While Microsoft continues its search for its next CEO, co-founder Paul Allen suggests a split. The chief investment officer suggested by way of his own accounts that manager Paul Ghaffari said that consumer businesses like Xbox and Bing pull resources away from the company's heavy hitters – software and business-to-business services.
Ghaffari, speaking to the Financial Times said, "The search business and even Xbox, which has been a very successful product, are detracting from that. We would want them to focus on their best competencies. My view is there are some parts of that operation they should probably spin out, get rid of, to focus on the enterprise and focus on the cloud."
In real terms, it's hard to imagine Xbox breaking away from the core of Microsoft – game console development and research is hugely expensive on the front-end. Bankrolling that kind of tech isn't easy for a company that doesn't have a multi-billion dollar business to piggy back on. Just ask Nintendo. Most of the key Xbox selling points come from its integration with the Big M, and without that, a single dud could kill the smaller company.
Interestingly, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said that he would kill off Bing and sell the Xbox division if he were to become Microsoft's CEO.