Microsoft has successes with the OS, Windows Client and Server plus multiple applications. It has been moderately successful with Azure, its cloud service and Office 365. It has had very limited success with its own smartphone, Windows Phone 7. But one other area where it has had tremendous success is with Xbox and its Kinect side kick. And this leads to the question. Will Microsoft try to enhance the status of this commercially successful hardware, albeit, gaming device?
Dave Cutler? You don’t know who he is? He is not well known outside of Microsoft circles, but Cutler was the father of Windows NT. Right now, his status is so high at Microsoft that he reports directly to Steve Ballmer. And now Steve Ballmer may also be thinking…can we use Dave in some other capacity? He was working on Azure, but Cutler considers that project “done.” So Cutler may be looking for something else to get involved in. That something is Xbox.
Gaming and Beyond
Xbox was designed around the NT OS. So Cutler is well poised to make contributions. The most important would be to expand the range of Xbox into something else besides gaming. Microsoft recently said:
“Dave is one of our brightest minds and is currently working on projects that will help advance our goals in the consumer space as we continue to grow the Xbox from a game-centric console to a complete home entertainment device.”
Since the hardware console has been everything that gamers want, and more, can that technology form the basis of another area of customer interest. Here are some of the things that could develop:
- Making Xbox more of a TV with HomeStore
- Making Xbox also become a home videoconferencing / telepresence hub
- Making XBox a whole home-automation system
- Making Xbox a new type of TV device
With developers like Dave Cutler at the helm, Xbox could turn out to be a new and successful addition to the market that Microsoft has had a firm lock in, namely gaming. Now they may be moving in the direction of Home Entertainment.