and Nintendo Stocks

Actually few days ago MS shares rose $1.36, or 3.7%, after Analyst Rick Sherlund from Nomura highlighted the same scenario.....

It's too bad many people can't understand Microsoft's strengths, I'm hoping that with the re-org things will get better from an external view perspective. Microsoft needs to play like Apple and Ford Motors do, re-advertise things that they have created 20 years ago, however simple and stupid it may sound. The thing is, people simply forget, that's the nature of humans, and they just need to be reminded about the great stuff that Microsoft did, and does, one feature at a time, don't throw too many things inside one commercial.

doubtful. He knows the bing engine is needed to compete with siri and google now. without this, their chances at a competitive mobile ecosystem are reduced greatly.

as for xbox, I think they should open it up. offer xbox OS to PC and kill steam OS in one shot.

I doubt the above rumor is credible.

Elop has a strong believe to the Ecosystem model. In fact he based his whole strategy of transforming Nokia to Microsoft's ecosystem.

Xbox and Bing (besides Microsoft brands and services) are critical parts of Microsoft's ecosystem.

Businesswise is not making any sense too. Xbox is now making money after so many years of losses and it has expand Microsoft's ecosystem from Games to Movies and Music. Same for Bing is improving as a whole, in many areas, including market share and today is far more than just a search engine.

Prepare your stomachs my dudes. With almost all Microsoft product and services now being (extremely) successful, Xbox, Bing, Windows Phone, Windows and Office, the Internet needs a new negativity against Microsoft and breaking up the company will be their new stinky subject.

I agree with Dr. Pizza from Twitter. If Elops consideration to this is anymore than "let me think about that for a second... No." Then he is not the right man.

Sweet, lets get rid of the XBONE, with all the bullcrap DRM they tried fitting into it i am sure the next one will be an enormous flop and be worse. They should just concentrate on making a gaming portal for Windows users and have a super resurgence of PC gaming.

I read ages ago that Sony were going along the exact same ways as MS were with the "DRM" thing but when MS took a massive backlash from it they quietly "reinvented there wheel" then slammed MS for it even though they were going to do someat similar. Changed everything round quietly and the PS4 is as it is now.

This has been a consideration for a long time. They wouldn't get rid of the Xbox, or sell them off, merely split it into its own company. A lot of stockholders have asked for this, because certain divisions of Microsoft are "dragged along" by their successful divisions, and the stock value has remained somewhat stagnant.

Yawn

More FUD being spread by Sony fanboys who fap everyday to the thought of a one console future where their precious Sony is the only choice for gaming.

Get a clue their will always be multiple players in console gaming, and currently MS is doing alot better than Sony. Sony better hope they turn things around or their may not be a company to deliver future playstations.

Exactly. Sony PS4 is being released with so much criticism whereas Xbox One was flawless and perfect from the start. Oh wait...

stevan said,
Exactly. Sony PS4 is being released with so much criticism whereas Xbox One was flawless and perfect from the start. Oh wait...

From the way you're misinterpreting his post... I take it you don't know what kind of financial difficulties Sony is in. They are only really held afloat by their sales of life insurance policies... and even a perfect PS4 won't change that.

[quote=rfirth said,]

From the way you're misinterpreting his post... I take it you don't know what kind of financial difficulties Sony is in. They are only really held afloat by their sales of life insurance policies... and even a perfect PS4 won't change that.[/quote

Sony is fine. Not all is rosy but their products are of good quality.

rfirth said,

From the way you're misinterpreting his post... I take it you don't know what kind of financial difficulties Sony is in. They are only really held afloat by their sales of life insurance policies... and even a perfect PS4 won't change that.

if PS4 will fail because Sony is not doing it fine (economically) then why Microsoft EPIC FAILED with Kin. I don't get it, MS earns a lot of money, why failed?. ;-)

If true (and I doubt it is) that would pretty much kill Elop's chances of becoming CEO. Microsoft is on a pretty firm path to integrate all their products and services. While Ballmer won't be CEO, both him and Gates are still on Microsoft's board and neither would approve such a decision. Besides, everyone knows diversity is the key to surviving in today's market. Short term gains to make shareholders happy will turn disastrous in the future.

The key word here is "consider".
Someone who uses his head considers all possible options once he has the relevant information in hands, then make enlightened decisions. *Considering* something is the wise approach, as opposed to ignoring some of the options you have, and considering something does not mean this is what you'll do in the end but at least you'll have thought about it.

Lord Method Man said,
Whoever gets chosen as the new CEO, you can rest assured they will be more qualified than anyone on Neowin.

...I would certainly hope so.

Lord Method Man said,
Whoever gets chosen as the new CEO, you can rest assured they will be more qualified than anyone on Neowin.

I'd take that bet.

There are people on here that would shock you.

Ishanx said,
Xbox One was full of FAIL.

It hasn't even launched yet... and it's going to be on sale for the next decade...

ugh, I didn't do my research, it was Ubisoft's screw up. Still, I wouldn't mind Microsoft dropped Bing and put more thought into Xbox next gen.

Why drop Bing? It's the only thing giving Google a run for its money right now. You want no search engine competition so Google can get complacent and more evil and creepy than they already are?

Ishanx said,
I wouldn't mind if Bing dies off. Xbox... hmm, Xbox One was full of FAIL.

Ishanx said,
my bad my bad but just look at this! http://www.arg-development.com...t-using-ps4-watch-dogs.html

Xbox1 using PS4 gameplay

Ishanx said,
ugh, I didn't do my research, it was Ubisoft's screw up. Still, I wouldn't mind Microsoft dropped Bing and put more thought into Xbox next gen.

Wow, that's the first time I have ever seen a F.U.D. trifecta within a span of 6 comments. Congratulations.

Ishanx said,
I wouldn't mind if Bing dies off. Xbox... hmm, Xbox One was full of FAIL.

This ^ is a complete lack of understanding of the base technologies that come from Xbox and Bing that enrich a majority of Microsoft products.

Take just this one fact...

The Xbox development team is behind the entire generation shift in how GPUs are designed starting with the new GPU technologies in the Xbox 360 that DID come from the Microsoft hardware engineers in creating the Xbox 360.

These same advancements are why Windows is the top performing gaming platform, as work from the Xbox team and the use of UMA technologies are at the foundation of the WDDM//WDM technologies that are the basis of the entire video subsystem revamp in Vista, 7, 8 that not only increased stability and speed, but made GPU virtualization technologies available to Windows NT that NO OTHER OS can currently perform.

Or take Bing R&D and all the work that has been adopted and used by the Microsoft Office team, the SkyDrive team, they Outlook.com/Hotmail.com team and even advancing search technologies for Windows itself that is extend to Apps running on Windows.

Xbox and Bing may not make $$ on its own, but they are a massive contribution to the entire Microsoft set of technologies, and a massive contribution to the entire GPU/Gaming/Movie industry as a whole.

(Avatar would never have existed if it was for Microsoft 3D gaming technologies that came from Xbox R&D. PERIOD.)

Elop apparently has no clue about what Microsoft does or is doing. Just the comments about refocusing Office to other platforms seems to demonstrate he is oblivious to the fact Microsoft has already done this and is in the process of expanding Office features for Android and iOS.

He could sell Xbox, but not dump Bing. All that effort, Scroogled, Bing maps, collaborations, would go to waste. And I'm accustomed to Binging already.

Spicoli said,
"It is being stated" - by whom?

Several possibilities:
This has been leaked by Elop himself to boost his chances to win " hearts and minds" of those shareholders who want to see MS shares at $50 and above.
or
This has been leaked by someone who wants to weaken him in the eyes of those shareholders who are against such kind of plan.

Fritzly said,

Several possibilities:
This has been leaked by Elop himself to boost his chances to win " hearts and minds" of those shareholders who want to see MS shares at $50 and above.
or
This has been leaked by someone who wants to weaken him in the eyes of those shareholders who are against such kind of plan.

Or it could be a complete lie made up by one of his competitor's for CEO.

Figure 8 Dash said,

Or it could be a complete lie made up by one of his competitor's for CEO.


That is what I said.... Or it could be a triple side game etc., etc.

Figure 8 Dash said,

Or it could be a complete lie made up by one of his competitor's for CEO.

Then perhaps he should open his mouth and say something.

It scares me too. I like Elop. I think this is FUD spread by someone else. I believe Elop is smarter then this. Short term gain but long term consequences. Sorry,I would probably levitate over to use Google comparable apps/devices if that happens. As, I feel that Google is also interested in merging the environments but currently does not have the needed app infrastructure to do so. Losing these brands would affect the overall "one" environment differently but would weaken any such move none-the-less.

First, spinning off something means you no longer have control of it. Maybe a company have initial influence after the split but, in the long run you will not unless it benefits that new company or the previous owner (Microsoft would have to benefit from Bing over Google or new company would have to benefit more from supporting Windows) Alternatives may not integrate they way you wish. Apple could probably buy up Bing to control the search. Bing as an operation under Microsoft may not be control as much of search globablly as they would like but the returns are much greater then how much brings into the bottom line. It further saves Microsoft from not having to beholden to Google in this area. It provides data. It provides control. It provides a lot of tech that is integrated within Windows. Bing, itself is integrated into all their products (fairly well by most standards)

Secondly, Xbox represents more then just console. Xbox represents a branding within Microsoft itself. Yes, initially 360 lost money but now makes money. The new X1 device apparently breaks even with costs. Games now bring a nice bit of change to Microsoft overall intake. Xbox also allows them to introduce new tech (e.g. Kinect 2) in a controlled environment and expand it to other devices (possibly integrate into tabs/laptops/desks/phones). It bridges their ability to allow consumption of additional media (Music, Video, etc..) A separate company must act in it's own best interest (even if MS attempts to keep a large percentage of the spinoff) Xbox currently also allows them to have some control with the consumer's experience. You can't be cross platform with using the moniker Windows Music. But, selling cross platform on the name XBox Music is a different brand built as a media experience. To support the Xbox and it's infrastructure (servers) would take deep pockets. These are just little things that will be lost in such a split XBox and Microsoft.

I may be a happy Windows phone owner but, maybe they should drop that whole phone division too (stop the Nokia buy too). They keep pumping money into and most of their returns are from patent payments from Android manufacturers. If putting immediate spring in the stock over long term viability is the goal than WP should be on the chopping block too. If this whole story is true then why bring in a new CEO. They could hire me on the cheap. I believe I can get sell off divisions just as easily and dismantle this integrated concept they are striving for. It does not take a creative genius to do such. I thought they were looking for someone to lead not react to a minority of investors. I suppose short term investors are much more important they future viability of the company.

Edited by pjosephson, Nov 9 2013, 12:25am :

No, they are now a hardware and services company. Services include software, but on a cross-platform/web-enabled level (i.e. Bing, Office 365, Xbox Entertainment, Windows Store, etc.). It's only a matter of time before Windows itself becomes a service too

DaveBG said,
He already ruined Nokia, there is no challenge for him there anymore

Nokia would have lost even more money without Elop, if it had decided to use Meego or Android for its devices.

look at HTC. They chose to focus on android, and now they are failing.

link8506 said,

Nokia would have lost even more money without Elop, if it had decided to use Meego or Android for its devices.

look at HTC. They chose to focus on android, and now they are failing.

Ah yes, the classic Nokia would have failed anyway. What you conveniently forget is HTC and Samsung sell windows handsets too, yet it barely registers in their sales charts. LG mobile tried completely switching to windows and it almost killed them, before they were rescued by Android.

link8506 said,

Nokia would have lost even more money without Elop, if it had decided to use Meego or Android for its devices.

look at HTC. They chose to focus on android, and now they are failing.

htc had little brand recognition, certainly compared to nokia. They charge rip off prices for their phones and often don't release any android updates. Their low end phones still come with 512mb ram, they competitors sony, samsung, huewei, zte all come with 1gb ram.

I think nokia would be doing very well if they were selling android phones, their phones are attractive and well made in interesting colours.