If you haven't heard, Microsoft is buying Minecraft's creator for $2.5B. The young people hardly even know what Microsoft does and the older audience is thinking, "Mine what?" So here's why I think this, if positioned correctly, could be a vital long play for Microsoft.
It is no secret that Microsoft is having a miserable time launching Windows Phone into relevance. I suspect they'll keep up with the effort they have, however, by buying Minecraft's creator (who has a very loyal following) they can effectively admit defeat on the market of anyone 16 and over today and target those that are younger.
Obviously not many young teens or children buy flagship smartphones, but if Microsoft can slowly transition a Minecraft following into a Microsoft platform following, they'll have people (now grown up) with a decade of loyal love for the brand. Once these young buyers are the vital 18 to 25 year olds in the market there will be a decade of Windows Phone first (or Windows Phone exclusive) launches to bolster the image of their platform.
Microsoft is well aware they've lost the battle for now, but while all the competitors are fighting for sales today, Microsoft just made a wise long play for a decade from now. Keep in mind, execution of this is not guaranteed; in fact it will be challenging to keep their eye on a prize that far into the future, but make no mistake how loyal and enormous the Minecraft following is.