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Gates would support Microsoft spinning off Xbox biz

Company founder would "absolutely" back CEO Satya Nadella if he decided to separate gaming business

If freshly minted Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella decides to get the company out of the video game business, he has Bill Gates' support in doing so. Speaking on Fox Business Network today, Gates initially danced around a question about potentially spinning off the Xbox business from the rest of the company.

"We're taking PC gaming, Windows gaming, and Xbox gaming, and bringing those a lot closer together," Gates said. "The power of the PC graphics chips means you can do great games there. I'm sure Satya and the team will look at that. And 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."

However, when asked if he would support Nadella if the decision were made to spin off Xbox, Gates didn't hesitate.

"Absolutely," Gates said.

At the very least, Gates was more open to the idea of excising Xbox from the company proper than its search engine Bing.

"Certainly the Bing technology has been the key to us learning how to do large-scale data centers," Gates said. "And Bing lets us see what's going on on the Internet so that as people are interested in various topics, we know what's new. We know when they're typing text, what it might mean. So I see that as a pretty fundamental technology for the company, even for its Office business, which is a very, very core business... We're thinking about, 'Are there pieces that are separable?' But our basic research, including the stuff that goes into Bing, I can't see that making sense to break it off."

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Latest comments (11)

Paul Jace Merchandiser 2 years ago
But our basic research, including the stuff that goes into Bing, I can't see that making sense to break it off."
Bing should be the first thing to go, like yesterday.
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Rodney Smith Developer 2 years ago
why does bill g care? he's nearly sold all of his m$ shares
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 2 years ago
why does bill g care? he's nearly sold all of his m$ shares
Gates now owns just over 330m Microsoft shares after the sales this week. Ballmer owns just over 333m, according to Thomson Reuters data.

That gives both men around 4% each of the total outstanding shares, making them by far the biggest individual shareholders.
( http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/03/bill-gates-on-course-to-sell-off-all-his-shares-in-microsoft-by-2018 )

And he's a tech advisor to Nadella. Both give him reason to care. :)
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Show all comments (11)
Andrew Ihegbu Studying Bsc Commercial Music, University of Westminster2 years ago
The biggest issue I see with MS, is that they refuse to use the PC market to capitalize on the Xbox market. If they had been integrating cross platform ownership back when XBL first became popular Sony still wound struggle to compete with the level of integration they could have now, but such is their fear of piracy that they still refuse to do so properly.

And no, G4WL was not 'proper integration'. The closest we ever came was Shadowrun, which is a mighty shame. They even rejected Dust514.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 2 years ago
The biggest issue I see with MS, is that they refuse to use the PC market to capitalize on the Xbox market.
They sacrificed their PC gaming segment for the XBOX in early 2000s. The market for PC games is now run by Steam, not Microsoft. G4WL was not very popular either - Dawn of War 2 : Retribution removed support for G4WL by the request of the users.
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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster2 years ago
They sacrificed their PC gaming segment for the XBOX in early 2000s.
Its a shame because many thought Microsoft's move into the console industry was to help fight off the threat Sony posed to PC gaming.
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Shane Sweeney Academic 2 years ago
He was clearly saying he would support any decision a Nadella backed Microsoft would make.

Just usual politics stuff.
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Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis2 years ago
@Paul - Bing is surprisingly good. Biggest down side is that typing Google is a habit now.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd2 years ago
@ Barrie Bing is basically just a Google data farm. It offers almost nothing that Google doesn't and pulls all its results from Google, so all you're getting is a slightly slower, considerably less versatile Google (Google's symbiosis with Chrome, Youtube, Google Now on mobile, and Gmail makes it so much more useful in literally every way).
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 2 years ago
Bing is basically just a Google data farm. It offers almost nothing that Google doesn't and pulls all its results from Google
Really? So you're saying that when I type a search into Bing I get google results back! Sorry but, I'm gonna have to call you on that one. Please provide the information for that claim.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 2 years ago
So you're saying that when I type a search into Bing I get google results back! Sorry but, I'm gonna have to call you on that one. Please provide the information for that claim.
http://googleblog.blogspot.de/2011/02/microsofts-bing-uses-google-search.html
http://searchengineland.com/google-bing-is-cheating-copying-our-search-results-62914

Two articles from 2011 detailing the odd behavior and a method involving fake honeypot search results by Google to test whether Bing is ripping them off or not.
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