Microsoft plays down Gates’ reported support for Xbox sell-off

Bill Gates would support Microsoft’s long-rumoured decision to sell off the Xbox business, but does not expect such a thing to happen.

That appears to be the conclusion we can take from a number of reports that cropped up over the bank holiday weekend, some of which at one point seemed to point to support for the idea from former Microsoft boss Bill Gates.

Polygon reported on a Fox interview in which Gates said he would absolutely” support now CEO Satya Nadella should he chose to dispense with the Xbox business, adding: 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."

However, Fox itself added that Gates said he didn’t foresee either Bing, the company’s search engine division, or Xbox, its gaming division, as potential stand-alone companies because they are part of Microsoft’s long-term strategy”.

Then in a subsequent statement to Eurogamer Microsoft’s communications boss Frank Shaw said that Gates’ comments "were reflective of his support of Satya as CEO” adding that Microsoft is committed to gaming across multiple platforms with Xbox as the centerpiece of our gaming strategy” and that the company remains committed to Xbox and the millions of Xbox fans around the world".

Rumours of Microsoft selling off its Xbox business have been circulating for over a year. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen even argued late last year that such a move would be beneficial.

However, new Xbox boss Phil Spencer has recently dismissed the speculation out of hand.

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