It's easy to look past Microsoft in the afterglow of Steve Jobs, the ever-evolving Google, the pervasive Facebook, and Amazon's broadening reach, yet, the giant of Redmond is not sleeping--
Why Microsoft Embraced Gaming - Technology Review: In 2000, Microsoft looked like an unlikely competitor to Sony and Nintendo, which had built console gaming into a billion-dollar industry.--
""Microsoft saw the writing on the wall," says David Dennis, a spokesman for Xbox. "It wanted to have a beachhead in the living room." Ten years later, the Xbox 360 is the best-selling video-game system of its generation in the United States, where more people plug it into their TVs than either Sony's PlayStation 3 or Nintendo's Wii, and it's making Microsoft a contender in the fierce battle to serve up entertainment on demand, especially from Internet video services. Analyst firm BCC Research estimates that $144 billion was spent on "digital living room" devices worldwide in 2010, and that this figure will grow to $226 billion by 2015. . . ."
"Of course, Microsoft isn't alone in combining television, movies, music, and Web content. Cable and satellite providers, television manufacturers, set-top box makers such as Roku, and Apple and Google are all now competing for a share of the digital living-room market. But thanks to the Xbox 360's start as a video-game console, Microsoft's 57 million console owners and 35 million Xbox Live members worldwide give the company a large established base of users to build on. Meanwhile, Apple and Google have struggled to sell their narrowly focused TV products . . . ."
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