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Microsoft Games Entertainment

Will Microsoft Sell Off Its Entertainment Division? 404

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-it-all dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Forbes analyst Adam Hartung has predicted that Microsoft will sell off its entertainment division, which includes Xbox, in the coming years. He even goes so far as to list Sony or Barnes & Noble as potential buyers. Lets forget how crazy this sounds for a moment and focus on the reasons why Hartung believes such a sale will happen. It basically comes down to Windows 8, and how poorly it is selling. Combine that with falling sales of PCs, the Surface RT tablet not doing so great, the era of more than one PC in the home disappearing, and Microsoft has a big problem. The problem not only stems from the PC market not growing, but because Microsoft relies so heavily on Windows and Office for revenue. With that in mind, Hartung believes Steve Ballmer will do anything and everything to save Windows, including ditching entertainment and therefore Xbox."
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Will Microsoft Sell Off Its Entertainment Division?

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  • by theRunicBard (2662581) on Monday January 21, 2013 @01:15PM (#42648355)
    I cannot believe this is getting posted here. I know Slashdot hates Microsoft but this is the equivalent of me saying that Apple will sell off the iPad because the iPhone didn't sell as well as they wanted it to. Or something like that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Forbes has already taken the story down. I get an "Oops!" with a picture of an old typewriter when I click the link.

      Agree the story does not make sense. MS is sitting on a bigger pile of cash than Smaug the Dragon. They can easily afford to be in four, six, fifteen different businesses at once.

      • You can still find page 1 of the article in Google cache. [googleusercontent.com] Thanks to ~darkeye, who submitted that.

        This is the same author who wrote "Sell Research in Motion. Now." [forbes.com] That in April, 2011 as it began its precipitous dive from $53 to $6.50. His views are controversial, but he has a better track record than many official analysts.

    • by mark-t (151149)

      To be fair here, the submitter may only be guilty of reporting something that they were hearing was already true from another source that is presumably trustworthy.

      I'd read about this happening earlier this morning... several hours before I saw it on slashdot.

      It may be that the article is BS, but I wouldn't suggest that it appeared here only because of MS-hate.

    • I cannot believe this is getting posted here. I know Slashdot hates Microsoft but this is the equivalent of me saying that Apple will sell off the iPad because the iPhone didn't sell as well as they wanted it to. Or something like that.

      No, I see distinct differences between your comparison. I wasn't able to read the article before it was pulled but let me address your bad analogy. While you're right that this "analyst" needs to pull his head out of his anal cyst, your comparison is quite laughable and let me tell you why. Traditionally Microsoft's software has been a cash cow. You want the latest Office? You want the latest Windows? Pay up. Everyone. For each computer. Now. And while that's faltered before, Windows 8 has been subjected to a lot of bad PR (both warranted and unwarranted) as well as actually having poor sales.

      Now, let's look at their entertainment division. With the initial Xbox release, that division was a sinkhole of money. Like, literally a burn pile for billions of dollars. But Microsoft was patient because they had other stupid insane routes of income with which to fill the tire fire that was the Xbox. Even when they launched the second incarnation -- they fared much better but still they took a loss on the console assuming publishing royalties would pay [slashdot.org] and later on they did. Now, you know, after the bomb of the Zune has run its course and now that Wii U is out Microsoft could be looking at their entertainment division as a potential sale. Why? Because in the past it has been a very risky venture for them and recently profits and revenues of that division have been dropping faster each quarter [microsoft.com]. Basically I see their sales stagnating until they release another console to drum up more money -- and even then they'll probably take the strategy of letting later publishing sales subsidize the initial unit to compete with Nintendo and Sony.

      So, now that their cash cows are looking pretty thin will they be in a position to take another gamble in the console market? Will it be painful like Xbox one or will it be great like Xbox 360? And I'm not in this area of management but I imagine they are looking at their revenues and if committing to the next console is a make or break move for Microsoft as a whole (which would be totally f*cking insane if they are looking that bad) then maybe they'd try to sell it to someone else with huge cash reserves. I don't know why Sony would buy and I don't see B&N having a ton of cash after their brick and mortar stores are a fond pastime.

      So, to wrap it up, no this is nothing like Apple selling off the iPad because the iPhone didn't sell as well as they wanted it to. I don't think the iPad ever lost them money and the market still looks good for tablets.

      • by Gilmoure (18428)

        What if Apple considered spinning off it's personal database software group?

      • by llZENll (545605) on Monday January 21, 2013 @02:39PM (#42649317)

        Windows is dying, office is dead, quit trying to force them! Zune is dead, and windows phone is in the ICU, Microsoft's only somewhat healthy division with a possible future is entertainment, why in the hell would they sell it?

        If I were Microsoft, I would launch a new console immediately, featuring kick ass hardware with no dvd/bluray drive and all software is downloaded with a 30% royalty rate, good bye publisher distribution! The current xbox live gold would become free, and a new tier of xbox live would add a free video streaming library like netflix, AND HERE IS THE BIG ONE, a free video GAME library that works like netflix, you can only check out a certain number of games at a time and their save state is wiped when the game is returned. The only games in the this library are older and lower tier ones, much like the netflix movie library.

        • Windows is very much alive. Plenty of horrible Windows versions before 8. Office is alive and well, and will be for the foreseeable future. Zune doesn't even exist anymore. Windows Phone is suffering mainly from a lack of marketing and some absurd decisions by manufacturers, at least in my region.

        • by rogueippacket (1977626) on Monday January 21, 2013 @03:05PM (#42649609)
          Dear Sir/Ma'am,
          I am pleased to offer you the position of CEO, Microsoft Corporation, effectively immediately upon your acceptance. Your vision for our company, relatively low Slashdot ID, and ability to forge ahead during difficult times have made you a prime candidate for this position. Your salary is negotiable at time of signing, and in keeping with the spirit of our company, you will be provided with a warehouse full of office chairs of varying weight and size, such that you may throw them at your subordinates should the need arise. Human Resources has already agreed to waive any complaints from these incidents up to ten (10) times per calendar year.
          Welcome to the Microsoft family!
          Signed, S. Ballmer
      • First impression: Sony will buy it all, and kill it stone, cold dead.

        Anyone remember Vanguard, from Sigil? They bought the game, fired the developers, and left it in its buggy, buggy state. Occasional upgrades with horrible art.

        Either Sony was amazingly inept at games, or they were amazingly malicious. Given their history (read Groklaw.net if you want a review of their advanced corporate thuggery) I am given to believe it's the latter.

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Monday January 21, 2013 @03:08PM (#42649649) Journal

      Oh not only is it THAT retarded but it makes one of the oldest. fucking. mistakes. on Slashdot, the kind of shit we expect from noobs NOT from TFA. Say it with my boys and girls, correlation does NOT equal causation!

      And who in the fuck is listening to those fucking retards in the press that think we are going back to one PC? because as a retailer that sells PCs and services I'd like to bitchslap him/her for being so fucking stupid. that is NOT why sales are down, its the exact opposite in that everybody has too many computers with even the poorest people i know having 2 or 3 of the things!

      For those that want the actual FACTS from somebody down in the trenches its REALLY fucking simple, the mid 90s through mid 00s? THAT was a bubble, that was NOT the natural state of the market. Look at the sales from before as well as the sales after and you have a perfect bell curve. The reason WHY you saw a bubble blown in PC sales is because you had AMD and Intel dueling in the MHz wars and thanks to how incredibly easy it is to take advantage of a faster single core a PC you bought 2 years previously would struggle to run the latest stuff and by 3 years it couldn't run shit that had been released. I went from a 300MHz to 733MHz, 1100MHz, and finally 2200MHz, all in less than 4 years. That's a more than 7 fold increase in speed folks.

      But then a funny thing happened that ironically we are seeing play out all over again in ARM and that is both AMD and Intel ran headfirst into a thermal and power wall, chips were hitting close to 140w TDP and were requiring bigger and bigger coolers, with Intel it was a big enough problem that they had to keep the P3 in mobile because between the power sucking and all the fans it took to keep the damned things from melting you could count the battery life of a P4 laptop in fricking minutes....so what to do? Simple instead of constantly ramping up the MHz ramp up the cores and sell multicores to the masses! Brilliant!

      But it turned out for the chip makers and companies like MSFT that had gotten fat and lazy and had convinced themselves and Wall Street that like the real estate bubble the PC sales bubble would continue that it turned out this plan was TOO brilliant because we PC retailers noticed a curious little fact, once you got to dual cores, which gave you one core for foreground and one for background processing? With the vast majority you saw diminishing returns REAL fucking quickly, with the average user not able to tell the difference between a dual, triple, or quad, much less a hexa or octo by the way they acted, why? Because they just couldn't come up with enough useful work to feed the chips. Hell myself and my two boys are fricking PC gamers which traditionally required pretty damned quick PC turnover, during the bubble I was building a new PC every year and a half and building the boys new ones every 2 years, now? Me and the oldest have nearly 3 year old hexacores that have more cores idle than being used a good 90% of the time and the youngest who is the MMO player in the family is so happy with the fast Athlon triple that I loaned him while his quad was waiting for a part he told me just keep the quad, the triple was more than he needed.

      So it is NOT that "the PC is dying" or that anybody is trading their fricking laptops or desktops for some dinky ass smartphone, its the simple fact that for nearly 6 years PCs have been insanely overpowered so people see no need to buy a new one when they can't stress the old. Most of my business and home users simply had me install Win 7 when it came out rather than buy a new Win 7 PC, why? Because what I was selling on the LOW end 5 years ago, we are talking the cheapest new builds I had, were fricking Phenom I triples and quads with 4GB of RAM and 500GB HDDs! What normal user is gonna be able to max out a Phenom I triple? Heck I have an engineer customer that runs the latest Solidworks with extremely complex robot models on a Phenom I triple and he's quite happy with the performance.

      • by Rogerborg (306625)

        Great rant, A-.

        Hey, I had a P4 "laptop". Actually sold as a "desktop replacement", which I guess it was, if you wanted to replace your desktop with something about the same weight that screamed like a banshee and cooked anything placed within a foot of its fan outlets.

        I'm with you: shizzle be fast enough. I've just bought a new gaming rig to replace my 5 year old Athlon XP, also a bit of a screamer. I plumped for an i3 rather than an i5 or i7, to get more clocks per active core per buck. It's never

      • So it is NOT that "the PC is dying" or that anybody is trading their fricking laptops or desktops for some dinky ass smartphone, its the simple fact that for nearly 6 years PCs have been insanely overpowered so people see no need to buy a new one when they can't stress the old.

        As a developer, it's not that I can't push a system to it's limits, it's that the glacial console cycle has a chilling effect on progress. In order to give you better games we need more detailed assets and physics computation power, but we have to look at the market and sell what people are able to play -- We have to compress our effort in such a way that it's useful to the widest range of players.

        With PC-only games you can put something out that requires some really high end stuff -- needing lots of RAM

        • by vux984 (928602)

          For people who actually NEED the power, say folks like me who do video transcoding while running accurate physics simulations of sound propagation for commercial acoustic design and/or industrial noise abatement, and would like to still be able to work in their CAD suite with multiple detailed 3D views open, it is quite clearly NOT a "simple fact" that PCs are "insanely overpowered", that's fucking ridiculous you fool! The systems are never powerful enough.

          You're welcome for those nice zig zaggy walls near

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            Thanks and I'll back up my anecdote from the ground with an actual example, what I have found frankly to be the perfect microcosm of the "typical user"...my dad.

            My dad could NOT be more of a typical PC user, having started out in the days of the Trash80 he has gone through just about every PC trend there has been and when you take a look at his uses for a PC: Webmail, surfing, burning discs, watching videos and movies, chat, running Quickbooks, he is as close to a typical user of a PC as one could possibly

      • by exomondo (1725132)
        The PC isn't dying, it will always have a place, but the market for PCs is declining for two major reasons. The first is the increase in capability, usability and accessibility of mobile devices (tablets and smartphones), where many of the common user tasks such as browsing, email, basic games, maps, reading documents, etc... have become much more convenient rather than sitting at a computer, leaving not much for the PC. There's still a small subset of the gaming market but even then much of that follows th
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is the dumbest thing I've heard on this site yet.

  • by alen (225700) on Monday January 21, 2013 @01:16PM (#42648371)

    Last i read

    The online part is the money loser along with mobile

    And why would Sony buy it? They already have a console

    • To kill off a competitor? It's wouldn't be a 1st. Well maybe a first for Microsoft. They usually are the one buying the competitor to kill off their competing product and nto vice-versa.
    • The online part is the money loser

      They're the only ones charging for P2P multiplayer, how could it be unprofitable?

  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Monday January 21, 2013 @01:19PM (#42648407) Journal

    I've not understood MS's strategy around gaming for years now. Don't get me wrong, I owned an original Xbox and liked it, I own a 360 now and like it a lot - but I've never understood why MS would choose to move into the console market.

    I'd have thought that there's much more of an incentive for them to make Windows work as a gaming platform. After all, what's one of the biggest reasons that people shy away from switching OSes? The games. Running modern commercial games consistently and in a relatively hassle-free manner is - and has for quite a long time - been one of the things you can do on Windows that you just can't do on other OSes.

    So they launch the original Xbox which is basically - at launch at least - the console that runs games you'd otherwise have expected to be focussed on the PC (Halo and Knights of the Old Republic were both from genres that the PC utterly dominated at the time). Then the 360 comes along and - for quite a long time - if the only reason you stick with Windows is gaming... then why not just buy a 360?

    And then as we get to the late-cycle point where PC gaming really starts to outstrip what the consoles can do (even on a bargain-bucket PC), they go and foul it all up with Windows 8.

    It's like MS is determined to take one of its biggest advantages in the OS market and hammer it into oblivion.

    They make periodic efforts to "get serious" about the PC as a gaming platform, but these tend to be inconsistent, badly thought through and horribly unsuccessful. Games for Windows Live, anybody? With Valve looking at the PC gaming market in a distinctly predatory manner, MS should be seriously worried.

    And while it's not such a major matter, they've also made some really odd choices with their internally developed games. First they shut down the Flight Simulator series - a brand with immense loyalty from its enthusiast following - abandoning the market to competitors. Then they try to come back with Flight - a free-to-play-pay-to-actually-do-anything monstrosity that discards the series's historic strengths.

    Selling off their entertainment division? At the point where they're finally making a profit from console gaming? It would fit...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by alen (225700)

      a console is $199 to $399 compared to a lot more for a gaming PC

      i used to build PC's for fun and don't want to do it anymore. along with millions of other people who don't care about specs or whatever. you can buy a $199 box with a library of hundreds of games that mostly just work and play on a big TV. the fact that a $1000 PC may have better graphics is a non-issue for most people

      • by TheNinjaroach (878876) on Monday January 21, 2013 @02:12PM (#42649051)
        $500 gaming rigs do just fine, really. And you can use them for so much more than just games.
        • by SeaFox (739806)

          $500 gaming rigs do just fine, really. And you can use them for so much more than just games.

          Yes, but how many people really do anything more with their PCs? If I had a Facebook account, I could access it from my blu-ray player now.

          With consoles doing what WebTV could back in the 90's, and HDTVs making it not an eye-straining experience to do so, for lots of people a smartphone + console is all the "computer" they really need.

          They can spend $500 and get more kick-ass graphics, but then they'd have to make additional purchases of gaming controllers and deal with the usual virus/spyware issues a desk

    • by Ice Tiger (10883)

      The last version of flight simulator still has new 3rd party products coming out for it and from what I understand was making MS a profit. You can't buy brand loyality like that.

    • by Zeromous (668365)

      >The games. Running modern commercial games consistently and in a relatively hassle-free manner is - and has for quite a long time - been one of the things you can do on Windows that you just can't do on other OSes

      FTFY:

      The games. Running modern commercial games consistently and in a relatively hassle-free manner is - and has for quite a long time - been one of the things you can do on STEAM that you just can't do on other OSes.

      Anyone who has messed around with DRM on Windows in the last 10 years knows wh

    • by Dishwasha (125561) on Monday January 21, 2013 @01:32PM (#42648557)

      but I've never understood why MS would choose to move into the console market

      It was always Microsoft's goal to have a computer in every home [telegraph.co.uk]. The Xbox has allowed Microsoft to continue in that vein.

    • by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday January 21, 2013 @01:37PM (#42648625) Homepage
      Games is one of the serious reasons why people won't upgrade their OS though. Because you never know which games are going to stop working when you upgrade your operating system. A lot of games stopped working when you went from DOS to Win95, from Win98 to Win XP/2K and From XP to Vista/7. Games tend to use all kinds of tricks to run at the highest speed possible, as well as for DRM, and often those tricks don't work on the next version of the operating system. Removing games from Windows actually gives people a lot more freedom to upgrade their system when a new OS comes out.
      • by 0123456 (636235)

        Games is one of the serious reasons why people won't upgrade their OS though.

        Who in their right mind ever 'upgrades' to a new version of Windows? 99.9% of Windows users get whatever version of Windows is on the new PC they buy.

        Microsoft have screwed themselves by helping to trash the PC gaming market which was the main driver for buying new PCs.

    • They wanted a living-room presence for their software. It doesn't sound like a big deal now, but 10 years ago it was. Someone probably pitched their ability to leverage their existing investment in Direct-X, both as a platform for games development and with the existing investments made into that platform by partners (easy ports).
    • by Kelbear (870538)

      The biggest reason games are big on PCs is because Windows is big in business. Those businesses have windows throughout their organization, so they continue to use it for compatibility year after year, regardless of whether or not it might be the "best" tool for the job, it's the one that is working, so they have no urge to rush out and break it. People continue to use windows at work, they know it, it's familiar to them, and then they go home and use a Windows PC at home. All those Windows PCs out there ge

  • If that's the case then Uncle Fester is completely around the bend. They have one division that is a leading player in a rapidly developing market, and that is Xbox in a market where entertainment is starting to be delivered by IP network and the cable companies are starting to cave or become irrelevant. Just at this moment Fester decides to sell. Holy Jebus Gates, fire that idiot.
    • by Guspaz (556486)

      But that division is also losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year, which isn't sustainable. I don't think they'll ditch the xbox, but it seems likely to me like they might gut a bunch of other stuff in the entertainment & devices division. Windows Phone could be a candidate. Bizarrely, the Macintosh Business Unit, which produces Microsoft Office for Mac, is also in the E&D division... They're also still operate the WebTV service, although they (relatively) recently stopped selling new devices.

  • I Dunno (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday January 21, 2013 @01:20PM (#42648429) Journal

    If Windows is in trouble because of market shrinkage (and that's most certainly the case at the consumer level, not really at the business level), then how does decreasing Microsoft's diversification (which is what I always assumed the XBox division was all about) help things? Sure, it might make some quick cash, but then Redmond is still stuck with the same problems.

    I think Microsoft has got an uphill climb with Surface, but while it may not be winnable in traditional Redmond terms (90% for MS, 10% for everyone else), I don't see why in the medium term it couldn't at least grab some modest market share. Beyond that, we already know they're preparing a version of Office for the iPhone, so Microsoft always has a few cards like porting major software packages to competing environments, up its sleeve.

    I don't buy this. Not yet. Maybe in five years when Microsoft is in some sort of severe structural decline, then maybe they start selling off divisions, but while the situation is hardly in their favor right now, it's hardly desperation mode at Redmond.

    • by smpoole7 (1467717)

      > If Windows is in trouble because of market shrinkage (and that's most certainly the case at the consumer level, not really at the business level), then how does decreasing Microsoft's diversification (which is what I always assumed the XBox division was all about) help things? Sure, it might make some quick cash, but then Redmond is still stuck with the same problems.

      This.

      I would believe that Microsoft would start deemphasizing Windows and Office in favor of more profitable activities before I'd believ

    • by fermion (181285)
      It is not uncommon for a firm to separate it's legacy product that are no longer in a growth sector from the current growth products. That an analyst would suggest this does not so much indicate that a company actually has any real plans for this to happen, but rather suggests that the players in the market want this to happen so that short term profits can be realized in trading. Such things can be negative for a firm, but generate profits for the vultures.

      Examples of such separations are RJR-Nabisco.

  • Steve Ballmer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ClaraBow (212734) on Monday January 21, 2013 @01:22PM (#42648457)
    I'm just a lowly user, but I predict that the next big move that MS makes is to get rid of Steve Ballmer. And the second big move that MS is going to make is release Windows 8 Pro Classic -- which will simply be Windows 8 without Metro bolted on! They have no choice if they want to keep their business customers happy!
    • by Andy_R (114137)

      I think you're right, Ballmer's performance has been less than stellar. Windows RT is a strategic disaster (teaching customers that they can to adapt to an OS that's all different where their existing programs won't work is practically a training course for adopting Linux/ChromeOS) and Metro is a dud, but I think the move they *ought* to make is to find their own Jony Ive and give him absolute control over the UI and the look and feel of their products, to stem the tide of bad designs, and to provide a long

  • by devleopard (317515) on Monday January 21, 2013 @01:23PM (#42648461) Homepage

    Article not's there anymore. Not surre how long it's been gone, but it's cute to see how many comments there are in spite of this.

  • by faragon (789704) on Monday January 21, 2013 @01:24PM (#42648493) Homepage
    ... I don't give a damn. Instead of selling Windows 7 and 8 at reasonable prices, you're turning Windows 8 into 200$, after some time in the 30-40$ (source [cnet.co.uk]. You'll die, slowly, because of being greedy and short-sighted. In my opinion.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I agree. I bought Windows 8 specifically because it was only $40. That's a pretty good price if you ask me. This is how much the upgrade should cost. The only reason I can think of that they would have upped the price is because PC manufacturers were complaining that too many people were just upgrading their current computer instead of buying new ones. If you have to spend $200 just for the OS, you're more likely to just go out and buy a new machine for $400 which already has the new OS it. Not sure i
  • Backwards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday January 21, 2013 @01:27PM (#42648513) Homepage

    Microsoft is more likely to sell off the Windows Os side and keep the entertainment division. XBOX exists because they knew that the future of Windows depends on it being in your living room. They are supposed to be using the xbox to sell Windows in the same way Apple uses the iPad and iPhone OS to sell Macs.

    With that said, Microsoft is doing a terrible job at this, but the strategy depends on tying entertainment to OS so selling it off would be illogical.

    • Mod you the hell up.

      Everything these days on the consumer side is about the user ecosystem. Whether it's the Google, Apple, or Microsoft system, it's about having a suite of applications and services that work together. Microsoft is the only one with a game console. The X-Box represents a huge amount of leverage and tie in and there's no way they'd give that up. That's why they bolted Metro on to Windows 8. By itself, Metro is actually pretty slick, even if no one really seems to want it. But if devel

    • Windows is the part that they use to leverage their sales of Office which is Microsofts main cash cow.

      With Windows no longer being able to to give Office an extra advantage, Office will have a hard time to compete and will no longer be dominating and it will be really downhill for Microsoft.

      Its all about follow the money. A company in trouble usually sell off the parts of their business that dont show a big profit.
      Selling the cash cow means you are left with a business that hardly gives any profit for the f

  • UPDATE THE LINK! (Score:5, Informative)

    by David Gerard (12369) <slashdot@@@davidgerard...co...uk> on Monday January 21, 2013 @01:29PM (#42648525) Homepage

    Forbes has vanished the article. Here's a copy on the author's blog. [thephoenixprinciple.com]

  • Anecdote: my work currently has XP, Office 2007 and Lotus Notes. We're looking at replacing Office and Notes with Google Apps ... and XP with Linux or Chromebook-style thin clients unless you can come up with a good reason you need a general-purpose PC. Google Apps is pretty much the hot favourite with lots of people saying "hell yes!"; the second part is just being mooted, but it's being seriously mooted. It'll be interesting. (I can already do all my work in Xubuntu.)

    • We're looking at replacing Office and Notes with Google Apps ... and XP with Linux or Chromebook-style thin clients unless you can come up with a good reason you need a general-purpose PC.

      In software development, there are still cases where an essential tool isn't ported to Linux and doesn't work well on Wine.

      I can already do all my work in Xubuntu.

      I can do almost all my work in Xubuntu 12.04 LTS except for a few things:

      • I develop for an embedded system whose simulator requires Windows and whose maintainer refuses to fix it to work in Wine.
      • My video editing workflow requires Windows. Or what Linux counterpart to VirtualDub and AviSynth is widely accepted?
      • Moving files on and off an Android 4.x device, such as a Nexus 7 tablet, requ
  • No. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Megane (129182) on Monday January 21, 2013 @01:37PM (#42648629) Homepage

    Betteridge's law of headlines [wikipedia.org]

    The best part is that Forbes (apparently) pulled the article because (apparently) it was just too much wild speculation.

  • Pardon the pun, but it looks like MS is going to carry WinOS & MSO to the grave.

  • by Stone316 (629009) on Monday January 21, 2013 @01:40PM (#42648665) Journal

    Why on earth would they sell that off? Makes absolutely no sense. This type of reporting is totally and utterly a pile of crap. Must be a slow news day and this guy has an article quota to keep.

    • As others have noted their "gaming strategy" has been schizophrenic and scattered because of contrary goals working against each other instead of concert (promoting consoles erodes PC, promoting mobile erodes consoles, etc). So to answer your question: It does make sense if they decide they want to bank everything on Win Phone 8 and Surface where a future XBox is a distraction or partially erode that goal.

      Although Microsoft can claim "we win!" the console generation, it cost heavily and might have been a Py

  • Makes no sense

  • The Xbox is basically a specialized, stripped-down Windows gaming computer, in terms of both software and hardware. The games use DirectX, just like regular Windows, and make it trivial for developers to port their games to desktop. In other words, the Xbox ecosystem makes the Windows platform stronger, not weaker.

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      In other words, the Xbox ecosystem makes the Windows platform stronger, not weaker.

      Uh, no. The Xbox has helped to kill Windows gaming because the majority of new 'PC' games are crappy ports of crappy console games which barely touch the power of a high-end gaming PC.

  • Although people are venting, it should be of note that both MS and Google are in a war. And that war is bleeding casualties

    Microsoft is killing MSN Live and Messenger. Google has killed off services and solutions. Windows 8 is part of a huge MS screw up where they are trying to align devices. This isn't a fit for their windows, so windows has had to go through the disaster that is called 8.
    Phones, Xbox, PC and Tablet all with the same dire 'Modern *Cough Metro *cough* UI - and they killed zune which could h

  • The operating system - and, for that matter, Office - is becoming less and less important as more companies transition to web-based services for the bulk of their work and find that they don't need anything like as sophisticated as Office for the odd spreadsheet or bit of word-processing.

    Sure, it's not happening anything like as quickly as a lot of us predicted five or ten years ago. But it's happening.

    In such a climate - particularly when you're still a profitable company with a lot of cash in the bank - I

  • The obvious company to buy the XBox line would be Hon Hai Precision Industries, the parent of Foxconn. They already make the XBox. Hon Hai's CEO wants to develop a global brand of their own. [siliconhutong.com] It would just mean Hon Hai taking over a slightly larger portion of the supply and marketing chain for something they already make.

  • 1- build a very mature OS/Office/Entreprise business with slow growth
    2- build a faster growth Entertainment business with, at last, OK results
    3- sell 2-
    4- watch 1- stagnate
    5- ???
    6- Profits !

    MS have a monopoly rent on entreprise OS and software. The only thing they can do is use that rent while it lasts to try and become relevant in the mobile space. Even being an also-ran would be better than the non-entity they are right now. I think their best chance is to pull an Apple, integrate hardware and software, e

  • I think Microsoft should sell off 100% of Microsoft, preferably to some Linux house which will have the common sense to bury Windows* OSs deep in the ground, never to be heard from again.

  • Don't reward Trolls like this guy.

    He is clearly posting outrageous nonsense for page hits, and the /. just gave it to him (I did not follow the link, but many will).

  • Is he like Microsoft Bob 2.0?
  • Microsoft has lost the popular consumer, most likely for good.
    It has not lost the business user, and probably never will.

    You might find that Microsoft completely spins off Windows OS,
    and focuses on products for all OSes, and getting them to
    interoperate well. It is business products that make Microsoft IMHO.

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      It has not lost the business user, and probably never will.

      The business user is sticking to Windows 7 and thinking 'WTF are they doing with this Windows 8 garbage? Can we find a sane OS to replace Windows with if they keep trying to turn our desktop PCs into tablets?'

  • you have to sell off the good performers, because the rest of the operation is discounted to pennies on the dollar if you pull in a shylock banker on the sly to value it. so the slide gets steeper.

  • "With that in mind, Hartung believes Steve Ballmer will do anything and everything to save Windows, including ditching entertainment and therefore Xbox."

    Twisted logic.

    If Windows/Office are on decline, why sell the only growing, and potentially profitable, business branch they have?

  • Microsoft will continue to produce products in the horror genre. So we can look forward to Windows sequels for the foreseeable future.

  • "Forbes analyst Adam Hartung makes wild prediction to drive up add revenue"
  • The idea of Microsoft selling off their gaming division in an effort to salvage their core products makes sense. Their gaming division does not have any real synergies with the core products, and with consoles entering into the transition phase to the next generation, the next few years are going to require a lot of money, talent and oversight. If they can command a good multiple on the earnings, it would be better to sell now while they can command a premium before having to make that investment. They c
  • This doesn't even pass the sniff test. Microsoft has spent literally billions of dollars (estimates from $5-$10) more than they have made on their entertainment division - by design. They did that as a long term strategic investment for the sole purpose of staying entrenched in peoples living rooms and lives. A computer for every desk and an xbox for every living room. They aren't about to walk away from that now that they are starting to get to the point they envisioned a decade ago.

    This is a long term str

  • It's the handle of a bailing pump on a sinking wooden ship.

  • by Shemmie (909181) on Monday January 21, 2013 @02:37PM (#42649287)

    Well, as I understand it, the 360 did well in the 'longer haul' of this generation. While the clear winner was the Wii, it has effectively been dead for a couple of years, with the 360 making leads over the PS3 in Europe and I believe, the US?

    So... if Microsoft see the 720 as being 'potentially a success' on its own two legs, what would MS do? Given recent history, they'd find a way of jamming Metro into it, somehow. I can see the 720 as being some Windows RT inspired device, aimed at being to your living room what your WP8 is when you're mobile, your Windows Surface device when you're semi-mobile, and your Windows 8 desktop when you're at a desk.

    The fact that WP8, Surface and Windows 8 are clearly failing (miserably, in the case of WP8 and Surface) is unlikely to deter MS - Ballmer has been one of the most stubborn CEO's in recent history. His strategy to keep doing the wrong thing, no matter what sales, user feedback, OEM feedback might say is quite remarkable. Zune will succeed! Oh. Well, WP7 will succeed! Oh... er... XNA is doing well in the indie market, let's scrap it! .Net's entrenched in business and enterprise, let's suggest it's second class now! Let's buy Skype and just screw it in to everything we do! Let's do the Surface hardware on our own, our OEM partners will be fully supportive!

    I seriously believe a Magic 8 Ball running Microsoft would do a better job, as decisions made entirely by random would have a better chance of sometimes being successful.

    If Ballmer continues on this route, either MS will win massively in the long run (by being such an incredible visionary that he blind-sided the entire technology market, and all his ideas thus far have been part of some master plan), or (seemingly more likely) he will run them into the ground, until there's nothing left but a software company looking for a buy out.

    And I'm fairly pro-Microsoft. For /., I'd actually be a fan boi.

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. -- Francis Bacon

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