Not exactly the advice Microsoft wants to receive as it gears up for its huge Xbox One launch, but the financial team behind a major stockholder is urging the Windows company to refocus its efforts on B2B clients. Someone send in the Master Chief!
The "advice" came in from Vulcan Capital chief investment analyst Paul Ghaffari, whose team looks after the considerable amount of stock held by Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder. Allen left Microsoft in 1982 due to illness, but retains a huge influence over the company thanks to the billions of dollars worth of stock he still holds. So when Ghaffari starts suggesting that the Xbox division, alongside other consumer-facing Microsoft products like Bing should be spun-off in favour of a focus on lucrative software and business services, he's got the attention of a very influential ear.
“The search business and even Xbox, which has been a very successful product, are detracting from [a focus on the software and business services]. We would want them to focus on their best competencies,” Ghaffari told the FT.
“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.”
It's a potentially decisive time in Microsoft history. On the hunt for a new CEO ahead of Steve Ballmer's looming departure, the company are currently pushing harder than ever before into consumer products and devices, areas that Microsoft has faltered in compared to rival Apple. If there's dissent in the ranks regarding the company's approach going forward, more rumblings like this could have a great influence over who the next CEO could be. And, if Ghaffari's ideas hold any sway, a major strategy change could be on the cards too. [FT via The Register]