Originally Posted by Puwaha
Doubtful. Xbox and enterprise software will more than keep MS afloat.
And MS doesn't have to dominate a market segment to make money. With Balmer at the head, they still have this way of thinking, and that is why they throw tons of money at projects that were doomed from the start (Zune, Surface, Windows Phone, etc.) Maybe the next head of MS won't be from the original cabal that thinks they have to be the dominate force in every market... and just make good products. People will come for the products if they are good... not because they have an MS sticker on the front anymore.
We will not know until the new king takes over. Right now the rumor is that the gaming division sold off, due to it is a Loss leader. As for Enterprise software, more and more companies and including government agencies are moving towards Linux based platform, along with Opensource projects like MariaDB for SQL Backends.
Windows 8, Server 2012, Office 2013, Office 365 sales are not as high as they thought they would, due to slow adoption rates, and the fact, that you still have a lot of businesses hanging on as long as they can to XP vs. moving to Windows 7, it is making a hard sell for Microsoft to move their larger customers to Windows 7, Server 2012, and Office 2013.
Do not get me wrong that the Xbox 360 platform is a great entertainment platform, but they are gambling that the new platform will keep them afloat, which they are staking a lot of money, but doing very little marketing on it, compared to the millions that Sony is already spending on introducing the new PS4 platform out to consumers even before it has been released.
Keep in mind also that Microsoft has had to cut their losses on the Surface tablet so much, due to very low adoption rates, that they are trying to give them away to schools, but no one is buying. They have had to give away the Nokia Lumnia to Delta Airlines, to try and keep interest in the Windows Mobile platform, but still it is a very large gamble, that may not work out, due to the fact, that you have to have those using the device want to use it for the intended purpose that they gave them to Delta, not just end up on a shelf somewhere.
But going back to the the Xbox Entertainment platform, as long as they can keep it afloat with IPTV aps for Comcast, TWC, possibly bring back the U-Verse App, and the other IPTV providers, then it may end up finding itself used more in households or in colleges & universities, but Microsoft will also have to either allow external storage for DVR use, or the providers will have to use Cloud based storage, but move away from charging those users that want to use the platform for IPTV, the Xbox Live fee, since that is what killed the platform from being used by ATT for their U-Verse customers, due to low adoption rate, and many issues with the software working out in the field as it was supposed to, even though in the lab environment, it worked as designed.
We are just going to have to keep watching to see what happens, now that Balmer is not going to be in the picture, to see if Gates returns and turns the company around, or starts selling off the many micro divisions to other companies, which really a lot of those divisions were bought up from mergers, so that Microsoft could claim rights to a lot of products that they branded their name onto.