Decade in review: 12 stories that changed Microsoft, Windows and Xbox forever in the 2010s

September 2017: Phil Spencer leads Xbox One

Phil Spencer

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Phil Spencer had previously led Microsoft's internal games effort, albeit in a hamstrung fashion. The disastrous positioning of the original Xbox One in 2013 torpedoed the brand at the worst possible time, as the gaming industry moved increasingly towards digital licenses with users "locked in" to a platform. The boost gave Sony a massive head start, and Xbox has been fighting an uphill battle to regain ground ever since.

With the previously leadership ousted, Spencer not only took the reins of Xbox but was promoted to the Senior Leadership Team, putting gaming at the heart of Microsoft's wider operation for the very first time. As a result, a flood of investment hit Xbox, leading to the largest studio portfolio in the division's history, alongside highly potent initiatives in game streaming with Project XCloud and pioneering industrial engineering on the hardware side.

Xbox still has a hill to climb, but the brand has never been in a better shape. That all started with Spencer's, and thus Xbox's, ascension to a senior leadership role in Redmond.

WC Staff