Satya appoints new Xboss days before Build 2014

Satya Nadella has a tough road to travel – from poor Windows 8x adoption rates to key members leaving, including Blair Westlake, Marc Whitten and Don Mattrick. Well, today he’s patched the holes in his executive team.

It may come as no surprise that Phil Spencer, former head of Microsoft Studios, has been given the nod to head up the entire Xbox brand, including Xbox Video, Xbox Music, Microsoft Studios as well as Xbox and Xbox Live. Well spoken and certainly more candid than Microsoft has tended to be, it will be interesting to see where he can take Xbox after falling behind in overall sales of next-gen consoles agains their main competitor, Sony.

I found one quote particularly interesting in his official statement on Xbox Wire:

Combining these teams will strengthen the connection between some of the world’s most innovative creators and those building the Xbox itself.

“Building the Xbox itself” seems almost an open admission that the product really isn’t finished – something which might be obvious, but this certainly reads like they acknowledge the Xbox One’s shortcomings, and we’re left wondering how they plan to close the gap. Beside this announcement, Satya has also appointed Scott Guthrie to the EVP position covering Cloud and Enterprise, and Stephen Elop to Microsoft Devices Group, where the erstweil Nokia hardware and devices will reside alongside the rest of Microsofts hardware offerings.

All of this comes days before the Microsoft’s Build 2014, a developers conference where Windows 8.1 Update 1, Windows Phone 8.1 are expected to be revealed. The DirectX12 announcement at GDC2014 also promised a more detailed look during the upcoming conference. We can only hope that Xbox One gets some key updates, though we expect that we’re not going to hear about any new games until E3 in June.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, at a young age I was forced to decide whether the harsh northern winters were going to claim my fingers, or to turn to the safer pursuits of indoor activities. Little did I know that a little game called Ninja Gaiden would bring my digits more pain than frostbite ever could. Starting with Vectrex and C64 games and moving forward through the era of electronic entertainment, I sampled as much as I could in the different platforms, and began my interest in PC gaming from wrestling with DOS memory management.

While console games were a part of my earliest gaming memories and I certainly had played on most platforms including 3D0, all things Nintendo, PS1 and the like, truly the PC was my domain until the Xbox. As an old PC gamer, I ever chased the cutting edge technology. Eye of the beholder with CGA 4 colors was my first step down the the path of blowing thousands of dollars on PC upgrades over two decades. Ultima 7, with the Guardian talking to me through my monitor, still haunts my dreams and keeps me ever hoping for a decent Ultima 8 and 9. From the 3DFX SLI VooDoo2s and Aureal to today's GPU driven DirectX games, the new and shiny pictures seem to keep me going. My PC gaming has slowed down with the market shift though, and although I have choice games that will ever be on PC, I have found myself in console gaming with a bit of portable gaming in my life.

Back around the turn of the millenium (and long before fatherhood), I had fired off an email offering to help Ron with a little-known site called ConsoleGold. Little did I know it would be be a part of my life to this day. While I've seen my fair share of shovelware (thanks Ron!), I manage to try and find the fun in most games. Leaning towards sandbox and action titles, I've grown to love games for their potential to reach art. Console agnostic and excited for the progress of tomorrow, I fancy the latest and greatest, but still enjoy the good old classics ... as long as they've been revamped from their 8bit graphic roots.

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