Major change in Microsoft strategy could mean Xbox One is the last one

Following Steve Ballmer’s retirement announcement, some very interesting bits of information have been trickling out regarding what may have occurred behind the scenes. According to reports, Ballmer was in the midst of planning a succession plan, but wasn’t planning on retiring so soon.

According to Business Insider, Ballmer starting piecing together a succession plan two years ago, this is the norm for executive positions. However, since then Ballmer has made the decision to accelerate his retirement to within the year.

BI’s sources have pinned activist investor ValueAct Capital Management LP, as one of the driving forces that may have played a role in Ballmer’s early retirement. ValueAct put out a proposal asking the board to consider selling or spinning off the Xbox division and possibly devices in general.

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Docknoss1877d ago

MS will be just as much apart of the gaming and entertainment industry as Don't and Nintendo for generations. This is ignorant to assume this

MysticStrummer1877d ago (Edited 1877d ago )

They could remain part of gaming without making a console. It's happened before and it will happen again.

But, it would be shocking if MS killed off their "one bright star in the devices and services category". I don't see it happening.

darthv721877d ago

If the xbox division is sold off, i could see samsung buying it. They already make a great line of smart tv's with gesture support but imagine if their next model incorporated a kinect 2 system.

Then you buy the console and it just seamlessly works with the tv or samsung tablets and smart phones. It could be what samsung needs to really hit apple where it hurts.

u got owned1877d ago


Agree, maybe they can become a big publisher like EA. Can you imagine playing Halo on PS5, now that would be crazy.

blackbeld1877d ago


For the first time I agree with you.

shivvy241877d ago

I reckon sony would buy it

abzdine1877d ago

nothing i should worry about as long as Sony and Nintendo are still in the business

Clarence1877d ago

Sega is apart of gaming without a console. Atari was once apart of gaming without a console.

hqgamez1877d ago (Edited 1877d ago )

you must not understand how money comes in. It seems like Xbox is doing well, in the PUBLIC eye. you can throw money to advertise it, but it doesn't mean it will dominate. I said before that M$ is going to have to stop using their windows money to buy exclusives, brands, celeb endorsements, and ads on other products like Zune, Bing, Xbox. It was really their scheme. Use windows money, to hope to rule another business to gain multiple profits. MS spend too much money on xbox 360 for content, rrod fix, etc. They did it for a reputation in the gaming world. As the product sells, behind close doors its really not doing much, just taking a risk to build a good rep.

Most people can agree mainly in the US that 360 overtook ps3. I like ps3 exclusives way more, but 360 has the better rep. Everyone in the US know Xbox, they probably sold double the amount of ps3 in the US. The work has been done, 360 has a small 3rd place right behind ps3 worldwide, but 2nd in the US behind wii. Now here comes the X1, the way they can make money. New polices, they expected everyone of their fans will follow and not worry, but that didn't go so well. This was what they wanted. This took a blown to their rep instantly showing the lack of knowledge of games, and just a company after peoples money. MS was forced to take away features to recover their rep, but damage was already done. Now without a new market scheme X1 is turning back to drawing board putting it back to a lose using windows money.

I won't be surprised if this is their last console. It will be a shock to see them just sell it off tho fast. There is a bunch that goes on behind closed doors in the office you don't know about. So if they sell, they had their reason why. I would like to see Sony buy it but that wouldn't be fair. Maybe apple, samsung, etc. I just think gaming right now is in good hands with Sony & Nintendo

JeffGUNZ1877d ago (Edited 1877d ago )

@ hqgamez

You really can't believe that nonsense you just wrote, can you? Look at the marketshare MS gained from their original xbox to the 360. It's astronomical. Look how PS2 dominated the US during that generation and now the 360 owns the US this generation. MS has the best launch lineup, according to almost every website out there, invested heavily in their cloud system with hundreds of thousands servers. Everything is pointing that their gaming division is doing exceptionally well, but you somehow throw up an 6 year old rrod and other minimal excuses to try and justify your biased fanboy opinion. If this is truly the last generation of console for MS, it's only because they would have a streaming device for all digital download next generation. It's funny how many people think they already know the "winner" of next gen. when the systems are still months away from releasing.

hqgamez1877d ago (Edited 1877d ago )

No one is being a fanboy. I might just attack Nintendo, and all others than.
I'm stating how a oompany entered a market to make a profit of it. Of course you won't know this because to get rich you got to take chances.

Plus you talk about cloud that wasn't even focus on till late 2011. Like I said everything seems nice on the xbox side, but not benefiting at all for the whole company. It's like how THQ, but the team making saints row is doing so good of it.

That is why they can sell Xbox, no one buys a brand heading down south. Like I said, sunny on the outside, but don't display the secrets inside. Remember I said Scheme, not plan.

No one is stating a winner of next gen, just a current favor.
If you think launch titles make a better console, you're very wrong

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Mystogan1877d ago

Never going to happen, keep dreaming Ponies.

joeorc1877d ago

this is not like the situation with Dan Lobe, the fact that many times the corp. Raiding in companies in the US do have a chance to go through , I think shows just how short sighted some investors in US companies can be swayed to quickly. Many Times Corp. Raiding is done by these massive hedge funds, that just want to grab more cash, at the expenses of the people that work there and to the reduction of growth for the company , because profit is not being pushed back to them fast enough.

its pure greed at the expense of making sure a product survives past its infancy and trying to make a growth product in the market. many times the they really do not even care about the product or its people that work there, only the sheer amount of $$$ they can make.

So while i agree, this happening is most likely not going to happen, 2 billion by this hedge fund is no joke, and already with Ballmer having to already take a pay cut before he was to step down and retire, may give them ammunition to make changes this hedge fund wants, even though i myself do not think the hedge fund is looking at the long term picture. only the quick return.

steve's pay cut

hakeem09961877d ago

So out of all the new stuff Microsoft released (zune,tablet,cellphones,xbox ) the xbox division was the only success story ,they became a household name ,took over the living room and most important of all was in the green it's whole life cycle even during the RROD fiasco .Sony on the other hand was in the red 80% of it's life Cycle both the PS3 and the Vita cost them millions in lost revenue but you guys think MS will be the one too sell the only new division they have that's been profitable ever since it camed out .the day a 1% shareholder dictates how a company should process with their product will be the day fanboys rule the world

Anon19741877d ago

I think the point a lot of people are missing is this isn't about how well the Xbox is selling. The problem is when you look at the Xbox division and compare it to other divisions, it's just not keeping up and that's the problem. It's always being compared to other divisions.

I've used this example to illustrate before, and it's pretty simplified but you'll see the issue. You have two divisions and each eats up a million dollars a year. One division gives you returns of 8% and the other 40%. Sure both divisions are making you money, but at some point it would probably be worthwhile to consider, "Hey, maybe we should switch how we spend our money to maximize our profits." It's simply business.

The XBox as it's own company wouldn't constantly be held up to the standards and shareholder pressure outside of Microsoft because if separated it's performance could be measured against others in it's own business, not against MS's other software divisions. Also, if Microsoft wants to spin off or sell off the Xbox, better to do it while the Xbox looks poised to do good things. That'll help maximize the amount MS could receive for such an action.

Personally, I don't want to see this happen but it's been rumbling for years now and certainly seems more likely with Ballmer going and with Valueact applying pressure to an idea that had already been echoed by shareholders and other board members in the past. My concern is without the safety net of MS's billions, the Xbox division would take fewer risks and I don't think benefits gamers.

Campy da Camper1877d ago

Bingo. This. This. This. Economics 101. No one is saying Xbox is losing money. What they are saying is it could make them more money as a separate entity. Shareholders are fanboys only to money. If its determine that MS could make more money licensing kinect to say Samsung they would do it.

People think professional business men and women think like gamers just because they make gaming consoles. Not true. Money runs corporate america and the more the merrier.

Patrick1877d ago (Edited 1877d ago )

Its funny, yall are acting like its "Sony fanboys" trying to make MS sell off xbox. But guess what? It has nothing to do with anyone except the stock holders. Its the people that have large amounts of money in MS that are telling them what to do. Sony and Nintendo have nothing to do with this, their shareholders arent telling them to sale. MS's shareholders dont like what they see, yes they made money off 360 but apparently they have lost more at this point then they made back from the beginning of xbox. I'm gonna be real honest even if its real unpopular. I'd love to see MS out of gaming totally. They are a greedy, power hungry company that feels it must control 100 percent of any market they enter. And, the real kicker... They arent even the best at what they do, dont believe me? Check out any market they are in where they actually have competitors and youll usually find them at the bottom. There are much better companies that would be better competitors.

AngelicIceDiamond1877d ago

Pretty sad sight to see people here are looking forward to Xbox downfall.

Are you sure you guys are gamers? I don't think any of you are.

I'm seeing some pretty selfish comments here. Honestly you guys need to find a new hobby because video gaming entertainment is not for most you people here.

What I see: Lets pray MS fails and leave the Xbox fanbase to die for my own selfish none reasonable desires.

I'm disgusted...

Clarence1877d ago

Yeah we're gamers but M$ hasn't been about the gamers.

1. M$ immediately stop supporting the 1st Xbox
2. M$ released the 360, even though they knew it had issues RROD
3. Xbox 1 and its DRM policies.

That's doesnt look like company that's about the gamers. That's fine if that's how they want to play it, but do expect gamers to keep supporting a company that really continues to $h!t on gamers.

GrandTheftZamboni1877d ago

Microsoft is about dominance and monopoly. Not about competition. Windows vs OS2, Internet Explorer vs Netscape, PC vs Amiga, Mac etc. My problem is that successful MS products were inferior to the ones they killed.

AngelicIceDiamond1877d ago


People on the internet complain. @Clarence your doing your part in not buying the console. But don't try and ruin it for everyone else with your selfishness. Just play games?

Those 3 negatives doesn't declare the immediate death of the Xbox.

1.) Who's complaining about that? If it were the 360 then yeah that would be a huge F U.

2.) PROD'd Xboxes were a major concern. But MS extended the warranty and and offered to repair them for free (rightfully so)

3.) What DRM policies? Your making up old stuff just to complain now ok.

1).Mod support
2).Cloud Processing (300 000 dedicated servers)
3).Smart-Match and advanced match making
4).Unlimited cloud storage
5).Kinect 2.0 has some great potential and complete navigation through the console
6).Dynamic and progressive achievements
7.)Xbox Smartglass
8.)Improved Reputation system
9.)Customization UI
10.)One Gold account shared across all accounts
11.)Snap Mode. And Snap anything
12.)Windows PC compatible
13.)Gamesharing (coming later)
14.)1000 friends list, Unlimited followers.

These are just some of the features that are for gamers.

Like I said do your part and continue to not support MS and quit having night sweats about the console and want to ruin it for everybody else.

Just play games.

KingofGambling1877d ago

I don't think Clarence is being selfish at all, he's stating his displease of Microsoft actions and all of those reasons are solid example of why Microsoft don't care about gamers.
I think Clarence is trying to educate gamers on whether to support a company that would support the gamer first.

Patrick1877d ago

Thats the thing though, its gamers that can actually see that a company like MS could end up being real bad for an industry if they are allowed to dominate. Without competitors, MS doesn't innovate, they repackage and resell the same old buggy crap, only adding a couple new options each time and charging you a fortune cause they know you have no other choice but to buy their product. They aren't trust worthy and they need to go. We need companies that got where they are cause they competed in an industry and strived to be the best, like Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Atari, etc. The problem with MS is they jumped into a market where at the time, there could be only one, and they have remained there ever since, charging what ever they pleased and doing whatever they wanted, cause they knew, you didn't have a choice. I used to like MS, till I realized I didn't have the option not to...if I wanted a PC.

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Cuzzo631877d ago

And to think back on all the "Sony is losing money, "Micro is making profits everywhere" talk. Your Gods are not as Godly after all... lol

Sorry couldnt resist...

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FAT MAN GO BOOM1877d ago

God Damn I hope not, this will be very bad for gamers all around..

Maddens Raiders1877d ago (Edited 1877d ago )

Well not for Ninty and Sony gamers but I know what you mean. You always want someone to push the limits of the "technology boundaries" in this industry if you will, especially since Ninty and Sony have diverging philosophies in this regard. MS going away would not advance this notion. I would be utterly shocked if MS ever bowed out of the console race.

slazer1011877d ago

First off they would never just shut it down. MS would try to sell off their interest. Xbox would still be around with just different owners. Something as large as Xbox is almost to big to fail. JMO.

Golden_Mud1877d ago

Actually it will be bad for Sony gamers cause Sony will get lazy , a competition is always healthy

Maddens Raiders1877d ago

@IHassounah -

We're saying the same things. The only thing I said differently was that it wouldn't be bad for Ninty or Sony gamers /directly/ because they would still have consoles to play going forward, made by those manufacturers in this scenario.

The bad thing would be the lack of competition for Sony if MS left. Please read my previous comment again.

MWong1877d ago

It depends on what the board would decide if they would just shut it down. I didn't realize the division was at this big of a lose. I wonder how big of a loss did the division experience with the XB360 and the RROD? I agree I will miss somethings M$ has brought out software-wise as far as hardware is concerned I could do without a lot of it.

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kneon1877d ago

In the short term it won't matter, and in the long term others are eying this market. Google, Apple or Amazon could step in if the Xbox dropped out.

GarrusVakarian1877d ago

I doubt it, as long as there is a passion and a love for videogames, there will be consoles. I don't see gamers getting bored anytime soon.

jackanderson19851877d ago

personally can't see it happening, MS have came out and said their way forward is in devices because they have the software market for OS wrapped up and unless something miraculous comes along it'll continue to dominate that market.

xbox on it's own has made money, it's the entire entertainment division that has dragged it down, not surprising with the 900m write off for the tablets but the division still had an operating income of 850mil.

xReDeMpTiOnx1877d ago (Edited 1877d ago )

It depends.

If Microsoft losses NA decently bad to Sony this time around I can see Microsoft exe's pulling the plug on the Xbox.

Microsoft already is outsold quite handily everywhere else in the world other than the UK and NA which Sony seems to be putting work into.

Only time will tell.

I personally think Microsoft will be done after this upcoming gen people need to realize they are a business and their business market of gaming is shrinking.

Microsofts big flaw was not appealing to other countries and gaining the support other than the uk and NA, so if they lose NA and UK its pretty much over.

LOGICWINS1877d ago

By your logic, the 360 shouldnt exist since the PS2 stomped the Xbox worldwide.

MysticStrummer1877d ago

That's quite a bit different. They saw how huge the gaming market was, and with the original XBox they dipped their toes in the water. They were a late entry into the game but still managed to bring out some exclusive titles that made people interested in what would come next.

They did very well with 360, but there's no way they envisioned launching first yet finishing last again, especially after all the money they threw at timed DLC, true exclusives, their network, etc.

Personally, as I said above, I don't see them leaving the console business, or at least not yet. It's not smart to kill off part of your business that's doing well.

Godmars2901877d ago

It shouldn't.

Or rather the Xbox brand, as an individual company, would very likely have been forced to close it's doors if not for revenue from other MS divisions after its first business venture.

theWB271877d ago (Edited 1877d ago )

They've gone from 24 million OG Xboxes sold to 80 million and counting 360's sold and their market is shrinking?

Seriously how does that work? Seriously do you people think before you post or since it's Microsoft it's automatically doom and gloom?

xReDeMpTiOnx1877d ago (Edited 1877d ago )

God you guys flip at negativity. Can anyone say anything. Around here without everyone getting uptight?

And yes Xbox sales have went up.

But look.

Back in the ps2 era Xbox came out and began building a fan base and while they got destroyed by ps2 they were able to find an audience and get an audience.

Next gen rolls around and ps3 isn't looking so hot compared to 360 and 360 gets a year head start so the fan base expands quickly due to new gamers, ps/Nintendo gamers not wanting to wait for new consoles or just want something new.

But now Xbox is established they are 2 gens in and they have failed to establish strong fanbases outside of the US and UK where the huge huge majority of sales come from.

But now if they lose the US and UK they have lost the home base and Sony and Nintendo dominate other areas to heavily for them to make impacts now.

JeffGUNZ1877d ago


The UK and the US are the two biggest markets for gaming, what are you talking about? MS and Sony went neck and neck this generation, that is very impressive from what happened the previous generation when Sony destroyed the original xbox. Their market is growing and people who don't like MS tend to spin everything to the end of the world. MS will be all digital by the end of this coming generation and their is no doubt they will increase their numbers even more this generation. MS is pushing towards the future, disc based gaming is prehistoric now, I will be buying all my Xbox One games digitally, so I don't even have to leave the house to pick up a game or wait on a line at gamestop or any other retailer awaiting the midnight release, just do it from the comfort of my living room.

I really think people need to wait a few years into this upcoming generation before they make sold bold predictions.

theWB271877d ago

A retort is flipping it's just a retort. 60 million more consoles sold is not shrinking, however you look at it.

You can look at it as them only having two territories locked up, but that's two territories they didn't have before the 360.

The 360 is still outselling other consoles in the same places, especially US. If they lose pre order numbers? This is a marathon, not a sprint. If you look at how PS3 came back after stumbling, why can't Micro do the same thing especially in its strong markets?

Do you see Mario and Zelda pushing the same kind of units you expect Micro and Sony to do with these new systems?

xReDeMpTiOnx1877d ago

Microsoft don't have the influence that the Sony and Nintendo brands carry.

So where as Microsoft could do catching up its not practical for them.

The only place that Xbox really sells well is NA and UK and they are losing both of those markets.

The 360 established a huge fanbase in NA and a good strong one in the UK.

But look they have been losing ground in home territory and if they lose home territory where do tey have left to go?

Put you in their shoes. Ur coming up on next gen and you are still Riding out bad PR, while losing ground in the only 2 places that ur console sells well. If you we're to lose NA and UK then where do you have a market to sell?

Sony completely destroys Microsoft when selling game systems anywhere but NA and UK the fanbase and legacy is too strong.

Microsoft doesn't has the legacy of Nintendo and Sony helping them through this.

As much as you guys hate it or not but this might be Microsofts last console if they don't do well against competition

BattleTorn1877d ago (Edited 1877d ago )

"People need to realize they are a business"

And Sony isn't?

joeorc1877d ago


Nintendo will have 5 systems on the store shelf.
Sony will have 4 systems on the store shelf.
Microsoft will have just 2 systems on the store shelf.

right there is your Problem.

Microsoft only has 2 systems world wide for this part of the market! while both Nintendo and Sony have More. when you talk about Market share its not just talking about only one system vs one system. its the catalog of systems each company offer's. right now with Sony and Nintendo together that is a 9 systems to 2.

the allocation of shelf space is going to be more for other systems but a Microsoft based game system.

by the time a 3rd Microsoft game console hits the market, there will yet still be more systems from Nintendo and Sony for Microsoft to contend with for shelf space. let alone Microsoft's 1st party efforts to support more than 1 game system at a time.

This is what takes time, spending money is one thing, but in order to be able to build up your retail chain and distribution chain in many countries that will take time.

hell right now just for the xboxone it will be released into 13 countries, vs Nintendo and Sony presence in more contries world wide than what Microsoft ships to.

that's what investors may be looking @ the investment $$$ to support more than one system and return on that investment.

when a hedge fund is even @ 1% that is still 2 billion$$$ into a company, that is no small coinage into a company even one the size of Microsoft.

BattleTorn1877d ago (Edited 1877d ago )


What are you talking about? 9 systems to 2?

What are you counting as game systems? Nintendo has 5? And Sony has 4?

Nintendo: Wii, Wii U, and 3DS = 3. Maybe 2DS makes 4. Where do you get 5?

Sony: PS3, PS4, Vita = 3. Where do you get 4? You counting the PSP?

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