The Xbox developer ecosystem  

Some fascinating insights from the founder of the Xbox project:

My gripe is that, as usual, Microsoft has jumped its own shark and is out stomping through the weeds planning and talking about far-flung future strategies in interactive television and original programming partnerships with big dying media companies when their core product, their home town is on fire, their soldiers, their developers, are tired and deserting, and their supply-lines are broken.

xBox’s primary critical problem is the lack of a functional and growing platform ecosystem for small developers to sell digitally-/network-distributed (non-disc) content through to the installed base of xBox customers, period.

Throwing money at media companies & marginalizing independent devs: always a winning strategy.

Microsoft is living in a naive dream-world…any lead they feel they have is simply not defensible by licensing other industries’ generic video or music content because those industries will gladly sell and license the same content to all other players. A single custom studio of 150 employees also can not generate enough content to defensibly satisfy 76M+ customers. Only with quality primary software content from thousands of independent developers can you defend the brand and the product.

Might want to ask Nokia how “content” as a point of differentiation worked out for them…

It’s definitely worth reading the full post on Nat Brown’s blog.


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