Microsoft May Not Be Smart, but It's Wise

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) wasn't being very smart when it told gamers that the new Xbox One would have to connect to the Internet every 24 hours. The company also acted unintelligently when it said that disc games could only be sold once. And it further lacked insight when it said there would be restrictions on lending and sharing games with friends.

But yesterday, the company proved that making a few dumb decisions doesn't mean you still can't make wise moves – and it's reversed the previous Xbox One restrictions.

In a blog post entitled "Your Feedback Matters – Update on Xbox One," Don Mattrick, president of interactive entertainment business at Microsoft said, "We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds." Microsoft, which looked liked it was killing the gaming community it helped to create, will now offer the same game-sharing features as the Xbox 360.

To be clear on its intent, Microsoft's post included these three phrases to make sure gamers know what the reversal means:

  • "You can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360."
  • "You can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360."
  • "There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360."

Just like the Xbox 360 – music to most gamers' ears.

Luckily for Microsoft, the company came to its senses and did the wise thing before it started selling the Xbox One. The company has been the top-selling console-maker every month for over two years. The Xbox has been an innovative flare for the Redmond company and, let's face it, the company isn't exactly heralded as the most cutting edge tech company at the moment.

Microsoft investors should be happy that the company was wise enough to listen to a core customer base and give them exactly what they want. Maybe the Xbox One would have sold a lot of units without the changes, but it's likely to sell more now, because Microsoft listened. Investors need to see how the gaming community reacts to the changes and, eventually, if those changes translate into Xbox One sales once the product launches.

Maybe Microsoft will learn an even bigger lesson from the Xbox fiasco when it makes updates to its Windows 8 platform later this year: Making bold changes to technology is one thing, but making bold changes that people actually want is quite another.

While most of the gaming community's concerns over the Xbox One have been quelled, Microsoft is still struggling to find its way in mobile, and its latest Windows OS has been highly criticized. So continuing its history of strong demand for Xboxes would be a welcome sight. In a new premium report on Microsoft, a Motley Fool analyst explains that, while the company's opportunities are huge, so are the challenges. The report includes regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.


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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On June 20, 2013, at 8:56 PM, rholechek wrote:

    I don't want a console that still needs a camera attached, comes from a company that treats all customers as thieves, or has a more expensive/less powerful machine.

  • Report this Comment On June 20, 2013, at 9:25 PM, tcsims82 wrote:

    Spoken like a true PS fanboy! LOL While the camera is required to be attached, it CAN be turned off. So for all you tin foil wearing paranoid people, no worries, nobody is gonna be spying on ya! It's more expensive, because it COMES WITH the Kinect, while PS4 does not come with it. The machines are basically equal when it comes to graphics/power. There are areas that each console does better than the other, but overall their equal. And it also it worth mentioning that Xbox Live will have over 300,000 servers...PS4 not even close. In this day and age, it doesn't have much to do with the console, it's the features and exclusive games...and Xbox One has more than the PS4. I was teetering back and forth when Microsoft was talking about having to be online and restrictions on the games, but after they have changed it, I'm sold on the Xbox One. Doesn't really matter, both consoles are gonna make Microsoft and Sony even more rich.

  • Report this Comment On June 20, 2013, at 9:26 PM, excelscior wrote:

    Don't be fooled people. The Xbox One still has DRM incorporated into the machine. The Kinect is ALWAYS ON even when the system is off. So the system is ALWAYS WATCHING YOU! Also Microsoft can always do an about face and turn on the 24 hour obligatory internet connection needed anytime later. Microsoft proved gamers are not at its core for gaming. They withdrew these functions temporary ONLY because they knew they will lose millions of gamers $$$$$! My money and hope for success is with SONY and the PS4! UP YOURS MICROSOFT. SHOVE THAT XBOX ONE Suppository up your Sphincter!

  • Report this Comment On June 20, 2013, at 10:41 PM, Petronilus wrote:

    Competition is a good thing.

    Microsoft might very well be the winner in the end when the rest of the family members start looking at the benefits of the Kinect and TV integration. At this moment most people excited about these two consoles are the hardcore gamers, but Microsoft is shooting much wider with the Xbox One.

  • Report this Comment On June 20, 2013, at 11:57 PM, badfradz wrote:

    Microsoft believed that they could place a 24/7 open NSA spy window into a expensive game console and no one would mind?

    And then put the big screw on Xbox buyers by making the console only work online, with no trading, selling, buying used, or playing your game at a friends house.

    What? And then say oops and we'd all come running back to buy an Xbox?

    Microsoft (and Windows8). They don't deserve my trust.

    Ands who's to prevent Microsoft to change everything again after selling a million consoles?

    No one I know is going to give them a chance. Will you?

  • Report this Comment On June 21, 2013, at 12:04 AM, Wingeddamnation wrote:

    So what if they changed their policy. They still said **** you if you didn't like the Xbone from the beginning, and just because they are going to give you a patch to fix the DRM and giving you what you've BEEN HAVING for decades now, they get a free pass? Nope. They got outsold by a PS4 controller on Amazon before they changed their policy. If that didn't send them a message, I don't think it would have honestly changed. It would still be the same, and people would still be complaining. So, hats off to you for changing your policy; but to me, the slaps on the face you gave me multiple times through out E3 with your stupid policies and telling people to **** off multiple times if they didn't like it, has steered me away from you. I won't ever drop a dime on you again. (Just sold all my Xbox 360 games and console, got about $427 dollars, and pre-ordered the PS4.)

  • Report this Comment On June 21, 2013, at 9:37 AM, DentonPilot wrote:

    Rock on MS! I have pre-ordered 3 Xbox Ones - I always avoid Sony when possible as it is. My nephews will be stoked for Xmas when I give them one, anxious for Skype on this as well. Though I am personally not a Kinect fan, prefer the controller. As for NSA, yeah whatever, such comments I find amusing.

  • Report this Comment On June 21, 2013, at 11:53 AM, toph36 wrote:

    Wow! Lots of passion. I really don't get what the big fuss is about, but I am not a gamer. I am someone who buy the Xbox for all the entertainment extras first, and the games second. It appears to be me that this reversal of the DRM policy will hold back advancing the platform. I hope they can find a way to balance what is gained by having the DRM, and what is lost with it.

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