Microsoft Declares It's Time To Focus On PC Gaming

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News Posted: Sun, Sep 26 2010 10:09 PM
It's been a few years since Microsoft paid much attention to the PC gaming industry, but someone apparently wandered past the sole employee in the PC gaming devision and kicked him a few times. With Halo Reach released and Kinect in the launch tube, MS has announced it wants to "push the business model into new directions." The problem, according to the software giant, is that it isn't seen as the industry leader or trendsetter that it wants to be.


Hi everyone, this is Steve from our Windows Gaming Division.

There’s been a fair bit of criticism aimed at Microsoft that we were spending a lot of our focus on console, and we need to be putting resources behind PC as well,” Microsoft Games Studios’ general manager Dave Luehmann told MCV in an interview. "Other companies should look to Microsoft for leadership, but I’m not sure they do. It is our job to lead the way on PC. And in some ways we are doing that and in other ways we are not. So we need to step up. "We are putting some real investment and big IPs behind the Windows platform. We’ve spoken of the first three, Fable III, Age of Empires Online and Microsoft Flight. However we are not going to stop there."

Microsoft hasn't taken a substantial interest in gaming since it launched the Games For Windows brand in 2006. Four years on, GfW Live is free to use and offers similar functionality to XBox Live, but doesn't allow PC gamers to take on their console counterparts directly. The biggest single problem with GfW, from our perspective, is that gamers have no reason to prefer it. MS could potentially build momentum around certain features that Steam doesn't offer, but for gamers, being forced to login to yet another service before playing is nothing but annoying. The best way for Microsoft to push PC gaming would be for the company to mandate quality PC ports from console titles (or vice versa), ensuring that both graphics and gameplay take advantage of a computer's superior processing power. 
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acarzt replied on Sun, Sep 26 2010 11:52 PM

Cross Platforming, would be great for the gaming industry IMO. It would give gamers more freedom when deciding which console to buy a game on and I think it would give a boost to PC gaming.

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They should get to making software for windows machine's that will help gamers and power users; tools for over-clocking, maintaining and overseeing all the things like we like to be in charge of. By embracing and getting their hands deep in the empty void where Macs are open they will get a enormous lead in the gaming frontier. I hope they know just how much people pay for PC component's, for gaming. Xbox is a happy nest egg, but they should also develop their PC game market as well. LIVE for PC games has been looking useless for a while now, compared to Steam that is.

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3vi1 replied on Mon, Sep 27 2010 8:50 AM

>> It is our job to lead the way on PC

See, this is the kind of statement that drives me crazy, because people don't even question that statement given Microsoft's market share. Meanwhile, I can't think of one thing Microsoft did first on the PC, despite their claims to be the mostest innovative company ever.

Let's consider their product history:

DOS? Not created by MS. In fact, it was practically stolen from Tim Paterson, whom they royally screwed over.

Windows? Came out several years after 7 other better Windowing OS's. MS used their DOS footprint and bundling deals to undermine all competition.

Office? Copies of WordPerfect, VisiCalc, DBASE, etc.. "Luckily" for MS, Lotus decided to ignore Windows at first and go to OS/2 because Microsoft had a history of making OS changes to specifically break their product.

Internet Explorer? Netscape.

The Internet itself? MS was way late to the game, trying to get everyone to use the MSN network instead. The early networking code in Windows was copied from BSD (which has an open license saying that even closed source companies can freely reuse the code).

Compilers and dev tools? Microsoft really excels in this area (because they know that if they can lock you in to their APIs from the beginning, your code will only work with Windows), but all their products are evolutionary iterations of things seen first from other companies. I recall Manx, Mix, Lattice, and others on the market way before MSC. In fact, MS created the first versions of MSC by buying Lattice C and renaming it. C# and .Net and are really well designed, but they borrow heavily from the pre-existing Java and Java EE.

If you want to see where Microsoft is going to "lead the way", just look around to find what other companies are doing. They play it safe, especially since Ballmer took over. I'd say that Microsoft has not taken any true risks since they promised IBM an OS they didn't have.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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digitaldd replied on Mon, Sep 27 2010 11:05 AM

Hey 3vi1, one other thing on Microsoft completely forgetting the internet. In Bill Gates original version of his book The Road Ahead. I don't believe the internet was barely even mentioned. Then they revised it.

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fat78 replied on Mon, Sep 27 2010 3:38 PM

Cross platforms would be cool......if you are playing on the pc side. PC gamers will just destroy console gamers. It will be cool to see pc sales jump right up, but console games might drop drastically. The platforms should stay seperate so there is no complaining and so there is fairness between fighting.

If you do want cross platforms you can go out and buy cable adapters so you can use your mouse and keyboard (i know its not true cross platforms, but gives you the pc feeling).

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MGonzalez replied on Mon, Sep 27 2010 3:42 PM

It's ok 3vi1 no need to be butt hurt about not even 10% of computer users not using Windows... It's time to accept the facts. Microsoft builds far better software than the rest. If that hadn't been the case, the Operating System marketshare would've shifted long ago. But it hasn't.

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acarzt replied on Mon, Sep 27 2010 7:09 PM

MGonzalez:

It's ok 3vi1 no need to be butt hurt about not even 10% of computer users not using Windows... It's time to accept the facts. Microsoft builds far better software than the rest. If that hadn't been the case, the Operating System marketshare would've shifted long ago. But it hasn't.

"Better" Is an opinion. People stick with what they know. They don't like to try new unfamiliar things.

People are trying to find alternative fuels for transportation... No one wants to give up gasoline because it's so convenient and readily available(currently) Plus, personally I don't want to give up the sweet sound of my V8 :-P

An other example is brand named serial(or brand named anything for that matter) You stick with the stuff you know, when there are generics that are "just as good", some people even consider them "Better"

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fat78 replied on Tue, Sep 28 2010 1:13 AM

Hopefully a new flight sim comes out of this.

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3vi1 replied on Tue, Sep 28 2010 9:10 AM

>> no need to be butt hurt about not even 10% of computer users not using Windows

The percentage of Windows computers had nothing to do with my post. My post was about Microsoft claiming to be a leading innovator when they are most certainly not. But if you want to get into this...

>> Microsoft builds far better software than the rest. If that hadn't been the case, the Operating System marketshare would've shifted long ago.

That's false logic. I gave specific examples for my statements, and you're giving none.

Consider the following:

Most people use Microsoft Notepad instead of the free Notepad++. Is MS Notepad better??? Hell no, it's a complete joke compared to Notepad++... MS Notepad is just the one that came installed on their computer.

People either a) Don't know about Notepad++, b) are too lazy to install Notepad++, c) are too scared that they won't know how to use Notepad++, or d) need so few features that MS Notepad and Notepad++ would both perform equally. In no way did MS create better software.

Those same positions extend to the entire OS, which is why MS for years used anti-competitive practices to ensure it's the one you will get by default on your new PC. I've been using and programming for Windows for 16 years+, so I'm pretty informed as to its relative merits compared to the competition.

Now think about this: IE market share has dropped to 51%. And that's the one that came with 90% of the PC's! It's so poor compared to the competition, that a significant amount of talk has started to make people aware of, and motivated to use, the non-MS web-browsing alternatives.

Given our web-centric times, which application do you think is the centerpiece of MS's OS? Yes: The lousy one that 46% of Windows users don't use.

So, please name a few things about the Microsoft software (not 3rd party apps) that is "better". Unless you're going to resort to some obscure Hebrew-Klingon spellcheck inside of Excel fields, you're going to have a hard time coming up with any examples where the free alternative isn't a better choice for the vast majority of people. BTW: I will concede that overall MS Office is the one product I can think of that has more features, though the cost and relative use of those arcane features to the general populous does not make it the better choice for most (that would be OpenOffice).

I've seen many people who are considered "Computer experts" by friends and family who are deathly afraid of any operating system other than Windows gaining position on the desktop, simply because their "computer" knowledge consists solely of working around Windows problems and cleaning up viruses.

When you truly consider why you're defending Windows, and what Microsoft's abuse of their monopoly is actually doing for you and computing in general, you might find yourself motivated to learn something new.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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I am just hoping that we will see more and reasonably priced versions of that Origin PC with the XBox built in!

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