Gates to Support Xbox Spin-off from Microsoft

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By Athena Yenko | May 7, 2014 1:54 PM EST

In an interview with FOX Business Network's Liz Claman, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said that he would "absolutely" support the spin-off of an Xbox division from Microsoft if CEO Satya Nadella decided to.

"Well, we're taking PC gaming - Windows gaming - and Xbox gaming and bringing those a lot closer together. The power of the PC graphics chips means you can do great games there. So I'm sure Satya and the team will look at that, and, you know, it's up to them. But we're going to have an overall gaming strategy, so it's not as obvious as you might think," Gates said during the interview.

Gates statement was unexpected given that Xbox started showing favorable movement in the market with Phil Spencer heading the division. Additionally, Spencer remained faithful that Microsoft will stand by the Xbox.

"In a funny way, our job is to create great games on Xbox, on Windows, on Windows Phone, and the stuff that happens above the studios is kind of just 'stuff' to a lot of the studios, which I think is the right way. They're still driven by the creative juices inside the studios to make great things happen. In terms of Microsoft's commitment in the space, I know both Satya and Stephen Elop, I know them well. I've had explicit conversations with them about Microsoft's commitment to Xbox - they're extremely committed to Xbox," Spencer said in a report from Polygon.

"We're in the middle of a good, competitive battle in the console space with PlayStation, which is great for the industry. And they remain extremely committed to us succeeding with Xbox, which is nice to hear, right? It's something that resonates well inside the walls when you're talking to the teams, or when I stand in front of Xbox fans, I want to make sure that they understand we are extremely committed to this product," he added.

Forbes is seeing that if Nadella decides to spin-off Xbox division, he would just be following the idea raised by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Allen apparently said in 2013 that the next in line to be Microsoft's CEO should consider spinning off non-core business.

 "The search business and even Xbox, which has been a very successful product, are detracting from [software and services.] 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," Allen was quoted saying in an interview with Financial Times.

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