It isn't wise to comment on opinion from others as opinion is just that, opinion. You have the right to say and do what you want in a differing manner about any and every topic. Yet, when you are wrong you are wrong. An so, we are brought back to the wonderfully mis-spoken words of Mr. Paul Thurrott. A man of varying opinion that continues to feed off of the proverbial bosom that is Microsoft is such a way that prevents him from seeing the forest from the trees time after time. There are those in the gaming press and there are those in the technology press. Both shall cross path's from time to time and both shall wage verbal war. A war that most do not pay attention to, but nevertheless it is most definitely there.
Now that the stage is somewhat set, lets get to the point. There are those who look at Microsoft with two minds. One of a technology platform company and one of a consumer electronics company (mostly in the vein of Xbox and Zune/Windows Phone). For those on the technology company bend the other side couldn't make any less since. Why would it? We all use tech everyday while consumer electronic tends to only fit in when we are ready for it (hence "gaming/music/movie time").
Now, before I continue I implore you to give Windows Weekly 193 a listen to hear what it sounds like when a man from the technology press gets his head up his own ass. And while that may sound a bit harsh mind you it's coming from a goober. Yes, I remember that Paul. Us games press goobers can't possibly understand the wit and wiseness that emanates from such tech royalty.
To set the tone further, it's actually been a little while since those past three paragraph's were written. Rash thoughts were most definitely flowing and it made every sense in the world to let the words of WinSupersite guru Paul Thurrott tear me a new one so it would justify the quick and nasty response I had ready.
Everything Paul said is the podcast referenced above isn't wrong. In fact he's right. Xbox should be its own company. I've thought this for quite sometime. It might as well be a different company already as it's run on such a slant from everything else "Microsoft" most gamers out there only see Microsoft to mean Xbox. A feat that seemed mere IMPOSSIBLE only 10 years ago before the official launch of the humongous black box that could. Unfortunately, much like The Social Network got the whole of the Facebook story wrong, so does Mr. Thurrott.
And here comes the quick money discussion. Something has to give. Is all of this about how much money you're making now or is it about pushing boundaries for the future? Microsoft is very much a Windows company. No one is going to argue that the lion share of their revenue is derived from the Windows group. Of course it is, its been a steam rolling train for what seems like forever in the computing world. Unfortunately when compared to Xbox things aren't so rosy in the bringing home the bacon department. Yet, Mr. Thurrott will continue to conveniently leave out the 10 years of Xbox versus the more than quarter century of Windows. Calling the latter entrenched into its market is much more than a simple understatement.
So, where does this leave us at? It leaves us at a point where its rather easy to ignore the strides Xbox has made in the gaming industry. Many of the innovations we've seen over the last ten years have come directly from the Xbox team. Albeit, you won't see any of that on a quarterly or yearly report. What about a digital store front on a stand-alone device, not for music, but for tangible software in Xbox LIVE Arcade years before Apple vaunted App Store? What about making HD a mandatory requirement? What about entering a market with the likes of Nintendo and Sony where both should have crushed Xbox? Sony was so far in a way the leader of the gaming world it was crazy for Microsoft to even bother. Yet, there did. There are no time machine equipped Deloreans to be had so why harp on the immense investment endured to make Xbox a success in the minds of it customers? Look at Sony now. They are just now (five years in with the PS3) getting back on their feet in a meaningful way with PlayStation. Who would have thought they would be chasing Xbox in many ways? Would there be a PlayStation Network if Xbox didn't push for Xbox LIVE the way they have?
It would be easy to keep going with example after example. Xbox is largely doing exactly what they do best, as Paul would say. Why walk away from that because they aren't bringing home enough of the bacon after only ten years against previous market juggernauts versus the unique market that is technology at large? The tech industry is not a direct simile to the game industry. The fact Paul doesn't get that is the long and short the discussion. Arguing for your point of view is cute and all, yet on if you understand both sides.