From Xbox 360 to next Xbox, Microsoft has launched lots of products in between

Just over eight years ago, on May 12th, 2005, Microsoft first announced the Xbox 360, less than four years after it launched the original Xbox console in the fall of 2001. It has been over eight years since the reveal of the Xbox 360 and Microsoft's scheduled announcement of the next Xbox, which happens later today.

To be totally fair Microsoft did try to freshen up the Xbox 360 with a new design in 2010, combined with the launch of the Kinect add-on in the same year. However, the new and slimmer Xbox 360 had the same hardware specifications inside.

But, eight years is a long time to wait in between major game console hardware announcements; normally the gap is between five to six years. In the time span between Microsoft's Xbox reveals, its other divisions have been quite busy launching new versions of their own flagship products. Here are just a few examples:

In between the Xbox 360 and today's next Xbox announcement, Microsoft's Windows division launched three new versions of the OS; Windows Vista in January 2007, Windows 7 in October 2009 and of course Windows 8 in October 2012. That's not even counting the ARM-designed Windows RT launch in 2012. Microsoft's Office division launched Office 2007, Office 2010 and Office 2013 in the eight years in between the Xbox 360 and next Xbox reveals. It also launched the cloud-based Office 365 in 2011.


The Internet Explorer team launched four major versions of the web browser in the last eight years: IE7 in 2006, IE8 in 2009, IE9 in 2011 and IE10 in 2012 (for Windows 8) and February 2013 (for Windows 7). Microsoft dumped Windows Mobile and launched Windows Phone 7 in 2010, with Windows Phone 8 coming in 2012, all in the span between the Xbox 360 and next Xbox reveals.

Microsoft started new businesses after the Xbox 360 was revealed, including Windows Azure in 2008 and the launch of the company's retail stores in 2009. Of course, Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates left his day-to-day responsibilities at the company in 2008, well before today's next Xbox announcement and Microsoft's entered the PC hardware business in 2012 for the first time with the Surface RT tablet launch.

Perhaps the most striking thing about Microsoft's history in the last eight years, as it relates to its Xbox business, is the launch of the Zune media player in 2006. The devices, which were developed in part by some of the people who worked to create the original Xbox, never caught on, with the hardware finally being discontinued in 2011.

Add it all up and the gap in between the Xbox 360 and today's next Xbox reveal shows a company that has evolved and changed a ton in between, with new and successful endeavors mixed with some failure. Only time will tell which of those two categories the next Xbox will fall into in the history of Microsoft.

Images via Wikipedia

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17 Comments

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
Windows Vista was the nicest looking OS Microsoft ever made. Its looks though came at a cost of fairly high pc requirements!

Nicest looking OS?Are you kidding me?

You have some bad taste. Ugly reflections, useless transparencies, stupid blue/green color scheme, bad reflections does not make it a clean usable interface.

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
Windows Vista was the nicest looking OS Microsoft ever made. Its looks though came at a cost of fairly high pc requirements!

Windows 7 interface was so much better. Everything look better. Windows 8 not so.

ACTIONpack said,

Windows 7 interface was so much better. Everything look better. Windows 8 not so.

Well, back in the day vista looked amazing, but 6 years later I suppose its not as nice as it was. I wish Microsoft left the aero glass in windows 8.

szo said,
You have some bad taste. Ugly reflections, useless transparencies, stupid blue/green color scheme, bad reflections does not make it a clean usable interface.
He has bad taste, because his taste is different from yours? I agree with him that Vista had the coolest UI compared to Windows XP especially and any version of Windows in the 9x and 3x family.

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,

Well, back in the day vista looked amazing, but 6 years later I suppose its not as nice as it was. I wish Microsoft left the aero glass in windows 8.

I to wish Aero Glass was avail in Windows 8. But the last time I said that, some creten said that if i think Aero Glass effects were gone, that I must be blind. LOL

I actually prefer the tranparency effects Vista introduced and remained in Windows 7. The flat colrs of 8 are ok, but i miss the tranparent window frames and 3D flip. even though I rarely used 3D Flip, it was just fun to show off at times.

neoxphuse said,
Ahh.. how I loved my Zune HD. AND STILL!

I still love the hell out of mine too. Looks beautiful next to my Lumia and Surface.

neoxphuse said,
Ahh.. how I loved my Zune HD. AND STILL!
I never did manage to get a Zune HD. Kind of wish I did. Still have my original Zune 30GB for playing music in the car. Still works great.

neoxphuse said,
Ahh.. how I loved my Zune HD. AND STILL!

Yea, I really love mind but when Windows Phone 7 came out I switch. Wish the PPI was higher ar the time and I bigger and I good browser.

Zune HD was an amazing piece of kit, especially for its day. I wish I still had mine (I gave it to my brother when I got my Windows Phone). I still think it was the best standalone PMP.

Bad Man Duke said,
I never did manage to get a Zune HD. Kind of wish I did. Still have my original Zune 30GB for playing music in the car. Still works great.
They are avail on eBay. Not to bad of a price either if you want one in really good condition.

Add me to the list of those who still have a Zune. I have the 8GB version, and I use it daily to listen to podcasts. It's been dropped a number of times on hardwood floor as well as concrete. It's been used in my car at -30C as well as +40C.

The Zune software does exactly what podcast software should be doing to manage podcasts intelligently, and it's the clear winner when compared to every other MP3 player I've used.

When my Zune dies, I'll be looking on eBay to get another one--I won't give in to an Apple product as I refuse to contribute to their bottom line.

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