We won't soon look back and remember this week as the brightest in Microsoft's history. With a newly-minted CEO moving forward with around 18,000 job cuts by the end of 2014, it's clear that this is a pivotal point in Microsoft
's history. What will become of Windows, Nokia, its cloud services, and its engagement with enterprise will all be shaped in the months ahead. Even the Xbox
division, which is viewed by many as a glimmer of positivity within the company, isn't leaving the war unscathed.
With firms such as Netflix and Yahoo diving into original content production, Microsoft had bold plans to do similar. With its vast Xbox audience, it stood to reason that it could develop exclusive content for Xbox that would generate additional revenue and differentiate its console over the others. But, it's not to be. As part of the massive cuts announced this week, Xbox Entertainment Studios will be shuttered. The studio was launched with much fanfare, including a Halo-based content series that Steven Spielberg was onboard for.
Interestingly, that series (along with Signal to Noise) will continue, but everything else is being closed up. This means that the short life of Xbox Originals is already over. It's unclear why this newly developed platform wasn't allowed to grow, but evidently the new leadership saw limited potential in a crowded (and expensive) market. It's also possible that leadership felt that creating content just wasn't in Microsoft's wheelhouse, and that the resources it'd require would be better placed elsewhere.
Either way, it's a harrowing tale. Despite raging success as a whole, even the Xbox division is suffering losses here.