Comments
Xbox One Key To 'One Microsoft'
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
anon0739723612
50%
50%
anon0739723612,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/23/2013 | 1:34:00 PM
AMD is the real winner in TV console wars
 

 Apple, Google, Samsung, etc, will bring out  TV consoles to compete with MSFT.

Since ALL the games are already being optimized for MSFT and Sony  hardware, which is powered by an AMD APU,  it only makes sense that they would want to use AMD also.

 

The AMD APU is estimated to cost Sony and MSFT about $100.

To put this in perspective, the Intel equivalent chip is the Iris Pro, which is listed at a price of $650.

 

There is NO way that Intel can compete with AMD in graphics!

 

The company to keep an eye on is  AMD!

 

 

 

 

 
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
11/23/2013 | 10:48:11 PM
Re: AMD is the real winner in TV console wars
History suggests that the gaming market cannot carry the success of more than three competing consoles (and even that's a lot for the market).  I don't think gamers would stand for five or six consoles.

This isn't to say that other companies can't infiltrate the market and find success as Sony did, but -- as in the Old West -- this town isn't big enough for all of them.
anon0739723612
50%
50%
anon0739723612,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/24/2013 | 6:12:38 PM
Re: AMD is the real winner in TV console wars
@Joe,   What I think you are missing is that BOTH  MSFT and Sony use almost the EXACT same APU chip from AMD.

 

You should try to think about  consoles like you do about PCs

 

There were and still are at least a half dozen main PC manufacturers, that all use the same X86 chips from Intel and AMD.

 

Although the operating system is different between sony and MSFT,  future consoles can have the "GAME" portion OS be very similar to what is presently in PCs.

The number of PC gamers are about the same size as the game consoles.

In other words,  Samsung, Google, Apple, only have to use  the same type chip/PC architecure ,  then porting the game over to a different plaftorm becomes realtively easy.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
11/25/2013 | 8:55:56 AM
Re: AMD is the real winner in TV console wars
If chipsets were the only things that mattered to gamers, the Atari Jaguar and the TurboGrafx 16 would have been far more successful.

Other than the actual technology, gamers also care about the games available (they are not always the same, even today where some games have multiple releases, because of licensing issues; console manufacturers understand that this is where the real money is made), backwards compatibility, controls, networks, and much more.
anon0739723612
50%
50%
anon0739723612,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/23/2013 | 2:06:22 PM
Oculus Rift type VR is the only way to disrupt MSFT and Sony
Mobile  games appear quite lame when compared to AAA video games.

 

Very few people would pay a few $ hundred to buy a console from Apple and Google, so they could play mobile games on their  flat screen TV.

 

The disruptive future force in AAA gaming is VR head sets.

 

The key to the MSFT and Sony consoles is  the AMD APU.

 

If Apple, Google, and Samsung want to compete with their own  "smart" TV boxes with powerful cameras, microphones attachments devices, like the MSFT Xbox One,  they will probably want to use a similar AMD APU chip.

 

The differentiating factor between  plugged in consoles/PCs and mobile device is GRAPHICS.

 

MSFT will focus on creating devices that can WOW people with powerful graphics.

 

Qualcomm is already focusing on improving the graphics of their mobile chips.

 

I do not think it is a coincidence that  AMD's  founding partners in the HSA foundation include mobile powerhouses Samsung, ARM, TI, and Qualcomm. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Michael Endler
50%
50%
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
11/24/2013 | 1:38:12 AM
Re: Oculus Rift type VR is the only way to disrupt MSFT and Sony
Graphics are important to gamers, no doubt, but my reference to Apple and Google wasn't a suggestion that either is (or should be) planning an Xbox-style console. Rather, my point was that Microsoft and Sony are doing something different than Apple and Google, and that even if Microsoft wins the gaming battle against Sony, it will still face interesting competition for the living room.

Microsoft is going for living room domination via hardcore gamers, first and foremost, and then extending from that base. The company is hoping this expansion can eventually collide with other bases--e.g. that Windows and Xbox reinforce one another, as I alluded in the article.  Apple and Google are trying to take over the living room through a different set of tactics. The iOS and Android/ Chrome ecosystems are components in these tactics, and so is mobile gaming. But whereas gaming is the primary conduit to the living room for Microsoft, it's less important to competitors, who are leveraging their ecosystems in different ways.

Take Apple. If/when Apple produces a TV, I see its UI and content model being the differentiators, not gaming. It will probably include app support of some kind, which should not only enable hooks to different iDevices and iServices, but allow facilitate support for certain types of games. It will have similariries to Microsoft's strategy, but it will be meaningfully different, and far less interested in hardcore gamers as a central audience. And from there, I see Apple expanding into Internet of Things-style applications, rather than traditional consoles. This includes wearable devices, some variant of iOS that runs in cars and other objects, more advanced motion-tracking and biometric applications, etc.

And there are other players too. Comcast isn't just supplying cable to televisions; it's also providing home security monitoring, making an early play IoT-style play on not just living rooms but the tech backbone of the entire house.

Right now, we think of apps as things we run on smartphones, but soon, they'll hook into devices that we wear, and objects that we interact with. Microsoft, Sony, Apple, Google, Comcast, Intel, Cisco, Qualcomm and many others are all vying for pieces of this future universe, and there are many different tactics at play. Some of these tactics are compatible, some aren't.
Alex Kane Rudansky
50%
50%
Alex Kane Rudansky,
User Rank: Author
11/23/2013 | 4:39:33 PM
Apple
Why hasn't Apple released a comparable product to the Xbox or Play Station? It seems like a no brainer. 
timrdsn
IW Pick
100%
0%
timrdsn,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/23/2013 | 10:51:47 PM
Re: Apple
Apple's business model is to make lots of money on premium hardware, and to pursue innovative, high-growth sectors. The console market is extremely low margin hardware, and it has no growth prospect. It can't be very exciting; it's seven years since the last generation of consoles, and in all that time, Microsoft has sold only 80m xBoxes. Apple has sold twice as many iPads in half the time, and they make much more money.

Apple probably already makes more money on games than Microsoft, if you apportion a cetain share of iPad profit and look at app sales. 

This is why activist shareholders are calling on Microsoft to sell XBox. It's no-profit, no-growth and hasn't helped Microsoft with Bing or consumer market share. Apparently, though, it's cool. 

 
Michael Endler
50%
50%
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
11/24/2013 | 1:51:43 AM
Re: Apple
From what I can tell, it's pretty tough to make money with game consoles. In this market, everything comes from ecosystem revenue; I think Sony is still losing money on PlayStations, even after years in the market.

This business model isn't Apple's style. Apple loves to rake in ecosystem revenue, but the company has never used a product as a loss leader. Instead, Apple gets not only great ecosystem revenue, but also preposterous margins on all of its devices. It would be hard for them to preserve these margins while designing a console that could compete with the Xbox One or Playstation for hardcore gamers. Apple already makes a ton of money from mobile games, but I don't think they consider games the key to taking over the living room. Instead, I think Apple will bank on the interaction model between a future iTV and its user, first and foremost.

But what do others think? Does Apple or Google need to compete with an Xbox-style product? Is Microsoft going to redefine the living room, or just enjoy popularity among gamers?
anon6695251302
50%
50%
anon6695251302,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/24/2013 | 5:48:28 AM
Re: Apple
As has been stated in the article & comments, the console game market is low profit margin & quite limited in growth.  Thus, this is not a market that Apple has any interest in moving on.  Apple did make an attempt to enter this market back in the late 90's & it was a complete failure. Problem is, it requires so many resources, because you have to have a cutting edge hardware, OS & then drive a developer base, it is too costly.  Apple is better off using those resources on their computers & portable devices, where they have a high profit margin as well

 

Cheers !
gatoloco
50%
50%
gatoloco,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/23/2013 | 6:48:57 PM
This is a bougus report
Very Hard to belive Most Xbox Users are Mad at Microsoft for what they plan to do that eventualy they will enforce thier Capitalist ideas to create a Monopoly plus you got to be crazy to give them 500.00 dolars for a tv converter box is lame like they say TV TV TV     plus AMD CPU sucks the have a tendency to overheat
Joe Stanganelli
IW Pick
100%
0%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
11/23/2013 | 10:42:25 PM
Xbox
Remember when iPhones first came out and were considered fancy toys?

Kinect has already made headway in the enterprise.  As gaming systems evolve into entire home entertainment systems, and as IoT continues to proliferate, the key to Microsoft redominating the tech industry could well be the XBox.

Indeed, with Apple and Google dominating mobile, Microsoft's better shot at domination seems less likely to be trying to huff and puff and catch up with mobile and more likely to be taking some other tack.
Michael Endler
50%
50%
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
11/24/2013 | 1:54:11 AM
Re: Xbox
A good point. Game consoles are one hedge as they try to catch up in mobile, and as everyone waits to see if wearables will be as big as Forrester and other research firms (to say nothing of Google) think they'll be. None of this addresses the point of whether Microsoft should be pursuing consumers in the first place, but if they're going to do so, the Xbox One might be the way.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
11/25/2013 | 8:27:04 AM
Re: Xbox
Pursuing consumers has certainly worked for Apple as a way of leveraging the same technology in the enterprise.  One can certainly think of non-consumer applications for the Xbox and its attendant technology if one thinks about it (for instance, long-distance surgery/training).
melgross
50%
50%
melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
11/26/2013 | 2:04:42 PM
Re: Xbox
I've recently read another article that states that Microsoft has lost at least &2 billion this year in the entertainment portion of the new division it's in. I'm not surprised. Microsoft has lost over $12 billion in their entertainment division since the first XBox, with no clear path to stem those massive losses. No wonder Elop would get rid of it. I've been following this for years. No matter how many times Microsoft attempts to conceal those losses by merging something profitable into that division (first the small Devices division! and now profits from Android licensing), the losses can be separated out. Even Bing may be in trouble. I'm wondering when the Feds and the EU will realize that it's almost impossible, if not actually impossible, to remove bing from the Modern UI, and replace it with, say, Google. Or remove IE. Once that's understood, we could have another few years of lawsuits. I'm surprised that Google and others aren't already on top of this.
telle quelle
50%
50%
telle quelle,
User Rank: Strategist
11/24/2013 | 4:37:03 AM
iPhone? Really??
How can you compare the iPhone to the ANY living room console, in terms of "living room domination"?

I honestly fail to see where any handheld device has the power to take over your lviing room, other than perhaps as a universal remote.
Michael Endler
50%
50%
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
11/24/2013 | 12:14:12 PM
Re: iPhone? Really??
I think the point about Apple and Google must be unclear.

I didn't intend any direct comparison between the Xbox One and an iPhone. Comparing them in an apples-to-apples way would be silly, as you imply.

The point is that Apple, Microsoft, Google, Sony and others don't just make single products; they each make a range of products that comprise an ecosystem. The ecosystem is what matters in this context, not the individual product. Can the Xbox One be the foundation for an ecosystem that appeals to not only gamers but virtually everyone with a living room? Can iOS/Apple's developer community/Apple TV serve as the foundation for a similar living room play?

Apple has a great ecosystem, and if they try to take over the living room, the ecosystem will be central to doing so. Microsoft is also pitching its living room play around not only the Xbox One, but also itS surrounding ecosystem-- Skype, SkyDrive, IE, etc. Microsoft's ecosystem is different from Apple's in many ways, and each company is taking a different tactic in deploying it. As I mention in the article, Microsoft is charging into the living room via gamers, whereas Apple is taking a different path. This article never makes the argument that an iPhone will take over the living room. Rather, it makes the argument that Microsoft and Sony are entering the living room from a certain angle (i.e. gamers) and that even if Microsoft bests Sony, it might find other formidable challengers coming from other angles (e.g. Google/Apple/Whoever, coming at the living room with a content/UI-centric model, rather than a gaming one).

Put another way, the point isn't whether Microsoft can win over gamers. Gamers are an important part of any "living room domindation" fight-- but winning the gamers doesn't win the larger war. Rather, the point is whether Microsoft can use gamers as a base from which to expand. Likewise, the point isn't that an iPhone can be compared to an Xbox; the point is whether Apple can use its iOS base to build a TV-centric ecosystem that's equally popular and useful.
anon0739723612
50%
50%
anon0739723612,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/24/2013 | 6:32:12 PM
No margins for Apple in the living room
Sony and MSFT are selling their "smart" boxes for cost.

They are able to do so because of the large profits from the software and the 50 million and growing  Xbox live subscribers.

 

Google will bring out a "smart" box that tries to compete at zero profit margin, because they want the advertising $$ from search advertising.

 

Amazon can also bring out a zero profit margin "smart" box, which drives users to their subscription service and online e-commerce site.

 

Apple has their music service and itunes, but will try to price their competitive  console to make a profit, which will be difficult, since there is NO carrier  subsidization model.

 

The gaming handset is relatively inexpensive. 

 

It would seem to make sense that  ALL of the above and others would attempt to repackage a PC into a "smart" TV console.

 

Google can create another USER INTERFACE (UI) to comete with the voice actuated Xbox One.  Google can then license that UI OS to Samsung and other manufacturers.

 

Apple will be forced to create their own voice actuated UI for "smart" TVs.

 

ALL  of them MUST create  voice actuated UIs, because the progression towards more NATURAL user interfaces is clear cut.

 

Voice and vision based UI require heavy GPU horsepower...  which supports the further entenchment of AMD as the leader in "smart" TV boxes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
11/24/2013 | 5:02:07 PM
Re: iPhone? Really??
I don't agree with Elop's rumored assessment that the Xbox unit should be sold. 

The only reason they would do that would be to raise a ton of cash. Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices division is one of the best performing next to that of Server and Tools. 

Yet the whole thing doesn't make sense; devices are like a gateway into the company's ecosystem. Why would you want to sell that?
anon0739723612
50%
50%
anon0739723612,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/24/2013 | 6:37:23 PM
MSFT selling Xbox is stupid, Wall st is greedy/ stupid
All the greedy idiots on Wall st only want short term profits....  

If Apple's (AAPL) customer loyalty  is all about the ecosystem, why not for Microsoft?

When you ask people, analysts, whoever, about why Apple won't lose all their customers to lower cost, and/or better devices, they say its all about the ecosystem.

The Cloud paradigm is about  about providing an ecosystem of services.

Google created and supports a free operating system called Android, so that the default settings drive people to their cloud services.

Google's business model is providing free services, that are supported by advertising.

It is very difficult to compete against something that is free.

As Google slowly improves their software offerings, there will be constant pressure on Microsoft's model of charging for software.

Microsoft's Board of Directors understood this situation a number of years ago, and began an aggressive long term investment program.

 

Microsoft had 2 distinct  choices

They could greatly reduce R & D,  increase dividends, and  shrink away into a company like CA technologies, a provider of legacy software.

Or, they could continue to use their world class R & D operation to  create and grow a cloud ecosystem, which would throw off cash flow for eternity.

 

The Xbox live subscriber base is a cash flow machine

Microsoft now has 50 million Xbox live subscribers, and that number will grow dramatically with the release of  the new Xbox One.

The Xbox live 50 million subscribers is similar in size to Wall street darling Netflix's (NFLX) current subscriber base.

How is it that Wall Street loves the Netflix business model, but does not like the Xbox business model?

Netflix does not have the large costs of supporting a hardware infrastructure, but they have the large costs of continually purchasing content.  

The large base of Xbox live subscribers,  attracts independent software companies to create content for the platform, similar to the Android and Apple App ecosystems.

If the Xbox business was owned by Apple or  Google,  Wall street would be singing its praises, in my opinion.

 

Search is key to devices

Microsoft has invested Billions $$  into its search service called Bing, but it is still losing money.  It is losing money because of the low volume of users.

Google did such a good job of equating its name with search, and driving the vast majority of searches to its site, that it commands massive advertising revenues and profits.




If Apple's (AAPL) customer loyalty  is all about the ecosystem, why not for Microsoft?

When you ask people, analysts, whoever, about why Apple won't lose all their customers to lower cost, and/or better devices, they say its all about the ecosystem.

The Cloud paradigm is about  about providing an ecosystem of services.

Google created and supports a free operating system called Android, so that the default settings drive people to their cloud services.

Google's business model is providing free services, that are supported by advertising.

It is very difficult to compete against something that is free.

As Google slowly improves their software offerings, there will be constant pressure on Microsoft's model of charging for software.

Microsoft's Board of Directors understood this situation a number of years ago, and began an aggressive long term investment program.

 

Microsoft had 2 distinct  choices a few years ago

They could greatly reduce R & D,  increase dividends, and  shrink away into a company like CA technologies, a provider of legacy software.

Or, they could continue to use their world class R & D operation to  create and grow a cloud ecosystem, which would throw off cash flow for eternity.

 

The Xbox live subscriber base is a cash flow machine

Microsoft now has 50 million Xbox live subscribers, and that number will grow dramatically with the release of  the new Xbox One.

The Xbox live 50 million subscribers is similar in size to Wall street darling Netflix's (NFLX) current subscriber base.

How is it that Wall Street loves the Netflix business model, but does not like the Xbox business model?

Netflix does not have the large costs of supporting a hardware infrastructure, but they have the large costs of continually purchasing content.  

The large base of Xbox live subscribers,  attracts independent software companies to create content for the platform, similar to the Android and Apple App ecosystems.

If the Xbox business was owned by Apple or  Google,  Wall street would be singing its praises, in my opinion.

 

Search is key to devices

Microsoft has invested Billions $$  into its search service called Bing, but it is still losing money.  It is losing money because of the low volume of users.

Google did such a good job of equating its name with search, and driving the vast majority of searches to its site, that it commands massive advertising revenues and profits.

Microsoft has proved that their search results are equal to or better than Google's, but  that does not immediately result in people changing the default on their computers and other devices.

For  Microsoft to evolve into a cloud services provider,  they must have a robust search capability, which is key to advertising revenues and profits.

 

SKYPE+ BING+ GAMING CONTENT+ OFFICE= A ROBUST  CLOUD ECOSYSTEM!

Since buying music on iTunes has been replaced by successful free music services,  Microsoft has more attractive cloud services than Apple, in my opinion.

 

Microsoft gaining market share in mobile

While Google's Android appears to have a lock on mobile OS,  because of their superior App offerings,  Microsoft has key strengths.

Since Microsoft is already earning decent royalties from all the major mobile phone manufacturers,  it is not hard to imagine them offering more windows based models.

Most top reviewers give windows phone OS a thumbs up, with many finding the "tile" structure superior to either Android or Apple's iOS.

 

Microsoft has all the key ingredients for success in mobile and the consumer cloud

While Microsoft's execution and reaction to the new cloud paradigm has been slow,  they now have all the pieces in place for a dramatic surge in market share.

Nobody else owns all the key pieces for success in the consumer cloud.

Microsoft will be able to leverage its key properties into a robust ecosystem that will attract more outside application developers, in my opinion.

 

Bottom line,  Wall Street is myopic as usual

Wall Street will almost always choose a quick today, over many bucks down the line.

That is why is the bulk of  the financing for  successful technology companies is done far, far, away from Wall Street, in Silicon Valley.

Companies go to Wall Street to cash out,  not for the risk capital to create and  build world leading enterprises.

Wall Street beats a very noisy short term drum, which can drown out the  advice from visionaries  living in quieter more  contemplative  places,  like Omaha, Silicon Valley, and Seattle.




Amazon's Jeff Bezos now looks like a Genius.... but if the same short term minded people (Rich Sherlund) that are calling for a MSFT breakup had their way, Amazon would not exist today!



The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 27, 2014
Who wins in cloud price wars? Short answer: not IT. Enterprises don't want bare-bones IaaS. Providers must focus on support, not undercutting rivals.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Howard Marks talks about steps to take in choosing the right cloud storage solutions for your IT problems
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.