Summary: Microsoft is still just about tugging along, but the truth proves more challenging than what’s widely reported
Xbox has been a total disaster for Microsoft, but Microsoft is unable to admit defeat because a sign of weakness harms sales and tarnishes a brand. Years later, after losing the company literally billions of dollars that will never be recovered, more damaging secrets are coming out regarding the failure rate of Xbox 360.
“Microsoft even fired an employee who revealed it, so he lost his job rather than received a reward for defending public interests…”These figures may seem like old news, but each time they come out Microsoft seems to operate some form of AstroTurf (“PR”) and they carry on hiding this, which means putting people’s lives at risk. Previously, Microsoft fired a whistle-blower who had fiery secrets about Xbox 360-imposed fires. At the time, based on offhand statistics, it was claimed that most Xbox 360s went out of commission as they were defective by engineering. The failure rate was reportedly 66%. And yes, Microsoft even fired an employee who revealed it, so he lost his job rather than received a reward for defending public interests; there were no proper protections or harbour to people who mean well. It’s all about money and bottom lines, apparently.
Microsoft’s failure with Xbox was accompanied by the departure of many people at management levels (the same can be said about Zune). A lot of Xbox staff quit about 2 years ago, amid a large exodus and Will shows us this news about a study into the failure rate of Xbox 360 (compared to the rest).
In a survey of the print edition of Game Informer, nearly 5,000 readers were surveyed about the consoles. Here’s how console failure broke down:
¥ Xbox 360 has a 54.2 percent failure rate
¥ PS3 has a 10.6 percent failure rate
¥ Wii has a 6.8 percent failure rate
These figures are astounding and they are being established at present (so they are not out of date). Compared to Nintendo’s Wii, Xbox 360 is almost 10 times more likely to fail. The Consumerist wrote about it too, and it’s not the first time that the Consumerist voices complaints about a variety of Xbox issues.
The Xbox 360 breaks five times as often as its closest failure-prone competitor, the PlayStation 3, a print edition-only Game Informer survey found.
The poorly manufactured, red ring of death-prone console has a 54.2 percent failure rate, compared to 10.6 percent for the PS3 and the Wii’s 6.8 percent.
“And even if it works, it still has the chance of scratching the game discs, rendering them permanently unplayable,” remarked Will. Daniel at Roughly Drafted received a testimony from a Microsoft escapee, who writes:
”Did I mention to you that after the layoffs, people have been resigning right and left? Always the same story, going to do something else, not sure what, but something else. Two weeks notice, see ya. I’ll be doing the same tomorrow morning along with a friend who’s quitting for the same reasons. In fact, he’s been frustrated longer than me, probably because I was blaming myself and not the real problem of the toxic work environment.
“We can’t figure out: how can you make a great product with shifty tools, and how can you make great, or even acceptable, tools on top of a shifty platform? You can’t ratchet up the quality, certainly not when you haven’t been allotted sufficient time to do so. You can only try to prevent the quality of everything from dropping further into mediocrity.”
Daniel adds that “if you think Microsoft’s cutting corners on the Zune in the manner of the Xbox 360 is the worst example of the company’s failing to learn from its previous mistakes, get ready for a big surprise.”
For Microsoft, the hardware business has been a catastrophe. The longer Microsoft stays in there, the more money it will lose and the more damage its brand will be subjected to. So, maybe it’s a good thing for Free software. █