Column: Microsoft’s Mistake with the Xbox One

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fung0

Even before the PC market went into terminal decline, Microsoft had already lost massive share to Apple. From about a 5% share back in the 1990s, Apple zoomed up to about 25%, mainly by riding the wave of popularity in laptops.

That's a pretty serious 'wobble.' But it's not the only one. The fact that a goofy device like the Chromebook can be a viable product shows how seriously Microsoft's dominance has eroded. Android will soon be on more devices than Windows, something that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. The tablet isn't killing the PC; it's a flanking market maneuver, side-stepping around Microsoft's rotting carcass.

In the living room, we're seeing a massive advance by console alternatives, including both Android-based devices and SteamOS. Microsoft (and Sony) have helped these competitors by rebooting their own ecosystems. With the XB1 and PS4 starting over as far as user base, 65,000,000 Steam users become a very tempting target - and porting games to Linux is probably less work than rebuilding them for the wonky XB1 and PS4 OSes.

Microsoft has given up its core strengths, and succeeded only in marginalizing itself. It's dying like the dinosaurs. Not being toppled by any one competitor, but slowly outliving its relevance and being devoured by hordes of smaller, more-adaptable creatures.

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Peanut Fox

I can't speak for Thomas, but if ever there was a time Windows as a desktop operating system was actually under threat it's now.

Setting the lackluster reception of Windows 8 aside. Growing compatibility of applications for OSX, and Linux is amazing. At the same time web based services have greatly decreased the need to depend on these stand alone applications.

If you're not a PC gamer what's the incentive to own a Window's based machine? Office if you're a business user, but beyond that I don't see the need.

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Neufeldt2002

Even then Office is not needed for the majority of companies as there is viable alternatives. At this point it is more out of habit and corporate lock-in that people are still on Windows for business, and the majority of home users are on Windows out of not wanting to learn anything new.

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Peanut Fox

I don't disagree with your take at all. In fact the company I work for uses Google Docs.

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misterz100

Isn't this pretty much what Valve is doing hahaha, you can have a cheap gaming Rig and modify it in any way you want to. Add windows, put another Linux, or both! Upgrade all the parts, even just build your own and use Steam OS for your kids etc if you don't want them to mess with your windows OS

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Eoraptor

basically because one hand of the company (PCs) doesn't know or want to know what another hand of the company (Xbox) is stroking off. it's down to territoriality and old fashioned (lack of) business sense. the video game guys don't want to deal with those old fuddyduddies in PC, and the PC guys don't want to hear from a bunch of hack gamers

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JosephColt

Reason? They have a business model that is proven to work, they have no reason to try new things. They also want a closed platform they have full control over. The people running their business are also out of touch with their customers too.

It does not matter anyway, with the same architecture on the new consoles developers can easily develop games for both PC and consoles.

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PCWolf

Because at the time, even Microsoft didn't trust that Lemon known as Windows 8 to run their next gen games. Also, I'm guessing that Windows 8 Drivers for the Graphics cards were not matured & may have been too unstable to run PC's with XBone games on them. Funny. This proves that there really is no need for an XBone console, since you can pretty much run those Games on a PC. I guess XBone gives them the control over games they cant get on a PC.

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Cymek

"With Microsoft's foothold in the PC market wobbling, why wasn’t XB1 a radical PC/console hybrid that allowed for full interoperability?"

I've been wondering about this for years.

I also find it baffling they have separate builds for Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT. Seems to me those two should have been identical code bases from the beginning.

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vrmlbasic

They're just following the anti-logic of Google, the company that has seen success despite pushing both Android and the "why does this exist?!", vastly inferior ChromeOS.