Ballmer Defends Xbox, Bing as Key Microsoft Components

GeekWire reports that on Tuesday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke at the company's annual shareholder meeting for the very last time. He made a point to highlight the company's need for the Xbox and Bing divisions, calling them key parts of Microsoft's broader vision. This topic arrives after previous reports indicated that Stephen Elop may do away with the two divisions altogether if appointed as CEO.

As previously reported, sources claimed that as CEO, Elop would actually sell off or shut down major businesses such as Bing, which has been a costly effort to take on Google's own search engine. The Xbox business could also be sold off if deemed not critical to the company's strategy. He would even sharpen the company's focus by maximizing the sales of Office rather than use the software to sell Windows-based devices.

When talking about the upcoming Xbox One launching next week, Ballmer said it was an example of the company's unified strategy, as Bing and SkyDrive are integrated into the console. The Xbox One is "a reflection of what is possible when a company, our company, is unified under a common vision,” he said. He also pointed out that Bing is key to helping test and improve the Windows Azure service.

He went on to talk about the company's pending Nokia Devices & Services acquisition, which was approved by Nokia shareholders on Tuesday morning. "This is really a signature moment in the transformation of the company," he said, adding that by bringing Nokia's teams to Redmond, the move will accelerate the company's position in Windows phones, tablets and PCs.

After concluding his speech by saying that Microsoft is positioned to drive and define "the next big thing," one of the shareholder questions from the audience asked why Microsoft's share price wasn't going up. Ballmer said there's a disconnection between share price and profits.

"Our stock price is 60 percent of what it was when I took over as CEO and profits are three times," he said. "I trust the company will continue to focus in on what's real, which is long-term profit creation. [If that happens], the share price will go up. I feel confident about that."

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  • jhansonxi
    Xbox and Bing may be key components but Ballmer is optional.
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  • beayn
    Profit being up 3x and share price down 60% just shows that the stock market is really based on panic, popularity and hopefulness, not actual money. People see Apple rising up and think Microsoft is going down while ignoring the real numbers. Unfortunately MS is fulfilling these prophecies by releasing crap products such as Windows Phone, and Windows 8.
    0
  • jimmysmitty
    Anonymous said:
    Profit being up 3x and share price down 60% just shows that the stock market is really based on panic, popularity and hopefulness, not actual money. People see Apple rising up and think Microsoft is going down while ignoring the real numbers. Unfortunately MS is fulfilling these prophecies by releasing crap products such as Windows Phone, and Windows 8.


    It's actually quite funny as the people who I have met who have Windows Phone love it. There are a few issues, but what OS doesn't have them.

    As well, I am tired of people calling Windows 8 a crap OS when there is only one thing they consistently moan about, Metro. They act like Metro makes it worse than Windows ME that BSoD on a regular basis. Or that it makes it sluggish and slow like Vista on lower end hardware, I can say that 8/8.1 is very fast even on a Atom with 2GB of RAM.

    Then there is the fact that a lot of people who hate on it, much like the Vista haters, are all just to be with the cool crowd and have never actually used it. And I don't mean tried it in a store or on a friends PC for 10 minutes. I mean actually have it installed and learn what it can do.
    4