‘The vast majority of people do not have, nor will they ever have, a personal computer,’ says devices EVP Stephen Elop

Microsoft hints at departure from PC

The new EVP of Microsoft’s devices group has hinted at the firm’s movement away from the PC platform, in preference of mobile devices.

Stephen Elop (pictured with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, right), formerly CEO of mobile maker Nokia before the acquisition of the firm’s devices and services arm by Microsoft, said that: “The vast majority of people do not have, nor will they ever have, a personal computer.

“They haven’t been exposed to Windows or Office, or anything like that, and in their lives it’s unlikely that they will.

“And yet, through the mobile phone business we have an opportunity to introduce what we like to call the next billion people, the next billion people to connect to the Internet, to Microsoft, because they’ll have an opportunity perhaps to have a first Skype experience, or a first experience with Bing, as an example.

“And so there are literally billions of people who can be exposed to Microsoft for the very first time.”

Elop’s comments come a few months after Jason Holtman, former director of business development at Valve before joining Microsoft as GM for Windows Gaming, departed the company after just six months.

Holtman had been noted for his statements pledging Microsoft’s increased dedication to the PC as a platform for gaming.

Microsoft Studios chief Phil Spencer similarly admitted Microsoft’s past lack of dedication to the PC sector in March, saying that a renewed focus on Windows and PC gaming was “definitely happening”.

“It’s important for us to invest in the platform in a real way,” said Spencer at the time.

“The opportunity for Microsoft to be both a devices and services company, so that it can deliver the complete proposition to its consumers, is at the heart of this,” commented Elop, following the completion of Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia.

“We have to not only evolve to fit into Microsoft in general, but into an evolving Microsoft.”

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