Friday, 7 June 2013

You can't be friends with Microsoft

Microsoft have just confirmed some more details about the Xbox One, most of which aren’t exactly great. Very limited options to lend and resell you games, regular internet connection require and some pretty hefty restrictions on what you can do with games you buy. I think all these are pretty appalling, especially as I am a regular renter of games, which presumably will no longer be a option.

I have no desire to defend Microsoft, none of these things are good as a consumer, and I certainly won’t be picking up a Xbone. However I have to wonder if we should be surprised by these choices. After all Microsoft is a business beholden to it’s shareholders to make money, and they obviously think that using these methods will ensure that they will make more money.I think that sometimes people, wonderful, enthusiastic, passion people, forget that companies aren’t there friends. I am writing this right now on Google Drive, because it, like the majority of Google's services, is fab. It is easy to forget that Google is trying to make money out of me (in large part by watching what I am doing).

Many of you have owned Xbox’s for years and you naturally grow attached to the Xbox and the infrastructure that supports it. So you get used to the little annoyances that come with owning an Xbox, such as the ads and buying points rather than money. And Microsoft are gambling that you will happily continue to put up with annoyances on their new console. After all, these contentious features have one purpose. To help Microsoft make more money out of it’s consumers, which is what every company want, I have no illusions about this.

However some companies, like the already mentioned Google, make money by providing services people want in a easy to swallow form. Because you don’t need a marketing degree to figure out that making people happy is a way to ensure that people keep using your services. Hell some of the more draconian methods of control Microsoft are suggesting already exist on the PC with the likes of Steam. However because Valve provide a service that I like, I don’t complain about the fact that I can’t lend my pc games.

I have a sneaky suspicion that Microsoft may have pushed their “friendship” with many of it’s consumers too far, and are going to be in for a nasty shock.

1 comment:

Charles Thomson said...

Not to sure chap at work massive xbox fan boy gets really angry when we talk about this being a bad move from MS. Also it seems to be doing really well on the pre-orders as well which I find amazing considering the price of it.

To expensive and to restrictive if it was cheaper I think you could swallow all the rest of the bullshit. Its like they want to charge you a premium so that you can pay them more money.