Sometimes in order to find the right experience you just have to make hardware.

It was one of the big questions hanging over the search for the next Microsoft CEO: would the new boss sell off the Xbox division? One contender publicly said he would, and the others may or may not have been thinking the same thing but were too cautious to say so. Now Satya Nadella’s in the hot seat, and his answer to the question is about as clear as you could hope for from a man whose job it may be to say something completely different tomorrow: “I have no intent to do anything different with Xbox than we are doing today.”

Interestingly, although Nadella’s on record as wanting Microsoft to become a mobile and cloud rather than a devices company, he told the crowd at California’s Code Conference that hardware was still important to Microsoft.

Yes, he says, software is definitely the most malleable resource, and will “power all the experiences on all the devices today and tomorrow.” You may recall from the GY 2014 Q1 financials that D&C Licensing made $4.343 billion as opposed to Hardware’s $1.485 billion. Clearly software’s powering more than just experiences.

But sometimes a company just has to make hardware. “In order to be in the hunt for those experiences, and get it right,” says Nadella, “You do need to from time to time build devices, so you don’t leave anything to chance.”

Earlier this month Bill Gates, Founder and Technology Advisor to the Board, seemed to indicate that he would support Nadella if Nadella decided to sell off Xbox. One of the worries, when Nadella ascended to the throne, was whether or not he would be his own man; the thought of Gates pulling Nadella’s strings was a bit too much for investors to bear.

Microsoft was quick to reassure Eurogamer that Gates’ statement was intended to support Nadella in whatever strategy he chose, not to indicate a strategy for Nadella to follow. “We remain committed to Xbox and the millions of Xbox fans around the world,” said Microsoft’s Frank Shaw.

Source: The Verge

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