The end of the Xbox 360 is the end of an era for Microsoft
Getty Images/Kevork Djansezian
With sales of the console reaching 84 million since the November 2005 launch, this news marks the end of an era for video games. But it also marks the end of an era for Microsoft itself, as the Xbox business is brought closer into the company's core.Something you hear from a lot of Microsoft employees is that the Xbox business is almost like a different company entirely, doing its own thing with minimal interaction or interference. It has a reputation for being isolated from the rest of Microsoft.
The Xbox 360 was even weirder, by Microsoft standards - not only did it not run Windows, it had a PowerPC processor under the hood. At the time of the Xbox 360's introduction, the only computers that were really using PowerPC processors were Apple's Macs. Like I said, weird.Still, both consoles were big hits, and the Xbox 360 far outsold the competing Sony PlayStation 3.
the Xbox One's sales were slow out of the gate. It carried a higher price tag than the PlayStation 4, and required the use of the lackluster Kinect sensor at launch. Since 2013, two important things have happened: First, Microsoft got a new CEO in the form of Satya Nadella, who's had great success already in unifying the company under one banner. Second, the Xbox business is now headed up by Phil Spencer, a team player who's indicated his desire to bring the ship closer to the fleet, so to speak.
AFP PHOTO/Jeff Christensen
In late 2015, the Xbox One got an update that brought a custom version of the Windows 10 operating system to the console. Some time this summer, the Xbox One will get access to a version of the Windows Store app market, too.It means that an Xbox is finally getting Windows, which it turn means that it's finally snuggling up to the company's core business units.
And with the discontinuation of the Xbox 360 console, it means that once the existing stock runs out, the only Xbox you'll be able to buy is one that supports Windows 10. That's important groundwork for Nadella's vision of a Windows-everywhere future.
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