Now that he's all set to retire, Billy G is throwing all the old rules out the window. The most current one: the company's disdain for modders and console-backup-players. In an interview with Ars Technica, a MS employee recounts a story about a member of his team who brought his modded Xbox to show Bill Gates.
A little over a year ago, one of the people in my group modded an Xbox, installed Avalaunch, and put all sorts of Xbox mod scene apps on the box, like XBMC, RSS readers, etc, along with some "backup" games. :rolleyes: He brought this box along to a meeting with Bill Gates. Bill saw a demo of this, was quite impressed, and asked something along the lines of "How can we engage this community?" - instead of saying something like "How can we squash this?" It's long been on the back of everyone's minds in the Xbox group - how can we get students and hobbyists involved without disrupting the console business model? The good news is that it's still on the radar, we'll see what happens in the future.
That's quite interesting that there would be legitimacy given to the Xbox mod scene by Gates. Maybe instead of saying how they can engage them, maybe Microsoft should be figuring out how they can learn from them. The XBMC mod for Xbox is light-years ahead of the media playback capabilities of the Xbox 360. If they could somehow catch up even halfway, with DivX playback and media storage, many of these Xbox modders would jump on the 360.
But, it's nice to see that they're paying attention to what's going on and actively trying to make their product better.
Is Bill Gates learning from the mod community? [Ars Technica]