by Terrence Lui
It is being reported that Microsoft's Xbox 360 console had a fantastic month of November by selling 1.7 Million units. It will easily ship the most number of consoles among the big three this holiday season.
I love the story of Microsoft's Xbox. When it first came out, Xbox was a joke. It was big and ugly and the PS2 was so dominant nobody thought it had a chance in hell to break through. I mean really, what the heck did Microsoft know about game consoles? Microsoft threw billions of dollars at the problem and every quarter people would laugh and say Microsoft was just wasting their time. Nobody is laughing now.
Microsoft not only built a great console but they built up a fantastic ecosystem before building up an ecosystem was the cool thing to do with an appliance. The execution and integration of Xbox live is just brilliant. The partnerships they have formed with media companies are fulfilling Microsoft's vision of the Xbox as a media hub for the home. And now with Kinect, they are expanding the console past a simple gaming device. All of this after most people wrote them off before Microsoft even got started in gaming.
This is just one example of why I love the technology industry. Nobody would have predicted that Microsoft would be able to not only catch up but pass Sony in this iteration of the console wars. But the technology industry is so dynamic. It is constantly changing and the winner of one turn will not necessarily be the winner of the next one. While some people hate this uncertainty, I love it. While others fear it, I see it as an opportunity to constantly disrupt the status quo and that can create benefits for myself and the world around me.
Think about the players that are absolutely dominant in their segment now. Facebook with Social, Amazon in retail, Google with search, Apple with consumer products, etc. I believe most people right now think each of those players has an insurmountable advantage but I guarantee you that one of them will be displaced by a company we might not have even heard of yet.
What are your feelings on this ever changing landscape? Which current industry leader do you think is poised to fall to a next generation upstart?
Note: For the record, I'm not Xbox fanboy. The Xbox 360 is actually the one current generation console I don't own. But I can recognize the tremendous achievement that Microsoft has done by going from a joke to first in the console wars.