XBit Labs reports that Microsoft has released its software development kit for the XBox 2 console.
Basically, it’s a dual-processor Apple G5 with Radeon Pro 9800 graphics, and an Windows OS.
I’d like to ask you all a simple question:
Do you think that’s good enough for email and web browsing?
The Machine For The Rest of Us?
This thing is a zebra. It’s not an x86 machine, but it isn’t quite an Apple, either.
It’s not so compatible that everyone and his brother can make a copy of it, but it isn’t so incompatible that it couldn’t have file format compatibility with the huge Windows base, or have Windows apps ported over to it.
Now maybe MS only plans to make a game machine out of this, but if I were going to do just that, I don’t think I’d start off with a Windows NT kernel.
If MS is as megalomanical as some think it is, do you think its going to be happy trying to maintain its 90%+ share of an aspect of a no-longer rapidly growing PC industry, or do you think they might find it much more exciting to try to get 90%+ of the PC industry, period?
None of this is conclusive, but my gut tells me MS is thinking of doing a bit more than a few games with this.
Do you think IBM really cares about losing nine million PC sales in which they do little more than assemble the parts for a chance to provide the CPUs for most of the world’s computers?
Keep in mind we’re talking about two years from now. By then, if the average person really has had enough of more and more power for less and less purpose, that should be quite evident from the sales figures.
The PC world could be very vulnerable to a different approach by then.
By then, with 65nm architecture, the marginal cost of making today’s CPU will be nominal, perhaps getting close to single dollar digits.
Price it low enough ($299? $199?), and you might have a computer good enough for 90% of the market.
It’s hard to believe someone in MS hasn’t thought of this.
You say MS wouldn’t want to risk its current PC sales for this? Well, it may be a matter of doing it to them before they do it to us. What would MS rather see, an XBox2 running Windows, or a Playstation 3 or 4 running Linux?
MS can’t really do anything to stop the penguin from being deployed on a PC. It could do a lot to stop him on hardware they controlled (I’m talking about Joe Sixpack or Joe Government). You can always buy a PC from another PC company. You won’t be able to buy another XBox2.
There’s no smoking gun here, nothing conclusive. But I know that my Joe Sixpack friends would find the right kind of console PC very hard to resist, and it would very hard for me to tell them they were wrong.
The players have the attitude, they’ll have the equipment, and Lord knows they have the money.
This bears continued watching.