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Microsoft boss Satya Nadella commits to Xbox

"Microsoft will continue to vigorously innovate and delight gamers with Xbox."

Microsoft boss Satya Nadella has committed to Xbox and pledged to grow the gaming brand's fan base.

In May Nadella countered the suggestion from investors and analysts that its Xbox division should be sold.

At the Code Conference Nadella was asked, directly, whether he would spin off Xbox. His answer: "I have no intent to do anything different on Xbox than we are doing today."

His comments followed those made by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who had said in an interview that he would "absolutely" support Nadella if he wanted to spin off Xbox.

Microsoft has faced questions over a potential Xbox spin-off ever since Nokia chief Stephen Elop was reported to have considered selling the division if he took over the company.

But after Nadella got the top job the gaming business was reorganised so Xbox, Xbox Live and creative teams, which include Xbox Music, Xbox Video and Microsoft Studios, were unified under the control of Phil Spencer.

Now, in an email to staff published on Microsoft's website, Nadella put an end to speculation about the future of Xbox.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

"I also want to share some additional thoughts on Xbox and its importance to Microsoft," he wrote in the extensive email to mark the beginning of the company's 2015 financial year.

"As a large company, I think it's critical to define the core, but it's important to make smart choices on other businesses in which we can have fundamental impact and success. The single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent, in a mobile-first world is gaming.

"We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family to go after this opportunity with unique and bold innovation. Microsoft will continue to vigorously innovate and delight gamers with Xbox. Xbox is one of the most-revered consumer brands, with a growing online community and service, and a raving fan base. We also benefit from many technologies flowing from our gaming efforts into our productivity efforts - core graphics and NUI in Windows, speech recognition in Skype, camera technology in Kinect for Windows, Azure cloud enhancements for GPU simulation and many more.

"Bottom line, we will continue to innovate and grow our fan base with Xbox while also creating additive business value for Microsoft."

Xbox One launched in November 2013 and while it is selling at a faster rate than its predecessor, the Xbox 360, sales are lagging behind Sony's PlayStation 4.

Earlier this year Microsoft announced plans to sell Xbox One without Kinect for £349 - the same price as a PS4.

At E3 in June Microsoft focused on Xbox games in a presentation that announced exclusives Crackdown and Platinum's Scalebound.