March 29, 2004

XBox v. PlayStation: Microsoft Throws Down the Gauntlet

The XBox is the closest thing Microsoft makes to an Apple PC. They fully spec it, they designed the interface from scratch to address a targeted
audience, and they even defined a unique case to showcase the offering.

The Xbox and MSN groups at Microsoft have been more like independent companies loosely coupled with
the parent. A few months ago, MSN was brought back into the fold and made strategic again -- so much so that there are rumors suggesting Microsoft may
buy AOL from Time Warner. The GDC was the coming-out party for the Xbox group to move through the same process.
While they didn't actually announce the Xbox 2, I think I have enough to create a reasonably strong idea about what that will be. I'll end this column
with my predictions on this highly anticipated new version of the product.



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