Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella says he has no plans to sell off the company's Xbox business, despite longtime urging from investors. Speaking at the Code Conference, taking place this week in Rancho Palos Verdes in California, Nadella said flat out that Xbox would be sticking around.
"I have no intent to do anything different with Xbox than we are doing today," Nadella told interviewers Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg.
Software is 'the most malleable resource'
The same goes for Microsoft's Bing business, Nadella said, adding that while some people might look at Bing only as a website, it's been deeply integrated with a number of Microsoft products. It also accounts for approximately 30 percent of the search market, he said, and should therefore be compared to Apple's iPhone if you were to imagine it as a player in the smartphone market.
Nadella was named Microsoft's newest CEO in early February, replacing Steve Ballmer who held that post for 14 years. Already, he's pushed a markedly different agenda than his predecessor, saying the company was going mobile and cloud first instead of being a "devices and services" company. He continued on that thread at the Code conference, saying software was "the most malleable resource," and that sometimes developing hardware was an essential part of reaching that goal.
"It is the thing that is really going to power all the experiences on all the devices today and tomorrow," Nadella said. "In order to be in the hunt for those experiences, and get it right, you do need to from time to time build devices, so you don't leave anything to chance."
"You don't leave anything to chance"
This is Nadella's first appearance at the Code conference series, which is a direct successor to to the D conferences put on by All Things Digital. Other speakers on the docket over the next few days include Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Nest co-founder and CEO Tony Fadell, Apple SVPs Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi, along with Jimmy Iovine and Ian Rogers of Beats Music.
Besides discussing Xbox and Bing, Nadella also used his time on stage to unveil an early version of Skype Translator, an upcoming product that will translate voice calls on the fly. That will arrive as a beta for Windows 8 users later this year, though Microsoft hopes to eventually get it everywhere Skype is.
Casey Newton contributed to this story.