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Microsoft's shut down of Xbox's original TV content plans upsets top ad buyers

xbox originals

A number of major advertising buyers are not happy with Microsoft's decision on Thursday to slowly shut down its Xbox Entertainment Studios division and cancel most of its plans to offer original television style content for Xbox Live users.

Microsoft's move to end its TV production plans, made as part of its overall restructuring that will cause 18,000 of its employees to lose their jobs, came just three months after the Xbox Entertainment Studios team made their pitch to big ad buyers, showing them plans to offer a variety of scripted and documentary shows for Xbox Live users.

Now all but a few of those shows have been cancelled and many of those ad buyers don't feel they can trust Microsoft's commitment to advertising. Vik Kathuria, the Global Chief Media Officer at Razorfish, was one of those folks who felt Microsoft has made a mistake in this area, saying, "It's insane given that's where the media business is headed…with one end focusing on programmatic and the other on original high-end content. Confidence will be hard to earn back after this."

Microsoft will still help produce a few original shows, including its Halo live action TV series that boasts Steven Spielberg as one of its executive producers. Microsoft is partnering with the pay cable TV network Showtime on the Halo series and when asked about its current status, Showtime leader David Nevins stated, "My understanding is that they are not going to build a new streaming service, but Halo is their biggest property, and there is enormous will to find a way to bring it to a new media."

What do you think of the decision by Microsoft to cancel most of its original TV plans?

Source: Wall Street Journal; Deadline

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Reader comments

Microsoft's shut down of Xbox's original TV content plans upsets top ad buyers

350 Comments

Microsoft is really good at disappointing the fans. Just ask yourself this: how many frustrations do we endure for one actually materialized excitement (say, Cortana) to happen?

You hear Microsoft is going to introduce some next gen tech like the 3D Touch and you get excited, gets cancelled. You get excited for the next version of Windows Phone, "won't come to WP7 devices". Xbox One is going to be cool, "you'll have to be connected all the time, no sharing of games", etc. and they kill the excitement at least with initial policies. "Cool, finally ability to manage copy operations on Windows, Ribbon UI comes to Explorer!" and then an entire messed up UI and failed design of Windows 8.

I feel like I want to find some managers at Microsoft and beat the $(#* out of them.

Some part of the philosophy of the new Windows, formerly called Metro, namely less Skeuomorphism is being "copied", not its entirety, and certainly not the execution.

It's not pretension. The only place Windows 8 works is on a handheld touch-based device and that's because you are not using its desktop there.

I love Windows 8 most of the time, but it can be frustrating on my desktop with mouse/keyboard and dual monitors. It just wasn't thought out well for traditional pc's.

never use start menu while in desktop. Just pin things I need on task bar or desktop.

 

Never use desktop while using my tablet. Just pin things to start menu. (Except sometimes when I suspect some websites do not work well on modern IE, then I will open chrome in desktop.)

My main issue is how multiple monitors are handled( why can't I have the start menu always open on one screen?) and the edge gestures with the mouse. I know their are other ways to accomplish what the charms do, however the charms stuff and task switcher with mouse/keyboard is inelegant (especially with dual monitors).

I don't get it, are you saying you want your start screen open on one screen and apps always opened up in another? Other than that you can have start screen on one screen and apps / desktop open on other screens. I haven't had a problem with charms either (on 3 monitors), but I don't use the task switcher (I barely use metro apps anyways, and when I do, I shut them down afterwards) so wouldn't know about that.

Am I the only person that has a scroll wheel on my mouse? How is Windows 8 difficult to use with a mouse and keyboard?

"The only place Windows 8 works is on a handheld touch-based device"

...so explain how I'm using it on my desktop computer then?

I really don't feel like taking out my 20+ point list again... You're gonna have to trust that I have a comprehensive list of problems with Windows 8, ranging from the inconsistencies of the taskbar...what the heck! here: (Aero effects, no Aero effects? Semi transparent taskbar, Aero light when hovering, half glass effect for apps that are open, fully solid windows borders, difficulty reading windows text with dark themes, a Start button with that goes from taskbar color to black when hovered and has nothing to do with how other buttons work) to lack of features (list of Wireless Networks that existed in Network and Sharing center named "Manage Wireless Networks" and was removed, limited functionality in list of networks that support no right click and used to have Status and Properties and no Ad hoc network, pinned programs in the Start menu and their jumplists are gone, you can no longer see the folder structure of an installed application to know what features it provides you) to being forced to Metro on desktop, which is obviously not optimized for mouse (right click brings out the command bar and you have to travel all the way down with your track pad, and click a small, round button, and a title bar that now appears when you move the cursor to the top, and blocks parts of the UI you want to click) and a whole lot more design-wise like having to click on a giant tile with a tiny cursor that don't go together.

I should remember to save the cues from this list somewhere because I always find people who have just "no problem with Windows 8!" and "don't know what people are complaining about" because usually their fan feelings is giving them "tunnel vision" not letting them see the problem, which is of course a good thing if they are OK with everything BUT SHOULD STOP calling others "people who don't know how to use technology" because you've been A FRIGGIN' DEVELOPER AND UI DESIGNER FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS!

Well, I must say that I am thrilled you learned to use caps on your keyboard and have taken the time to make lists of things you dont like. I am not a developer and windows 8 works fine, if not better than 7. I dont need a stupid ineffective start button to get around to the off button. But if you do, so be it. I would like to offer some cheese and crackers to go with the incessant whine.

Of course you don't. You'd get used to the UI if Microsoft decided tomorrow that the desktop should be flipped vertically. Who says it's bad?

Know what? Helps your brain get more agile if swiping left on the trackpad moves the cursor to the right, doesn't it? There is always something good to be found in whatever sh!t MS pulls, even if you really have to dig hard in the sh!t.

Being a developer for this long, I'd say I knew about Caps Lock before you could spell it.

Windows 8 is bad.

You should avoid reading comments that are too detailed. I think the "Windows 8 is bad" part in the first comment was enough to get the point across. Sorry you had to waste that energy.

Would you say, that if I think Windows 8 is bad, and some guy thinks it's good and "has no issues with it", should I list my "issues" or not? What should I do for someone like you to NOT jump in here with a comment like this?

Is it really hard for you to understand that not everyone agrees with you? But please do stay in your self-centered world if it makes you feel better. Here is a suggestion, step away from your computer that you are so fond of and go breathe some fresh air. It might help. BTW, have been using pc's since windows 3.1. Not all progress is great. I skipped ME and Vista. Not everything is great about 8, but it isn't the end of the world like you and many others make it out to be. But I bet you would be happy still programming for DOS.

Of course not everyone agrees with me. But is it hard to accept that most do? And that there IS bad software?

I use something as complicated as Visual Studio everyday, so when people complain, it's not a sign of "hating change". I am determined to make people understand that.

"But I bet you would be happy still programming for DOS." implies that I (we) think all change is bad and that was the very thing I am trying to fight. So it is disappointing for me to see that instead of understanding, you cling to making sure your ego remains unscathed.

If by the "vocal crowd" you are equating to most, then lump yourself in. Of course, there are parts to 8 that could have been better. MS had to make a broad change to take their OS off desktop and apply it to a rapidly changing mobile environment. I like 8 for my tablet, and am ok with it on my laptop. I just don't find 8 to be as bad as this time consuming post.
Why would you bring up my "ego"? Ego isn't even part of this discussion unless we discuss how this might apply to you. From reading your posts, and they seem to be what you have time for, it is my impression that you dont like the changes MS is trying to make. But please, stop speaking for "we", this is about you so write "I".
I have a challenge for you to correct my impression of your DOS love and ability to accept change. Let me know what are the 20 things you do like about 8. Otherwise, I still want to get you some cheese and crackers.

No, yeah it's just a "vocal crowd". That's why Windows 8 has taken the stores by surprise. No OEM was forced to  offering Windows 7 instead.

Yeah I don't care about your "impression".

Windows 8 is clearly so much worse.  I have used PC's since the 8088 microprocessor days.  Never have I felt less comfortable trying to use a PC.  Nothing was intuitive and worse yet there were no help or online tutorials. Its as if Microsoft eliminated all quality control.  This must be the case given that they actually released the Kin to market (google Kin videos to see how much of a disaster it was).  

I was going to return my Thinkpad but luckily someone turned me onto Classic Shell.  I was able to make the laptop usable by turning on Classic Shell and turning off all swipe functionality.  Swipe functionality kept randomly opening and closing windows whenever I moved my cursor fast in Excel which I do every expense report.

Windows 8 does boot faster and is pretty responsive if you add the proper bandaids.  There are still times when I create a PDF or another file that windows randomly open or close.  But at least now I can get to the taskbar and turn them off.  I have had literally dozens of people share similar stories with me.  

It would have been much easier to move from Windows 7 to either a Mac or a Chromebook which is sad since I have been a PC guy forever.....

1) You're not forced to use metro on the desktop.  Mine's set up to bypass it completely. 

2) If you right click the start button and press 'run', type ncpa.cpl.  This takes you to the 'network page' you were ranting about 'not existing anymore'.  You can get there via control panel too, but being a power user I prefer to use shortcuts.

Right-click Start button on Windows 8.1 (bottom left corner on 8.0) and click on "Network Connections". Windows 8.1>Windows 7 any day for me.

How do you know that Windows 8 delivers a flawed UI and user experience? Even the supporters who are in denial defend their "Windows 8 is great" comments with phrases such as...

"My system is setup to completely bypass metro".
"You're not forced to use metro on the desktop".
"I just pin all of my applications to the task bar".
"You can add a start menu by installing <third-party application>".
"You can disable the hot corners".

Yes, we all know Windows 8 is "usable"on a desktop or laptop with only a mouse and keyboard, but you have to be the biggest Microsoft stan ever to not admit the UX is flawed, even WITH touch (I'll get to that later). But I'm sure you all remember Windows 98, XP, 7 & even Vista (just buggy from a stability point of view)! They all worked as they should OUT OF THE BOX without tweaking or settling. Windows 8 should have been designed with the standard desktop as the primary UI and introduced the Live Tile UI as an expansion of the taskbar --- think "smart widgets" (a baby step towards a more mobile Windows OS), but something that wouldn't feel awkward or something you want to AVOID. If Windows 8 was designed so well, you would WANT to use the metro apps no matter the device you were on --- no one should want to avoid these apps, as the success of Windows 8/9 will determine the future of Windows Phone!. As for the start screen touch UI, with Windows, you could always just sit down and pretty much know what to do --- without being told what to do. Well Microsoft decided to deliver a guessing game for there new UI! You can do so much more in Windows 8 and there's not a single hint of how to do it --- it's all hidden. All of the awkward "mystery" swiping was just a terrible idea.  While I love the gesture for swapping through open apps --- most else is terrible (The gesture for closing apps and the functionality for searching within apps were poorly executed --- there's a reason why after 8.1 apps began to add a dedicated search field within the app!) The issue with Windows 8 is Microsoft tried to do too much in one update. Not that the direction they took was wrong, they just tried to cram too much "new" into the Windows 8 that the UX and the OS functionality as a whole suffered by the rushed attempt to get a footprint into the mobile market, and unfortunately this idea may have done more bad than good. It has gotten to a point where people are running other way when you just say "Windows" and not just "Windows 8". I lied to myself and said Windows 8 was "cool" and "great" for the first year or so and during the consumer preview --- but after while I took off my stan hat and had to admit --- the UX is a disaster even after completing the average 2-week learning curve of Windows 8. Probably much worse than I realize when you consider the large "average Joe" customer base of Microsoft who don't know these little tricks to make Windows more usable. With that being said, I look forward to Windows Threshold & hope that Microsoft finally creates a UX that can make since and feel "right" on both device types.

I don't get people's obsession with Aero... I don't even notice it missing n Windows 8. I notice it more now in Windows 7, but I don't see the benefit of it. However, if people really want it as an option, then maybe Microsoft should make it optional. I won't be enabling it. I am sure it is on the UserVoice. Wonder where it ranks in feature requests.

Going to have to come in. Windows 8 may of had some rough edges when it was released and certainly it's use on the desktop was a major part of that but the latest update has at least in my daily use even in dual monitors become a lot easier. I certainly do not think about it. For every so called fan boy you have the exact opposite.

Moving away from the issue of Windows 8 the decision to close some of its entertainment business whilst disappointing the Halo franchise is the real money and if this success for Halo and to be honest with ShowTime on board I have confidence it will they can revisit.

I love my windows 8 desktop pc. I have zero issues. My mouse works as intended as does my keyboard. I've adapted to the new UI without any hiccoughs and I have a hard time understanding everyone's complaints about it.

Maybe a little less tunnel vision is what folks need.

Its not that it doesn't work, I would call it clumsy. Sorry you don't feel the same way but it could use some improvement imho.

Windows 8 is a poorly implemented design, but not for what most people think. Modern UI's implementation is by far the most childish on Windows 8. Windows phone and XBOX One do it way better.

Part of the issue though was creating a different implementation of Modern UI. The multitasker is sub par (imo), the lack of uniformity between accent colors and tiles makes the start screen a colorful mess, the minor gradients on some tiles make no sense (Darker to Lighter from the bottom left corner to top right corner of a tile if you pay attention), the desktop experienced no change other than being flattened, and the lack of elements existing in Windows phone and on XBOX; All of these add up to the most botched attempt at Modern UI ever.

So when people say Windows 8 is a failed concept, they're not completely wrong, only they have the wrong reasons.

You know, I agree with the first bit of what you said but I wish people wouldn't act like Microsoft did a great disservice with the WP7-WP8 thing. The technology behind WP7 was relatively ancient. It would have been effectively impossible to migrate the technology, no matter how similar you think they look. 

Also, I'm meh on Windows 8. Everybody talks about Windows 8's failed design, but just look where the industry is headed. Google's new UI, iOS 7, even many websites are going flat. And while it wasn't necessarily solely because of Microsoft, they did it first. 

I think it's obvious it's not about "flatness". Windows Phone's UI is great. It's about the Frankstein monster that is the poorly patched together WIndows 8.

Yup. The people working on Windows 8 seemed to completely miss the point on why Windows Phone was great. Now it seems that the people working on Windows Phone have forgotten why it was great, too.

Then why did they make WP7 like that? No excuses, as the iPhone 4 from 2010, which came BEFORE the first WP7 device, is still receiving its last IOS 7 updates.

Because iOS 7 is an iterative update to iOS 5 (or whatever the iPhone 4 came with). It's the same OS, with new features added and a different UI. Whereas Windows Phone 8 is a completely new OS with the same UI. Just because it looks the same doesn't mean that it's not completely different under the hood. Comparing WP7 to WP8 from an architecture perspective is like comparing Windows 98 to Windows 8.

From my understanding WP7 -> WP8 is technically possible but possibly had a much higher risk of failure, and the carriers were unwilling to support the process (testing/rolling out) for free when it was far easier to sell us all new mobiles.

No, it wasn't. There are features in WP8 (eg BitLocker) that require hardware support that the WP7 devices didn't have.

That's contrary to a lot of the reports I heard before... I can't remember the source, but I'm pretty sure it was reported via WPC that someone at MS indicated that it was technically possible with a full flash of the device. It was a risky process so not a good option for end-users and not something they would attempt to roll-out without a rock-solid system in place to avoid bricking the phones. I don't know the technical details or requirements (which seem to keep getting more lax!), but it basically sounded like it would be a complicated and expensive process and therefore much easier to sell us new phones. Anyway, it's all a moot point now :P

They could be flashed, yes. The HD2, a Windows Mobile device, can run WP8. But not all the features were supported because the hardware wasn't there, and the experience is sub par. This I've been told directly by people in the know at Microsoft.

A lot of that is misinformation and misunderstanding by you, the customer.  That being said, I am still highly pissed they dropped WMC. Half a year later, XB1 still does not support DLNA.

Well I would like to know how I can hop on my Xbox One and scroll through my movie collection (located on my home server), select and watch any at my leisure like I could on my Xbox 360? (using Media Centre on a 360 with the 'Media Browser' app is a wonderfully fluid experience with all the graphics, actor/movie info from the server and IMDB). Talk about a downgrade in functionality... smh... Microsoft has dropped so many things like this that I used and loved I could not begin to count but the worst in my book was Zune... This is just more of the same lack of vision and commitment and shows MS is sooo Awsosukiwukiwah!

Your right, its not as elegant. I've just been browsing on my PC and sending it from there. Not to bad for me considering my Xbox and PC are in the same room. I prefer the way 360 handles it. Just wanted people to know it DOES support DLNA, although its not the best.

Yea, your right, it does and I will use 'play to' with my tablet but it is clunky. The rest of my family won't even begun to use it while they they think Media Browser (MC) on the 360 is like the cable company and never realize how it really works but that means switching inputs which is one of the reasons I got the One to keep from doing. MS pushed the One as an entertainment center and it gets some things right but its crap for accessing media on a network afaic.

I don't think Wii supported DLNA  either. Wii U is just not meant to be a media box, it's a game console.

i don't get disappointed by microsoft at all, since i've been using their products for 30 years.

 

they always have something to get.

true, they don't always improve things. like windows phone 8, which is a step back from 7/7.5/7.8 for me.

 

but eventually they get some things right. the surface pro, is the best tablet pc i have owned, and i have had several of them.

the zune HD, and ZUNE software is the best music player, and manager i have used.

 

also, while the xbox 360 is not my favorite console, it is good enough.

windows 8 is terrible, but windows 7 is good enough to finally replace windows xp.

 

so, i'm not disappointed at all from microsoft, they have released plenty of great things.

File management and memory management on XP are so shit poor that I couldn't believe i ever thought it was good once I used Vista and 7.

Don't forget about the excitement killed because of the region thing... In Europe we have nothing special, it's just a phone, it's just a search engine, not every country has the xbone.. It's really stupid how they operate

You don't know shitt Agent. If we where talking about dissapointments you could blame every company to be a big dissapointment to the fans. How Google and Facebook steal our privacy. How Apple steals our money and intelligence. It's an ongoing wave of dissapointments with companies. Microsoft is way broader than any of them. Microsoft doesn't just do software, PC, Phones, Hardware, Xbox etc... It's way more than that. Google is just about services, crazy futuristic projects and Android. Apple is just about Phones, Tablets and Mac's. Facebook is only social media. Not one of these companies is as big as Microsoft.(I'm not talking about how much they are worth).

What I'm saying is, compared to Apple/Google/Facebook/etc... Microsoft has so many ongoing projects, it is not strange some good ones will be cancelled due to money. Besides they CEO just changed and the reorganisation needed to happen. I know it sucks I was personally waiting for this to happen and give Xbox and Television a great boost but I'm also a rational thinker and I understand this is like doing WP7 all over on TV bases. Only problem being. Exclussive entertainment isn't top priority and WP is!

 

So shut up about Microsoft being a dissapointment. You guys are way too blind to see Nadella is the first CEO making the company lift again. Nadella already showed it's going for innovation and quality. And Microsoft is listening to the people.

But just to comment on your examples. 3D Touch never got cancelled it just isn't ready for public yet, WP7 ran on an ancient kernel and was only keeping WP down as a OS, besides it was 1,5 years old already and Android is even worse at updates! WP8 made sure it was up to date! And did we forget WP7.8 gave you pretty much everything software related from WP8. Xbox one does NOT need to be connected to the internet all the time. Due to a lot of critisism and Microsoft listening to it's fans they changed it! Don't forget that. Don't say things if they aint true. All of you keep saying this guy is right, but forget the real facts. Microsoft listens more to it's fans than any other company. Havn't seen Apple listen to any of you guys. Google is even worse. Apple still has no NFC or larger screens. Which was being asked since the iPhone 4 came out 4 years ago!

Just one example to debunk your whole argument.

"WP7 ran on an ancient kernel and was only keeping WP down as a OS"

Come back when you understand that when saying "disappointment" you should be looking at matters from a consumer's point of view. "Ancient kernel keeping WP down" is Microsoft's problem, not the problem of those who bought their Lumia 900 3 months before WP8 announcement.

"Xbox one does NOT need to be connected to the internet all the time." yeah, but someone decided it should, at first. Disappointment comes from Microsoft's own policy, when they could have chosen not to enforce such daconian limitations at first. "Oh, they had to remove them" because people weren't buying the console and thank the fairies that there is this thing called "competition" otherwise you were looking at the same policies being imposed.

I know a lot of "shit" little kid.

You make false arguments and say you know a lot of shit? Lumia 900 may came out 3 months before wp8, but that doesn't mean it's Microsofts fault for bringing a new device to the table. Since when is it wrong to bring out devices even if it's right before a new update. People buying the Lumia 900 just regret the fact they didn't do any research. And blame Microsoft for the fact they've bought the wrong phone. Besides WP7.8 and all the Nokia services available for both WP8 and WP7.8 made the phone pretty much considerd a WP8 without the hardware limitations in mind. Still anyone could have looked it up and see WP8 is just around the corner. And who cares if there's an update. The mainstream user buys a Lumia 900 for the fact that they like the concept and they would love the phone even more with 7.8... Only the hardcore user complains which is funny because they should have known a new update and new devices were coming up!!! BTW the people who bought a WP8 device(Like me) had to wait almost a year for WP8.1 to come out. All updates before that were nice but way too small to considered real updates. You see them complaining after waiting a year? Half of them already switched to newer models due to 1 year contracts anyway so technically they never had any updates but still didn't complain as for those who had a Lumia 900 and got a great update to WP7.8 and were still greedy.

 

Now, xbox one. The fact that you call it a dissapointment while Microsoft personally took care of it for the fans (BEFORE LAUNCH!!!!) is reason enough for me that Microsoft DOES look after his fans. Do you have any idea how much trouble it is to change your software on all the xbox one's produced and ready for launch. Not only that. It costs millions of dollars to rush this before the actual launch has started and people get their first compies at home.

 

And yeah ofcourse Microsoft was scared people wouldn't buy the console, but why else would you change anything to your console. Why else would you improve? You think Sony isn't scared for Xbox. Think again! The Xbox has much more potential than anyone can imagine yet. Microsoft knows that too. PS4 is shitt compared to the Microsoft and Xbox infrastructure. Specs don't win the race. The journey of innovation and improvements does. Even now people are dying to get their hands on the Wii U once Super Smash comes out, just as people did when Mario Kart came out. You think Xbox doesn't have anything in store. Once Halo and some other big names come up Xbox is suddenly the biggest hype there is!

 

PS. The only people calling others little kids are little kids. But even if I was a little kid, I would showed you wrong ;)

Have a nice life

Wait a min... Regarding the 3D touch, was it even announced by MS via a proper channel? I mean as in OFFICIALLY? Or was it only rumors since then? I don't remember Microsoft announced any news of 3D Touch at all. Perhaps it was the fans who hyped up things and get disappointed after that?

No, it wasn't. They have been sitting on their asses for a few years. Maybe 2 years later they announce API for fingerprint scanners.

Some people are happy though, as they want MSFT to ONLY focus on games. I prefer games, but having TV shows would be nice too. That being said, I got the Xbox one because of it being a GAMING console...

Had the XBox One been equal to PS4 in GPU from day 1, along with NONE of the TV/Sports and Mattrick nonsense sales might be nearly tied now. As it is, this generation is already lost to Sony.

I agree, as people who didn't know much about both systems (known as average consumers), got the cheaper one, as it does the same thing, plays games. But when you look into it further, you see more with both.

Fook that, I love the TV and app integration.  A small amount of graphical fidelity lost on games, of which 4-5 a year later, are worth playing on either system.  No, I'll keep my TV integration and you can bugger right the hell off.  The difference between PS4 and XB1 is marginal at best.

If you're really so put off by the GPU, you should have been on a PC to begin with.

Maybe, but I was one of the few that was excited by the original plan of the One. I was excited for online only, sports partnerships and tv/entertainment. My tv runs through my One and I enjoy it a lot. As well, I agreed with what Matrick said. If you don't have access to broadband, maybe this console isn't for you. I was excited about all of it. Now seeing where they are now... What caused it? The outrage that online only caused? The lack of excitement about tv? The distaste for Matrick? Kinect? Price? Who knows, all of it is just a distant memory from what it started out being. Very interesting. Note, I still love my Xbox, but interesting to know what it could have been.

What caused it was an army of paid Sony trolls spreading misinformation and a lack of communication from Microsoft.  We had to pull teeth up until the day of release before they finally admitted WMC integration was not a part of Xbox One.  I would have bought three XB1's had they retained WMC.  Without it, I've no reason to have more than one.

I was actually going to keep my 360, as I hated that policy, and MANY others did too. When they changed it, I ordered the One.

Average people have internet, yes, but what about people in the army, who bring their consoles, with no internet? Microsoft just pointed the finger to them...

I agree with everything you said, but for my personal circumstances, the original plan was best for me. Again though, I very much enjoy my One. Heck, I enjoy both of my Ones.

How do you figure? The 360 started off way stronger than the PS3 for the first 2 years, yet the ps3 and 360 are basically tied in terms of units sold. Sony succeeding doesn't equal Microsoft loosing. There is room for 2 players as we've seen before.

What's your point? That just reinforces what I'm saying. Xbox had this huge lead yet even after everyone was saying Sony is done they turned it around and ended up basically equaling or surpassing lifetime sales of Xbox 360.

Nobody cares about GPU. Games arn't based on that. Did Nintendo ever think of GPU? ;) So just shut up and accept that PS4 hasn't nearly won yet. Microsoft has just started. And the price reduction makes it even more popular now. Besides some countries like The Netherlands will get the Xbox One introduction next month. Even tough that was very stupid of Microsoft millions of people are still waiting for it to come out in their countries!

No, it's actually prudent to cancel projects that have no potential for positive ROI. I realize that a lot of people are upset that Nadella is cancelling their "pet projects", but MS is not in the charity business.

The founder doesn't know how to run things in the 21first century. Just like Steve Balmer didn't. Nadella does. Bill Gates made microsoft big because it introduced something new to the world. But Bill and Steve arn't good at catching up to other companies. The interview with steve balmer about the iPhone is proof of that. Even tough that would probably have been the same reaction I would give... Nobody buys a Phone that's 600 Dollars besides the 50 Dollar montly subscription. The iPhone was insane. And people buying it were retarded! It's just true. But it actually really happened and Apple won the Music and Phone industry. And Microsoft has been trying to catch up since then. Even the more superior Zune never defeated the iPod because of bad marketing, and the fact it never got a worldwide introduction.

He said MSFT doesn't do charity, and I said the founder did. I said NOTHING about how they ran their company. But what did Bill have anything to do with that Ballmer interview? :-/

What an incredibly nonsensical response.  Research provides for new tech leading to ROI.  Do you know anything about business?  Cutting another venture that might, and I stress might, have marginal value to MS is a good business move for the new CEO.  He is refocusing the work and getting them back to their core business.  These decisions while not popular are the tough calls that he was hired to make.  The misstep in the Xbox One release is getting fixed by getting the console back to its core, gaming.  Every press release about the PS4 was about the games.  Maybe all of the "disappointments" outlined in these posts can be addressed by a more focused MS.  It will be fun to watch.

A good CEO is one who realizes the company that has a track record of cancelling products and disappointing its user base all the time has to start with rebuilding that image. How is it that all the decisions MS is making lately are "unpopular"? A company that constantly makes "unpopular" decisions has a serious problem; and this popularity thing is not caused by some outside forces but by the decisions and policies that the company itself makes.

It's not just Xbox's idiotic policies that brought about its sales doom. It's the most ridiculous decision to make Windows 8 what it is, and - justified or unjustified - alienate the fragile user base of an already weakening OS. It's about the stupid decision of excluding support for FullHD on WP, when it was obvious to everyone the market was moving towards higher and higher resolutions, clinging to WM when iPhone was already announced and Android was on the way, leading to releasing WP7 THREE YEARS later than the competition. Deciding the guy who bought his phone 6 months ago should own a deprecated OS now. Or the message the company sends when they plan to release products for the completing platforms first.

Yes, it makes money to have touch Office on Android first. But why should I stick with WP if I can have the product that MS is responsible for sooner on a non-MS platform?! A non-MS platform, by the way, that enjoys all apps that are released on the planet first, and I should wait to have them months or years later IF I am lucky. Yes, this is the situation, and the decision to release MS products over there first is "unpopular".

"Unpopular" is important. It is becoming very important for Microsoft and they should stop making unpopular decisions so rapidly.

I think you will find that a good CEO makes tough decisions however unpopular they may seem, and ignores the whining from the masses who are adverse to change of any kind.

If MS continued on the course they were on, they would cease to be within 5-10 years.

The fact, is they are still making money... That is the sign of a potentially great company!!!

I'm not sure about charity business. But it's all about potention. Microsoft Research makes potential. It brings innovation and future which is what Nadella is going for so you can't compare Microsoft Research with some exclussive TV shows which entertain people for money and subscriptions.

So I'dd rather say Microsoft is trying to waste less time to unimportant stuff and wants to invest more time in building the future. Ofcourse content is a part of the experience but I'm guessing that's why they didn't shut down the larger projects like the Halo TV series.

Just think about it. Does it really bennefit the company if they keep making exclussive shows. It may open new doors but is Microsoft the right company to be producing own content now. Ofcourse it would make Microsoft way cooler and make people think less bad of Microsoft which is a shame it got cancelled but still. Microsoft is a Software/Hardware/Innovative company. The fact they have Xbox is already pretty cool! Still I hope this project will run again in a better Microsoft future.

Phil Spencer is destroying the Xbox business. Since Spencer took charge Xbox sales have plummeted to 100k-200k a month. All the work that has been done to make Xbox a mainstream entertainment platform is being destroyed by Spencer in matter of months. After years of efforts all the work done for MS to win the trust of big Hollywood producers and creators is being destroyed. Execs from CBS, AMC, WB, and producers like Spielberg and Ridley Scott had all signed up with Xbox and now they are flushing this crucial opportunity down the toilet.

Yet when Spencer stepped in and dropped the price/cut out Kinect, sales more than doubled....i fail to see the logic in your argument.

Based on what I've read from industry insiders, XES was a mismanaged mess. Honestly, Microsoft would have gotten more for their money just hiring preexisting studios to make what they wanted.

I think it was a bad decision to cancel their original plans. Especially after making connections and building relationships with other companies towards those goals. I was looking forward to seeing what content they would produce. What a shame.

They are not cancelling all the original plans, only programming being made in their OWN Xbox Entertainment Studios.... all other programming made in Partner studios (such as Halo, etc.) are still going forward or are currently on hold.

Yeah, I know not all of their shows are being cancelled. I just was a little excited to see all of what they were going to come up with. I genuinely thought it was cool Microsoft was getting into tv production.

I don't know, that's a hell of a deviation from their core business.  Games, Music, etc... already appear to be too much for them to juggle.  I can just imagine them trying to run their own video studio.  No, they're better off partnering with existing studios who already know the business, have the contracts, etc... to produce their content.  At least, until they get their feet wet for a few years and learn the business insted of trying to jump into it cold.

If you haven't been reading the rest of the news, complete organizational changes. New vision (respectable finally too).

If you've always been annoyed with Microsoft (and why wouldn't you have been?) then you should be able to appreciate the fact that everything IS changing. Finally. And that's a good thing.

Who said I was always annoyed with them? I've been a fan of Microsoft going back to the early 90's. Yeah, Microsoft has made a number of mistakes but the fact is it's a company run by people. People make mistakes. Haven't you? I see far too many people taking the news on this site personally. It doesn't make sense to me why. There are far too many knee-jerk emotional responses. I find that immature. I do however agree with you that change is good. It is (overall) a positive sign that they're analyzing their actions and making constructive changes. Now let's see what the future unfolds.

Lol. You make a comment that references angry knee jerk reactions (the Xbox One's original concept was awesome, but knee jerk reactions got Microsoft tri back track), then you make a crazy emotional knee jerk reaction when someone calls you out for it, and YOU complain about knee jerk reactions?

Having to be online at all times to use the Xbox One is NOT an awesome idea. My internet goes down every so often, and that would turn it into a brick. Since the Xbox One launch Xbox live has gone down for multiple hours a few times, if everything you do on the system required an online connection that could be frustrating. Having said all that I have been mostly satisfied with my Xbox one since launch. Its alot better now.

I have to admit that my xbox one just sits around gathering dust. It was an impulse buy and one I regret atm. Hopefully the new halo game will change that for me.

I forgot about that announcement. You're right about that one, it was a terrible idea. Who's idea was that again?

I'm seeing now a homogonization of existing services to better accomodate all necessary user experiences. Removal of costly services that provided little perceived benefit to the company (Xbox TV and MixRadio for example, though I'd argue an integration of MixRadio into XboxMusic would've been more wise as an added and attractive feature to purchasing their Music Pass among other necessary features.) With a focus being on the developers and businesses in what I guess would be hopes that they would appreciate services being provided to THEM, so that they in return provide all the wonderful and necessary apps to fulfill the Microsoft ecosystem. (Let's remember, apps don't mean 42 dictionary clones, it means compatibility with popular consumer products often aligning to the "Internet-of-things" concept or what have you. Without integration into any windows architecture, users of Windows find themselves unable to access any of these neat devices being created by people around the world)

Microsoft still has games, still has business, still has WINDOWS (Which is great for both of those!) so Microsoft isn't going anywhere fast. They can't be expected to provide every single service and game to their users can they? They need to attract people to develop for their platform while also making it comfortable and attractive to new consumers. It looks like they're doing exactly what they should be doing from my point of view, which is why I'm on board with their current strategy.

I'm mostly mad because how awful the joke was. Especially since his name would so easily lend towards Satya NAHdella... And you chose some phonetically awful play on his name

What point are you making? That you're an immature troll on a serious article's comment thread? Well done. Now go back to playground and let the adults talk.

You did just indirectly call the fellas above "ladies". And no, I'm not. What I appreciate in a woman is that one would not bother going the smartass style and reply to my clearly unimportant comment. But noooo, you guys had to reply to those 5 words.. You either have too much free time or all are living a sad life. Over and out.

If he really wanted to leverage the power he'd stop f'ing with DLNA support on their stuff and throw this WMA protection crap everyone needs a license for in the trash.

I think it's because people in general just have a sore spot when witnessing laziness, idiocy, and/or completely pathetic and meaningless behavior or complete disregard for any bit of common sense.

I'm right with the advertisers on this, the original programming would've been a big play for both Xbox and Microsoft to gain some of the mindshare back from apple google and even Samsung to a extent

They're practically behind of everyone now. Even Yahoo is trying to bring something into this area. MS, as usual, had the right idea but scraped it way too soon only to later be surpassed by their competitors with the same idea.

While I appreciate they may feel slighted by Microsoft's decision, and fully understand what they bring in terms of cash, the thought of an advertising company being unhappy does not worry me one bit. No time for ads, aside from the aforementioned points, they bring nothing to the world.

But it's WHY they're unhappy that matters.

MS marketed the original content as a selling point. "Hey, advertise with us because of this!"

And then after getting a sale they change direction.

I cannot see a loss here. MS have a big push, and say "we are doing all these great things, and there may be opportunities to advertise", then they decide not to do the great things. Big deal. I can see why that would annoy, but lets not forget that the advertisers' way of working frequently annoys the rest of us. As far as I can see, the future looks brighter without those planned ads.

Both companies Microsoft and Sony are withdrawing from many services. I think its very expensive to maintain such things and people from emerging markets hardly uses it. Anything that benefits more from the emerging market is a perfect investment for a company most probably.

Obviously u don't read allot of gaming news. Xbox One, PS4, WiiU are NOT the last Consoles. How many times do these 3 companies need to explain this that Consoles still have a long future ahead.

I do and that doesn't mean squat what they say now. Of course they have to reassure their fanbase that these won't be the last consoles. They would be crazy to come out and claim it is. And for all their good intentions, they could very well intend for there to be more consoles in the future . But no one knows what's gonna happen 2 to 3 years from now. I'm sure Sega had no intention for the Dreamcast to be their final console.

Sega demise was that their USA branch and their Japan branch never seemed to get along anyways. It was really apparent after the two interviews from employees there spoke about Sonic Xtreme and the design choices between two completely different versions of the Dreamcast.

The thing MS tried to use to set Xbox One apart isnt even mandatory to the console anymore, Kinect. Another big thing they touted was this digital show content, now that's scrapped. They're not selling well and the X1 will never meet the PS4 graphics wise. MS has one thing that is really going to help and that's Halo. But I don't even think Halo will be enough to save the X1. I say there's a damn good chance we don't see another Xbox. They really screwed themselves multiple times with this console from the get go.

Having read the tech specs of the X1 and the PS4, I was under the impression that they where pretty evenly matched. And that the X1 was still easier to code for. Having said that, could they not come out with an updated X1 if there is a major discrepancy in graphics power between the X1 and the PS4?

Isn't it too soon for Nadella? Takes more than a few months to steer a behemoth like Microsoft in a new direction. What do you expect from Nadella? The guy hasn't even started rearranging the oversized mess that Ballmer created.

So far the only thing he has done is killed projects he does not like, and fired people. I am not saying that things didn't need to be changed, but first impressions are hard to change. Right now he looks like a hatchet man with no real commitment to Microsoft's history or its customers.

This is why Microsoft is having a hard time moving phones. If the product is not a billion dollar hit, they terminate the product. Screwing everyone who bought into it. Zune, kin, now the entertainment studio. People see this and say how can I TRUST them. So I'll buy an iPhone or Android phone.

The problem is you don't do enough to push these things to become a billion dollar business... It isn't a charity and what do you besides complain anyway. Damned if they do and damned if they don't =/

The reason they can not move phones is multi layered. But, some of the reasons are apparent to us. They have no clout in the mobile space and their track history is littered with multiple failures. Hell, they can't even muster the clout with the carriers in the USA to push out the updates on the devices they now make without the carriers being involved and holding up the process. This used to be the most powerful tech company in the world. Now look at them. They have a hatchet man at the helm and I weep for what Microsoft once was. I miss Bill Gates.

I think the same. I was eager to buy Nokia mclaren, but then I was disappointed. Now this. I'm losing confidence ... Soon Cortana will give up. The Cortana is the last advantage of MS over competitors.

 

This is a boneheaded decision! I've stuck with Microsoft in a Pro-Apple landscape. I was estatic once Ballmer left because I felt MS would finally bring all their great ideas to fruition. Unfortunately, all enthusiasm has been extinguished in the course of a couple months.

This was a cancellation that made sense to me. I never even heard about these supposed original shows, and I wouldn't have bothered paying for them anyway. I don't see how this service could compete with Netflix, Hulu+ and Amazon Prime anyway. Even cord cutters probably would limit the number of services they subscribe to, since they might as well subscribe to cable TV if the combined costs of all streaming services is as expensive as cable TV. The Xbox TV shows sounded like an "also-ran" to me.
 

They weren't building a streaming service. They were just creating original shows and putting them on Xbox and actual cable networks.

It would have been better to have tried and failed than to say you're going to try and then just up and quit before you get started.  This is nothing but bad press for Microsoft.  it would seem Microsoft knows the right formula to get bad press.  Going back on promises is always a negative.  With the way the world is today you'd think that any company (microsoft included) would want to be a household name, not a household curse word.  I love microsoft.  They have done some really great things but it would seem that just as they get a head of steam going in the right direction they find a way to shoot themselves in the foot and take about 20 steps backward.  This news makes me very sad indeed.  Microsoft seems to make a habit of shooting themselves in the foot.  They also seem to always put their foot in their mouth.  I just hope one day they dont shoot themselves in the head by mistake

Well, 3-4 years from now it'll bite them in the ass... Had a chance to lead, turned it down again. Making Xbox video a future Netflix competitor, with bought and original content would have given them the upper hand. Now all they can do is watch google and apple add original content to the play store/itunes.

Exactly. Sony already has the most extensive knowledge on original content so they'll have no problem. Google has YouTube and Apple will simply buy their way into the market. It's gonna be yet another missed market opportunity for MS.

I think Satya is trying to save to much money. Bringing original content to Xbox platforms is a good way to separate yourself from PlayStation. Now all we will have is two systems that play the same games and both charge for multiplayer with similar online features

One company had a problem. First of all, its a gaming system, not an ad hub..

Microsoft is doing the right thing by keeping its focus in gaming, there will be plenty of apps that will allow you to watch media content, why dont they focus their ads on that? The original program idea is a win or lose. If its a lose, its another fail that Microsoft does not need, skeptics obviously dont understand that what makes Xbox is gaming. I trust that Microsoft is doing all the necessary choices to make Microsoft successful. Stop saying that Microsoft is setting it self for failure, you have no idea how many fails Microsoft has had under Steve Ballmer's mess. So its time for redoing and rethinking. Go Microsoft for finally changing the way business needs to be done, if you don't trust the company and you dont understand its new vision of the company. Then move on. You dont have to support Microsoft.

Well now hold on, people do have to support Microsoft or there will be no Microsoft.

Otherwise yes. There's a mess to clean up, we should be less quick to judge or criticize before really seeing any results.

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