With Ballmer Glue Gone, Will Microsoft Spin Off Xbox?

Video Game Controller Xbox

Now that Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer’s departure is officially impending, investors are becoming increasingly interested in how the company’s structuring and strategies will change upon the appointment of a new leader. Especially of interest to shareholders is the fate of Microsoft’s Xbox video-game business. This division of the company has been of hot debate, with many investors campaigning for a spinoff but Ballmer standing firmly in opposition.

Though many analysts still argue that the Xbox spinoff as unlikely, especially due to Ballmer’s recent company reorganization, Bloomberg highlighted why investors are becoming more vocal about the prospect. One reason is that many shareholders don’t believe that Microsoft still belongs in the hardware business.

Other divisions of the company have taken off as of late, and many maintain that the entertainment device is doing little to facilitate sales for the core business services and software. Alone, Xbox could be worth at least $17 billion — thus, allowing the hardware unit to stand on its own could unlock potential shareholder value while freeing up Microsoft’s other divisions.