Xbox isn't going anywhere, Microsoft CEO says

Microsoft is "fortunate" to have the Xbox division, CEO Satya Nadella wrote today in an email to employees reaffirming the company's commitment to the gaming brand.

According to Nadella, Xbox represents the company's investment in "single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent" — gaming.

"We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family to go after this opportunity with unique and bold innovation," Nadella wrote. "Microsoft will continue to vigorously innovate and delight gamers with Xbox. Xbox is one of the most-revered consumer brands, with a growing online community and service, and a raving fan base."

The Xbox division's technologies also help other parts of Microsoft, according to the CEO.

"We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family"

"We also benefit from many technologies flowing from our gaming efforts into our productivity efforts — core graphics and NUI in Windows, speech recognition in Skype, camera technology in Kinect for Windows, Azure cloud enhancements for GPU simulation and many more. Bottom line, we will continue to innovate and grow our fan base with Xbox while also creating additive business value for Microsoft."

Nadella, who was named CEO in February, wrote in the email that Microsoft will be restructured to meet the demands of "a mobile-first and cloud-first world."

Xbox's future at Microsoft has been the subject of speculation in recent years. The Washington Post reported in February that two "influential Microsoft shareholders" wanted the company to jettison non-essential efforts like the Bing search engine and Xbox. The following month, Microsoft Game Studios head Phil Spencer said at SXSW that he's had "explicit conversations with [Nadella and former Xbox division head Stephen Elop] about Microsoft's commitment to Xbox - they're extremely committed to Xbox." Microsoft founder Bill Gates said in May that he'd support a theoretical decision to spin off Xbox, though that decision is "not as obvious as you might think."

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