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Xbox One could be Xbox Won

May 22nd, 2013 - 10:03 am

Original XboxThe secret may go back to the original Xbox, which Microsoft took great pains to avoid labeling a Microsoft product. This was the Xbox — not the Microsoft Xbox, not the Windows Box, not the Microsoft Console for Gamers with Controllers Edition. They wisely threw away all their typical, hamfisted nomenclature and just called it “Xbox.”

They did that partly because too-cool-for-school gamers would have turned up their noses at anything bearing the Microsoft label. But also it gave Redmond’s gaming division a little freedom from the company’s button-down straightjacket. This wasn’t the beige box from your dad’s office; this was a pure gaming rig.

It worked. Xbox never dethroned the Playstation 2, but it bought Microsoft all the cred it needed to compete in the living room. And Xbox 360 has gone toe-to-toe with the Playstation 3, and generally come up winning.

If any single company is going to dominate the living for the next ten years (which I doubt, but it is possible), that company will probably be Microsoft. If they execute on the hardware — no more Red Rings of Death — I full expect the Xbox One at the very least to become the first among equals. Sony and Apple had better be sweating. And Nintendo had best figure out a way to tie its handheld business into somebody else’s console.

But none of that is the real point. I didn’t mean to write a review of a gaming system I haven’t yet played. What I do see here is a remarkable — but probably wasted — opportunity for Microsoft.

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All Comments   (5)
All Comments   (5)
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You make a great point, Stephen but today's Microsoft corporate culture can't do what you describe. There is literally too much fail - and the corporate culture has done the opposite of learning from its failures, its been promoting them.

Heck, I ought to forward to you the stories I get from my Microsoft friends if I could figure out how to file off the serial numbers well enough.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think the gaming division is off in an odd building where Ballmer hasn't been able to find it.

Perhaps I misunderstand your argument, but "Scrap Windows Phone and Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro for Fingers and Stylus and Mice and Stuff. Replace them all with “Xbox Go” sounds a lot like "Windows everywhere" that has given them such difficulties.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment

Yes, I was thinking along these lines when I saw the release material yesterday, too.

If Microsoft wants to be in mobile, they need to focus on the interface problem. Touch-screen GUI is more or less figured out. Apple is good enough that there's no percentage in competing based on the GUI. But Kinect is something different, and is potentially a much richer interface than touch. Handwriting recognition (which MS does extremely well) is something different, and is a more accurate interface than touch.

Windows is probably done for as a consumer OS, but MS has some very good interface technology. And second only to ecosystem, interface is the thing.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
" Windows CE (aka “WinCE”) was the answer to the question nobody was asking: “Is there a phone I can buy that’s as crappy as Windows?”"

True, but it was also a tolerable answer to "what OS can I use on this embedded device?"; CE was on a lot of hardware that you *never knew was running it*.

It just sucked incredibly on handhelds (says the guy who had not one but two various CE/PocketPC devices over the years).

(And, Jesus, it's not like the alternatives, pre-iPhone, were much better...)
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
'Failure is the mother of success'

"How was Microsoft able to do this, when they’ve pretty much flubbed every single other consumer device they’ve tried to build in the last few years?"

Because they have a lot of mothers?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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