Microsoft Announce Record Lay Off's - Is the X Box One Over???

  Will the X Box One become the Ex Box Done??? Reports from Forbes and other sources state that Microsoft will be conducting sweepi...

Will the X Box One become the Ex Box Done???

Reports from Forbes and other sources state that Microsoft will be conducting sweeping lay off's over the next 12 months, eliminating up to 18,000 positions.
This is part of a major strategic restructuring initiative aimed to streamline the firms operations with the primary focus being placed upon maximising efficiency, accountability and responsiveness to the turbulent nature of  the macro environment, in order to maintain a competitive advantage within the industry.
This is not a new doomsday tactic that Microsoft are pushing through because they are dead on arrival, on the contrary this is a very standard strategy adopted by corporations of all sizes and across all industries, the banking industry appears to do this on a weekly basis.

However this is Microsoft we are talking about! 
The corporation that once owned the world!
This is the largest initiative such as this in Microsoft's history.
According to Forbes the previous high score was 5,800 employees set in 2009, so congratulations Satya Nadella your SN1 will be top of the leader board.

So what does this mean for the X Box?
Well the majority of lay off's are to be made from the Nokia employee pool.
According to Forbes, when Microsoft acquired Nokia for $7bn, to boost their mobile market share, an extra 30,000 employees became Microsoft staff.
As with most mergers of this nature this can lead to a situation where employees and departments kind of end up doing the same job.
So the aim, you could think, would be to have one department handling multiple projects or brands rather than a chain of command that just ends up being a mess of passing the buck.
The announcement, according to Forbes, will see possible jobs cut from the X Box division. 

With the market strength of Apple and Samsung, Microsoft has not had an easy time gaining mobile market share.
Figures, reported by Gralla (2014), state that Windows phones have only managed to ecru 3% of mobile operating system market share worldwide. Where as iOS and Android hold 16% and 80% respectively.
That is far from the kind of dominating figures Microsoft have been used to over the years.

In the mid 90's Microsoft held over 90% market share for desktop operating systems.
Anything above 25% of overall market share normally gets you labelled as holding a monopoly! 

So what has changed?

Well the resurgence of Apple in the late 90's, the movement away from Laptops towards Tablets for business use and 3g/4g smartphones.
No longer do people need to conduct their daily online lives through a Windows based device at home.
Emails, searches, chat and commerce can now all be done on the go anywhere and any time.
Hence why Microsoft acquired Nokia to change the 3% into something more becoming of the worlds biggest corporation.
However there is a snag with that plan as Nokia has not been relevant as a brand name since Snake and The Matrix.

Going back to Microsoft's history they grew and dominated an emerging industry much in the same way General Motors did.
Now within a similar time frame, as General Motors, Microsoft are now experiencing the same tough competitive forces levied upon them that GM experienced in the mid 80's onwards.
We all know what happened to GM by not being responsive enough to externalities.
Microsoft aim to restructure to avoid the same fate.

Sorry back to the X Box!
Well with the firm losing money on each console sold, falling revenue from other streams impacts upon their ability to operate a loss leader.
The X Box One has underwhelmed with its sales figures and critical response.
The initial direction of the console appeared to show that the project leaders had taken no lessons from the Mega CD, CDi or 3DO.
The console was a multimedia all singing all dancing ONE device, ONE device to rule them all.
However the prospect of being bound in darkness seemed to be less appealing than the offering of sunshine and unicorns from Nintendo and Sony.

Nintendo, after a bumpy start, has begun to turn the corner in generation 8 and are making solid gains due to their commitment to games.
Sony are going strong due to their commitment to gamers.
X Box targeted everyone and no one all at the same time.
Ok Nintendo can come off as childish and dated to some gamers, however if they do you are probably not their target consumer and that is why you probably chose the Playstation 4.

With all the talk recently of the video games industry entering one of its darkest periods since 1983 does the X Box need to serve as yet another reminder of what a games console should and shouldn't be?
It's a fine line to tread when producing next gen hardware, since the PS2 won out with the DVD player being a key reason for its success over the Dreamcast. 
However by that point SEGA had already pissed off too many gamers to really appeal to anyone other than SEGA fanboys. 
Shame as it was a great system.

On the other hand the Blu-Ray drive didn't replicate the same consumer response. 
Probably as people had only just finished converting their VHS collection to DVDs!
Casual gamers now get an outlet from Tablets and Mobiles and hardcore gamers are increasingly moving across to PC's for MMO's, STEAM etc.

So that leaves the question...
Is there room for 3 consoles in the 8th Generation?
Gaming is more ingrained in our culture than ever, however there are now more ways to experience games than ever.
Factor in a flood of endless same old, same old, buggy, generic "AAA" games!
And well???
That sounds a lot like 1983 to me!

The X Box is far from dead and buried however maybe the games industry needs a bit of a shake out period once again to really bring us a "next generation" of product and quality content?

- Steve Rewind

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