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The CEO also took credit for Microsoft's major push into the living room over the last 12 years with its Xbox franchise. This year marks its largest endeavor yet, with the launch of the new Xbox One gaming console, which Microsoft announced on Wednesday has sold 2 million units since it debuted last month.
While the Xbox has earned buzz in the console gaming market and sold tens of millions of units, it's mostly been a money losing operation for Microsoft. In particular, high failure rates with the Xbox 360 console cost the company over a billion dollars.
"I believe in accountability," Ballmer said. "I'm in. I'm accountable. I'll make this work -- not that I had to drive it -- but we had some bumps in the road. And it was important that I stay accountable, stay patient, and stay behind the decision that we made."
None of Ballmer’s boasty huffing and puffing makes any difference if the Xbox is unprofitable. It doesn’t matter how popular it is if it isn’t making the company any money.
Now I’d understand if it’s a “gateway” product that instead makes money for *other* areas of Microsoft’s business. If so, that’s great. But even in that case, smart money has to ask: are those *other* services and products making up for the costs to manufacture/market/research the Xbox? I’d certainly hope so. Otherwise, the incoming CEO might be looking to do a “reset” of the Xbox’s respective division at MS.
A big part of the original idea was to stop the threat of Sony being able to take the market and create a product that meant people might not need a PC. So in that regards if the PlayStation had achieved what the iPad now has then it was a relatively small price to pay. I'm sure if they could be offered to pay that amount to remove the iPad from existence they would.
It has also been making a profit for the last few years. Doubt they've paid back the losses yet though.
What kind of outcry would there be if the Office Ribbon was replaced by drop down menus? I bet a big one! People didn't like it because they didn't know where to find things, once everyone learned though it's one of the simplest and quickest UI features that promotes finding buttons through icons over searching lists of text.