Microsoft Reconfirms Commitment To Xbox Line Amid Insecurity

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Microsoft Reconfirms Commitment To Xbox Line Amid Insecurity

It seems like every so often, new word emerges suggesting that Microsoft's commitment to the Xbox line isn't as strong as it could be. Some even go so far as to suggest that Microsoft wants out of the game business and is ready to take steps accordingly. But a new memo released suggests that Microsoft is sticking with Xbox, and that any reports to the contrary are safe to ignore.

The memo, released from Microsoft's newly-minted CEO Satya Nadella, thanked employees for their various contributions, and also laid out the company's future plans. On page four of the six page memo, Nadella mentioned Xbox, saying:

“I also want to share some additional thoughts on Xbox and its importance to Microsoft. As a large company, I think it’s critical to define the core, but it’s important to make smart choices on other businesses in which we can have fundamental impact and success. The single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent, in a mobile-first world is gaming. We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family to go after this opportunity with unique and bold innovation. Microsoft will continue to vigorously innovate and delight gamers with Xbox. Xbox is one of the most-revered consumer brands, with a growing online community and service, and a raving fan base. We also benefit from many technologies flowing from our gaming efforts into our productivity efforts — core graphics and NUI in Windows, speech recognition in Skype, camera technology in Kinect for Windows, Azure cloud enhancements for GPU simulation and many more. Bottom line, we will continue to innovate and grow our fan base with Xbox while also creating additive business value for Microsoft.”

Some might interpret this as good news, and not without reason. It certainly seems like an excellent statement of faith in the Xbox line, and how it can be a huge help in the bottom line, providing not only value in its own right but also value elsewhere in the company. But as is commonly the case, there are always skeptics who don't quite believe the company line, so to speak, instead here noting that it took Nadella four pages out of a six page memo to finally get to the part about Xbox. To said skeptics, this sounds like nothing so much as a company giving short shrift and lip service to something the gamers love, but not too much beyond that.

I'm inclined to call it good news, myself; the worries that Stephen Elop might get into the top slot and run roughshod over the gamers were largely unfounded, as it turns out, and those days largely behind us. Microsoft may be the number two slot in gaming right now, but it's a close race as far as consoles go. So the concerns about Microsoft losing Xbox are likely to be put to bed...though a bit of vigilance is never really uncalled for.

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