Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has reflected on his career at the company in a new interview. In it, he explains that getting the Microsoft brand into the living room via the original Xbox was his idea.
It comes as Ballmer prepares his exit strategy from Microsoft. The hunt for his successor is currently ongoing, and rumoured favourite Stephen Elop is said to have no qualms about cutting the Xbox business from Microsoft if it starts to fail or is deemed irrelevant to the bigger picture.
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has also commented on this matter recently, stating that Xbox is detracting away from other key areas of Microsoft’s business.
Now, speaking with CNN, Ballmer recalled that it was, “my decision, my accountability,” and added, “I believe in accountability. I’m in. I’m accountable. I’ll make this work — not that I had to drive it — but we had some bumps on the road. And it was important that I stay accountable, stay patient, and stay behind the decision that we made.”
The article adds that former boss of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division Robbie Bach recalled Ballmer spending a good six months on reviewing the business to see if Xbox was a viable strategy. He gave it the green-light and you know the rest of the story.
Bach said, “He was willing to step out into a space that Microsoft had never been in, look at a business model, and say, This is something we need to try.”
Former Microsoft strategist Charles Fitzgerald added, “It is easy to bemoan billions spent on Xbox, but when you look at it as a hedge to keep Sony or any game console from undermining the Windows PC, it is chump change compared to the hundreds of billions in Windows profits banked during that time.”
Would you say that Xbox did keep Sony from undermining Windows PC as a gaming platform? Do you feel that Ballmer has indeed brought much to the table?
Let us know below.