Heads May Roll (and Some May Change Place) at Microsoft and Xbox on July the 1st

June 24, 2013

At the end of last month Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer sent a letter to the shareholders explaining his vision for the future of the company and his plan to perform a major restructuring to turn Redmond’s software and hardware giant into a devices and services company.

Last year in this letter I said that over time, the full value of our software will be seen and felt in how people use devices and services at work and in their personal lives. This is a significant shift, both in what we do and how we see ourselves — as a devices and services company. It impacts how we run the company, how we develop new experiences, and how we take products to market for both consumers and businesses. The work we have accomplished in the past year and the roadmap in front of us brings this to life.

According to a report by Microsoft News due to this major restructuring the Windows division could finally lose some of its predominance, while the Xbox division might gain in weight, climbing up to par with Windows.  This conflicts with the (honestly rather farfetched) idea previously expressed by Nomura Equity Research analyst Rick Sherlund, that involved Microsoft selling the Xbox Division.

As with any major restructuring, some corporate rears will change seat, some will gain power and some will lose it. Heads will also probably roll.

When thinking about rolling heads, many gamers will probably direct their brain waves towards Interactive Entertainment Business honcho Don Mattrick, that often comes out as not exactly likable, and seems to be prone to delivering very unfortunate statements. This train of thought seems to be compounded by Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb telling an interviewer from Reddit that the company is looking to silence Mattrick, as his attitude and unbridled statements make things look worse.

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This may not be the case, though. Microsoft News reports that Mattrick could be between those that will actually gain in influence from the restructuring, and a first report by All Things Digital (that cites “sources close to the situation” and that is normally very credible on this kind of issues due to the connections provided by its Wall Street Journal affiliation) confirms it.

A second report by All Things Digital published yesterday (still citing ” sources close to the situation”) specifies that “Focus internally is especially strong” on Mattrick, and also that there will be some major shifts, including some significant departures. A date for this change is also mentioned: July the 1st.

Apparently the suits at Microsoft feel that the change is going to be “titanic” and are concerned, as Ballmer seems to be acting with “limited consultation with the wider leadership group” at the company.

What is going to happen? We can’t know for sure, but many seem to be convinced that things are going to change, and some of those changes will involve Xbox. How do you feel about Don Mattrick gaining more power in the company? Who do you think is going to lose his job? Notably, Mattrick’s change in position might even involve him being moved somewhere else entirely, leaving someone else to lead the Xbox division.

One thing is for sure: Xbox fans should keep their eyes and ears open on July the 1st, because things will probably be interesting.

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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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