Xbox Remains a Focus at Microsoft As Company Drops "Devices and Services" Moniker

CEO Satya Nadella says, "We will continue to innovate and grow our fan base with Xbox."

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella today sent a lengthy email to all Microsoft employees, with the subject "Bold Ambition & Our Core," outlining his vision for what he hopes the company can achieve in the current fiscal year. Principally, the email explains how Microsoft will move away from thinking of itself as a "devices and services" company (a term coined by former CEO Steve Ballmer), in favor of becoming a "productivity and platform" company for a mobile-first and cloud-first world. "We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more," he said.

Though Nadella wants to distance Microsoft from the "devices and services" moniker, that does not mean hardware-based products like Xbox will be affected, at least not yet. "We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family to go after this opportunity with unique and bold innovation," Nadella said. "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."

"Xbox is one of the most-revered consumer brands, with a growing online community and service, and a raving fan base" -- Satya Nadella

Nadella went on to say that Microsoft's new "productivity" focus actually lines up well with its investment in gaming. "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," he said. "Bottom line, we will continue to innovate and grow our fan base with Xbox while also creating additive business value for Microsoft."

Overall, Nadella stressed that gaming is an "important" business unit for Microsoft to be involved in. "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," he said. "The single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent, in a mobile-first world is gaming."

Earlier this year, reports emerged that suggested Microsoft might sell off the Xbox business as a means to double-down on its core competencies. As much as Nadella's comments today suggest that Xbox is not going anywhere, he pointed out that he will consider all options as it relates to delivering on his new strategy for the company.

"Nothing is off the table in how we think about shifting our culture to deliver on this core strategy," he said. "Organizations will change. Mergers and acquisitions will occur. Job responsibilities will evolve. New partnerships will be formed. Tired traditions will be questioned. Our priorities will be adjusted. New skills will be built. New ideas will be heard. New hires will be made. Processes will be simplified. And if you want to thrive at Microsoft and make a world impact, you and your team must add numerous more changes to this list that you will be enthusiastic about driving."

You can read Nadella's full email on the Microsoft website. We're likely to learn just how well the Xbox One has been performing post-price drop next week when Microsoft announces earnings for its latest quarter.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
173 comments
tr4newreck
tr4newreck

they screwed up the launch of the xbox one monumentally...


lol they suffered brand damage, public retaliation...


at least now they dropped the "service and devices"  they weren't fooling anybody, that in my mind translates to: 


"cheaply made, overpriced, peripherals...and facebook on my GAME machine"



wheres_my_phone
wheres_my_phone

they should just focus on PC. it's what they're good at. if they'd spent more time on PC maybe GFWL wouldn't have been terrible and they would have understood that their DRM is garbage and makes games unplayable. plus, we already have Sony and Nintendo and don't need a third party except to keep the market competitive.

hotwog21
hotwog21

new slogan


"Back Peddling Since Day One, Xbox One"


give us a reason to buy your product

backward compatible with xbox 360 and xbox live arcade games

enable chat between xbox one and xbox 360

make xbox live gold free


then you might get back in the race

until then choke on your poor sales


Sony has become the new microsoft, balls in your court you arrogant punks.

Delivatha
Delivatha

@hotwog21 I can't help but laugh at this comment, I'm sorry but go choke on it.

there's only one good thing about it and that's making it backward compatible that's it.

deathstream
deathstream

It took a lot of "talent" to turn a positive statement like the one Nadella made into a negative one like the article suggests.

rasterror
rasterror

I can say I see that they are committed to the system. They're responding very fast to consumer feedback and actually listen to what the people want. They're updating it constantly with n~with and better features and making it a more complete system. Plus the game lineup they have is very exciting. They stumbled and fell along the way but they got up dusted themselves off and kept moving forward with a better goal.

northArrow
northArrow

I disagree, I think they've been very slow to respond to customer feedback. How many years did it take for them to finally "listen" to us to drop the paywall requirement on things like Netflix and Hulu? 5-6 years? Ditching the Microsoft points in favor of real money? All of last gen. Only the Kinect getting dumped on the X1 after 8 months is something I'd consider fast.

Frankly I think their line up needs work too. I'm not sure if they don't know or don't care that not everyone's interested in MP/co-op dudebro games.

rasterror
rasterror

So your comparing their past model with now? They set up a system to add feedback and are correcting the largest issues and gripes. And their lineup needs work? What more do you want? They have a very diverse lineup that caters to about everything. And if you say JRPG's then that's a whole other issue. Even Japan barely wants them so they're becoming a dying breed. So Ori is dude bro, Horizon is dude bro, Sunset Overdrive drive is dude bro? You're just complaint just complain. It sounds like you're only focusing on Titan Fall and Halo and think they're just making shooters. Then what would call Sony's future lineup of shooters and gore?

Martyr77
Martyr77

LOL! "A raving fanbase" No kidding! That is the only reason why anyone would even buy a weak system like an X bone.

Shango4
Shango4

@Martyr77 But really a lot of consumer are buying the superior console which is the PS4.

rasterror
rasterror

HAHAHAHA! The superior that only plays remakes, indies and free to play games. It's cheap Steam Box but with less quality games.

rasterror
rasterror

No your comments were pretty pathetic. You seem very immature and uneducated.

Shango4
Shango4

@rasterror Is this suppose to be an insult?Because its really pathetic.

Shango4
Shango4

@rasterror Even though the every common consumer knows is superior console.But hey if think its not then thats just you.

Delivatha
Delivatha

@Shango4 @rasterror Wanna know superior? neither. at the end of the day it's not about which console is better it's about the exclusives that come out for the console.

untrue64
untrue64

@Martyr77 The system isn't weak at all. I had gotten the day one edition and found it to be quite powerful. The only downfall is the lack of games at launch. However time fixes that. No bugs to date for myself.

skiggy34
skiggy34

Though Nadella wants to distance Microsoft from the "devices and services" moniker, that does not mean hardware-based products like Xbox will be affected, at least not yet"

Quote from Eddie..... Did he read the same article I read?  The CEO very clearly stated the xbox business will grow.  At what point did Eddie, especially in the beginning of the article read that the xbox would be affected?  "at least not yet"???  Eddie nice try starting a war...

quicktim3
quicktim3

@skiggy34 eddie has lost all credibility in my eyes. but hey i still click on his articles lol. 

xcollector
xcollector

Nadella has more of clue than Ballmer. But I have already made up my mind and won't support MS in the future.

Shango4
Shango4

@xcollector How is nadell worse than ballmer?And why do you dislike microsoft?

kujel
kujel

He said Nadell is smarter then ballmer but that he's already soured on Xbox.

80sgamerftw
80sgamerftw

Every time I see his name I want Nutella.

RicanV
RicanV moderator moderator

Martin Fuller should release a statement that these comments are inaccurate as revenge.

crushbrain
crushbrain

I like Nadella. I think he will take Microsoft in a focused direction that plays well to her strengths.

souporman-
souporman-

Isn't the fact that they need to even say "Xbox remains a focus" kind of a reason for concern? If it were no issue at all they just wouldn't even mention it.

neowarrior793
neowarrior793

i guess it take a company to be almost humiliated to see that customers are real people and not numbers on paper. 

kujel
kujel

Company or corporation? Some companies actually do care about their customers (not all) but no corporation cares about its customer only their money.

rasterror
rasterror

Name a company that sees customers as people and not as dollar signs.

northArrow
northArrow

The word "Innovation" is used too often by people in the gaming industry. 



And typically by people who don't know what it means

archav3n
archav3n

A bunch of empty talks of a general to their soldiers in a losing war.

g0ldenpr0pet
g0ldenpr0pet

@gellis1981 @archav3n He's probably referring to the "console war". And he's right, Microsoft is losing the console war. They might even lose to Nintendo in the NPD war...

rasterror
rasterror

Yeah they're only constantly adding features and coming out with huge titles. But I guess if you're empty headed you could say it's empty talk.

blackace
blackace

@archav3n You're losing the war in your mind. lol!! Last I checked Microsoft has been profitting every quarter. What has Sony and Nintendo been doing? When will Sony announce their latest PS3 overall sales. Microsoft announced 84 million at the E3. Sony kept silent. 

skiggy34
skiggy34

@g0ldenpr0pet @gellis1981 @archav3n How come nobody counted out the ps3 so early last gen? The PS3 took 3 yrs to start selling well and nobody ever said anything about sony losing a war.  The media has this entire industry stirred up. With Sony telling the world every time it sells a million consoles and nobody taking into consideration where ps4 is available.......  I dont care if the 29 territories that MS will release in September are mainly Sony areas, that doesn't mean that 0 Xbox Ones will be sold there.  Sony fans like to think that the 56 to 13 territory difference makes no difference..  Now I'm not saying Xbox One will pass Sony this year or maybe even not next year. I dont even think the PS3 came close to Xbox 360 until 6-7yrs in and nobody counted it out...

So far this gen has been the most ridiculous and it hasnt even been one year..........  Gaming is doomed...

kujel
kujel

No just AAA gaming and the troglodytes that consume only that slop.

rasterror
rasterror

This was the first time Nintendo took a hit which shocked me but they're back in the game and didn't have to layoff one person. Sony? Well its bad business as usual. They would be happy to only lose $100 million compared to the past years.

gellis1981
gellis1981

@archav3n WTH are you talking about? Microsoft is still one of the largest software companies in the world. Pass that stuff to the left homie!


ezioismyname
ezioismyname

The console that wins will the one that adds streaming p.orn to their respective subscription.  Be it PS+ or Live Gold

Hop103
Hop103

@ezioismyname If I recall PS4 has the DMM app for Japanese users only and I know that site has 18+ content.

Jimminyfixit
Jimminyfixit

Reading between the lines there I reckon this is the last Xbox....

oflow
oflow

@DarkAztaroth but your pc cant play console exclusives which are pretty much better than most PC games. The only reason to really pc game is if you like rts, mobas, MMOs or play fps competitively. 

berserker66666
berserker66666

@Jimminyfixit  Well this could be the last of both X.bone and PS4. The way games are getting graphics intensive, PC is be the prime place for gaming.

Jimminyfixit
Jimminyfixit

@berserker66666 @Jimminyfixit I disagree - PC hardware differs so greatly it's very difficult for devs to optimise the game for all PC's. Plus you're looking at £1000 for a typical gaming PC - not enthusiast.

My only concern is current-gen consoles are not powerful enough to hold their own for another 5 years - especially with the 4K TV increase. Who knows, maybe Steam machines will fill that void of power and proper game optimisation.


Don't be mad - I have all 3.

method115
method115

@Jimminyfixit @berserker66666 It does not cost that much for a gaming PC. This idea that gaming PCs cost that much will never ever go away that much has been made clear to me. If you want the absolute best then yea you'll have to spend that much.

DarkAztaroth
DarkAztaroth

@method115 @Jimminyfixit @berserker66666 People think its still 2001 or something, when PCs were still expensive  =/

My gaming PC cost me 700-800$ 2 years ago and it's more powerful than the ''next gen'' consoles. 

g0ldenpr0pet
g0ldenpr0pet

@rorytmeadows @Jimminyfixit Microsoft is slowly shifting into services instead of hardware. They are horrible at making hardware, just horrible. The quality on the Playstation superior to the Xbox consoles (even now).


However, Microsoft's bread and butter is software, and this is where they excel (although, they are being left behind by Apple and Google).

iammcgruber
iammcgruber

@g0ldenpr0pet @rorytmeadows @Jimminyfixit horrible at making hardware? All there xbox's have been great. Xbox one is selling millions. Just because it's not in the lead in this console war does not mean it's doing poorly. It's up in sales compared to this time during the 360's lifespan, and we all know that the 360 went on to sell 80+million. The xbox 360 was a great console, and the xbox one is shaping up to be even better. Not quite sure what you mean they have terrible hardware, if you mean they don't have controllers that fit raptor hands, then okay, I guess you are on your own.

oflow
oflow

@Jimminyfixit @berserker66666 I wouldnt worry too much about that 4K tvs will flop. No tv networks in the US will even be broadcasting in 4K in the next five years and they already have 8K tvs in development.

This is one of the main reasons Sony's master plan to integrate 4K tvs into the PSN is going to fail hard.

Theres no real reason to even buy a 4k tv without 4k programming.

oflow
oflow

@sandman338 @berserker66666 @Jimminyfixit plus the couch factor is a big deal. (I know theres steam big picture but its not the same) Also, consoles are uniform, pcs on the other hand play different games differently based on pc specs.  Some games run great on one set up but horribly for others. Consoles are all the same so the experience is pretty much uniform for everyone on the console without having to worry about settings patches etc.

rasterror
rasterror

Did someone forget the RRoD fiasco? But yeah all in all the 360 was and still is a very well rounded machine and raised and set the bar for a console OS, features, and services. It made Sony and even Nintendo step their game up. But the Xbox One, oh man that system is something else. I love being able to play a game for a little then quickly jump to Netflix, Hulu, or the TV and watch something then jump right back into the game and continue exactly where I left off.

rasterror
rasterror

Microsoft isn't the best with hardware but is one of the best in software and services. Sony is good with hardware but is not good at all with software and services.

sandman338
sandman338

@berserker66666 @Jimminyfixit I think that the problem with gaming on a PC is that if you don't spend a lot of money on your system AND keep up with the latest tech you feel like you are at a disadvantage to 'elitist' gamers.  When playing on a console, even if it has less power than a PC, a gamer can feel like he is on even footing at least with the hardware.  

Slagar
Slagar

@Jimminyfixit @berserker66666 I think what will happen is consumers will simply have to adapt to enjoying games as fun experiences, and not for the sake of having higher graphical fidelity (read: more f.a.p. power). Game developers will simply have to focus on more innovating in style, genre, and creating unique experiences that are just enjoyable to play. We're reaching limits, any way you look at it. The games industry could see a big decline over this time.