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'We help people get stuff done': New Microsoft CEO dumps device and services focus, embraces productivity

Brad Chacos | July 11, 2014
Almost a year to the day after then-CEO Steve Ballmer reorganized Microsoft away from software and around a "devices and services" theme, his successor has issued a sweeping manifesto of his own, tightening company's core mission.

One short sentence, tucked into a longer paragraph deep into the letter, sums up Microsoft's refocused core mission far more succinctly than Nadella's massive manifesto: "We help people get stuff done."

All in all, Microsoft crystalized direction sounds an awful lot like PCWorld's own "Work. Life. Productivity."

What about Xbox?

But where does that leave Xbox? During the hunt for Microsoft's new CEO, rumors swirled that the new boss would spin off or sell off the company's gaming division, as it doesn't fit neatly into the productivity tale. Nadella put those rumors to bed with a clear "Nope":

"I also want to share some additional thoughts on Xbox and its importance to Microsoft. As a large company, I think it's critical to define the core, but it's important to make smart choices on other businesses in which we can have fundamental impact and success. The single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent, in a mobile-first world is gaming. We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family to go after this opportunity with unique and bold innovation.

Microsoft will continue to vigorously innovate and delight gamers with Xbox. Xbox is one of the most-revered consumer brands, with a growing online community and service, and a raving fan base. We also benefit from many technologies flowing from our gaming efforts into our productivity efforts core graphics and NUI in Windows, speech recognition in Skype, camera technology in Kinect for Windows, Azure cloud enhancements for GPU simulation and many more. Bottom line, we will continue to innovate and grow our fan base with Xbox while also creating additive business value for Microsoft."

So there you have it. Xbox's core technology helps feed the overarching Microsoft cause in ways that aren't immediately obvious, and hey: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, right?


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