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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."

  • jhansonxi
    Xbox and Bing may be key components but Ballmer is optional.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    12016619 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.
    Reply
  • davmazin
    If Elop will take Ballmer's place then its better that Ballmer stays than getting Elop as chairman, in my point of view if Ballmer was bad, Elop's comments were outright worse than anything Ballmer did and also i cant be sure a guy that was responsible of sinking Nokia more than it was its already an extreme bad point
    Reply
  • jacobdrj
    I like my Windows Phone. Windows 8 is actually a welcome step up in many ways from previous revs. 8.1 fixed most of the problems. I actually agree with Ballmer: Clean bing and XBOX, along with their integration with W8 and WP8 are essential to the experience those OSs provide. It just takes time for the apps to develop.
    Reply
  • MarioJP
    All i can say i am never going back to Windows 7. Though 7 is nice and is a perfect balance for businesses and a replacement for XP. Windows 8/8.1 is truly lightweight on the resources. My laptop that was meant for Vista and 7 really runs nice on Windows 8 and 8.1. The new UI does not bother me one bit. Though it is a change for some but It is still windows and the desktop is still there. Quite frankly i do like the windows store. So many apps that compliments Windows 8 in general. I just don't understand when people say. Windows 8 is "crap" that it is "unusable". Its one thing not liking the new OS. Its another to say that its "unusable".
    Reply
  • bmwman91
    There we have it. The reason why so many US companies are being gutted and iconic names are mere shells of their former selves. The board wants the stock price up. Long term anything, employees, the host nation, all be damned. Gotta get that stock price up to sate the Wall Street masters, until there is nothing left. Then the locusts spread elsewhere and print/devalue the currency to get interest rates down so that all the people that lost their jobs can still consume on credit.
    Reply
  • jerm1027
    12016719 said:
    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.

    I've used Windows 8 (beta) fairly extensively as my sole operating system on my old gaming laptop (which, in turn, became my primary computer when my desktop crapped out for a bit) and 8.1 briefly. Neither time was pleasurable. The user interface is arguably the most important feature of an OS. But even if that alone isn't enough to hate the operating system, and this could be easily forgivable if it was free. But it's the fact you have to fight it to get it do the things you want to do along with a $120-$200 price tag. But it goes even further, you have to fight the very company who makes it! If you want a proper start menu, MS won't give you one, you have download a third party program. Even then, most (free) start menu programs run as a service and use some extra resources; if you want a customizable menu that is deeply integrated into Windows 8, you have a pay a licensing fee for the proprietary StartIsBack. At a shocking retail of $200, the system damn well better do what I want, how a I want it, when I want it without the need for third party software to fulfill basic functions such as intuitive navigation. It may have many improvements, but there are significant downfalls in addition to the interface that simply make the $200 pricetag unjustifiable, such as the lack of shadow copy.
    Reply
  • coolitic
    No1 uses bing, but xbox is a very profitable thing even if it is a rip-off
    Reply
  • razorskiss1000
    MS is just playing catch up. As for 8/8.1 for desktops it sucks. As for tablets and phones works great.
    Reply