Microsoft beats out Apple for top technology innovator of 2010

Xbox 360

TheStreet laid it on the line and called out Microsoft as its #1 technology innovator for 2010. Forget about the iPhone 4, the iPad and the iPod touch, Microsoft and its Xbox 360 is the game changer of the year. TheStreet points out that the Xbox 360, Xbox Live subscription service and now the Kinect have exploded onto the scene in 2010. Long the ridiculed console with its nagging red ring of death, the latest generation of the hardware, the Xbox 360 Slim, has all but eliminated this troublesome problem. With reliability issues out of the way, Xbox 360 console sales have skyrocketed. Since the launch of the 360 slim, Microsoft's Xbox console has outsold the Nintendo Wii. An amazing feat when you consider that the Wii held the #1 position for several years straight.

Microsoft's position as the top innovator was bolstered by the release of the Kinect. This controller-free motion adapter for the Xbox 360 trounced the PlayStation Move in early sales. In its first week and a half of sales, Microsoft sold a staggering 1.5 million Kinect devices and is on target to sell five to six million by the end of the year. While its installed user base may slightly trail that of the PlayStation Move, the Kinect's rate of adoption is significantly faster. The Move currently boasts of 4.1 M users and, similar to the Kinect, is expected to reach five million by the end of the year. While The PlayStation Move, which launched in mid-September, and the Kinect, which launched in early November, will reach the same millstone at the same time, the Kinect was able to achieve this goal within eight weeks. The Move took a whole 3.5 months.

The third ace in the hole for Microsoft is its Xbox Live subscription. The yearly subscription service is the gateway to Xbox 360 online gaming and is necessary for Netflix customers that want to stream media to their TV via the Xbox. The Xbox Live service is also tightly integrated into Windows Phone 7. On this mobile platform, you can play games and share both achievements and points with your gamer profile on your Xbox console. In the future, the Windows Phone platform may become a mobile extension of a game, allowing you to control troops or deploy weapons while you are out and about. Both now and in the future, an Xbox Live subscription is a must have for serious and casual gamers alike.

So what do you think, do these three factors combined earn Microsoft accolades as the top technology innovator in 2010? or is Apple and its magical iPad getting the short end of the stick?

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Now I have a 360 with Kinect and I am really surprised at how accurate the movements are. You expect that because this is new technology, the movements wouldn't be exact, but I was proved wrong. Go Microsoft!!

P.S: Imagine if Apple made a gaming console. LOL!!

This is no surprise at all. Anyone who has seen a Kinect in action has to give credit to Microsoft. They made an amazingly simple (in terms of hardware) device that has brought amazing functionality.

Ok I am not a big gammer but have used consoles since the came out and tried the original Xbox and Playstation but gave them to my kids.
Bought an Xbox 360 to check out the Kinect and while I am truly impressed with the Kinect's ability to recognize motion based input, was equally appalled at the Xbox's difficulty of set up and how badly MS's understands consumer devices. MSFT should get an A for innovation a C for execution and a big FAIL for usability. If you are not a hard core gamer / computer jockey this is not a fun system.

While Android is great both at offering an more customizable phone os, and creating some competitive heat to keep Apple on pace to move iOS forward it is not very innovative (all they have done interesting is add features) and has not reached parity with iOS in terms of UI or usability (it may do this with release 3).

Lame article, MS #1 tech innovator because of kinect alone. How about listing some of their other innvoations like the the Kin?

bobbba said,
Lame article, MS #1 tech innovator because of kinect alone. How about listing some of their other innvoations like the the Kin?

Let's list Ping as well!

The misplaced tone of surprise in the headline is testament to the influence of Apple's corporate propaganda and marketing hype.

There is so much more to this than the Xbox platform, too, even though it has been the best-selling console during each of the past six months and by a wide margin.

Look also to Windows Phone, and Windows Live, and to the integration of market-leading desktop software like MS Office with the Cloud.

mjedi7 said,
I'll vote for Google for innovator of 2010 (even though i don't like android and the android market)

How? what has google done that has WOW'ed millions of people this year?

mjedi7 said,
I'll vote for Google for innovator of 2010 (even though i don't like android and the android market)

It's cool and trendy to praise Google and Apple without engaging the brain. Witness the brainwashing power of Google's corporate propaganda.

Google has singularly failed to innovate since the company first launched search, with 2010 proving a case in point. Unless you count acquisitions as innovation.

Apple shouldn't really be considered in this. What they did is adapt, not innovate.

The iPad wasn't anything essentially new. The idea of the tablet already existed, and at the end of the day they have just made the iPhone bigger. The same goes for the iPod, it's essentially a small iPad.

It's all based off the same thing, they haven't exactly done anything innovating in 2010.

dave164 said,
Apple shouldn't really be considered in this. What they did is adapt, not innovate.

The iPad wasn't anything essentially new. The idea of the tablet already existed, and at the end of the day they have just made the iPhone bigger. The same goes for the iPod, it's essentially a small iPad.

It's all based off the same thing, they haven't exactly done anything innovating in 2010.


Well if so the 360 would just be a xbox, and the kinect an eyetoy or a webcam... Both are based on existing things...

Leonick said,

Well if so the 360 would just be a xbox, and the kinect an eyetoy or a webcam... Both are based on existing things...

In fact, Kinect is not a new technology, in fact it is not a proper new product, it is a Primesense sensor with some extra stuff and relabeled as Microsoft.

Magallanes said,
In fact, Kinect is not a new technology, in fact it is not a proper new product, it is a Primesense sensor with some extra stuff and relabeled as Microsoft.
To all intents and purposes ... no, it's a new product. Don't be ridiculous. Something quite like Kinect has not appeared before, it's not a 'bigger' or higher spec version of anything else.

Kirkburn said,
To all intents and purposes ... no, it's a new product. Don't be ridiculous. Something quite like Kinect has not appeared before, it's not a 'bigger' or higher spec version of anything else.

Exactly and it meets the definition of innovation!

Magallanes said,

In fact, Kinect is not a new technology, in fact it is not a proper new product, it is a Primesense sensor with some extra stuff and relabeled as Microsoft.

are you joking?

dave164 said,
Apple shouldn't really be considered in this. What they did is adapt, not innovate.

The iPad wasn't anything essentially new.

Surely the means in which you adapt something can be also seen as innovation...the two aren't mutually exclusive. Sure the idea for tablets has been around for some time yet they have completly failed at appealing to customers because of a combination of performance, costs, lack of touch based software and the fact that many companies implementation of a notebook with a swivel touch screen just wasn't seen as appealing.

IMHO bringing these sorts of elements together is innovation, perhaps not enough to win the award but certainly many people criticised Apple for releasing a tablet without a full OS but in the end it's resonated with consumers far more than any of those Windows based ones ever did.

Magallanes said,

In fact, Kinect is not a new technology, in fact it is not a proper new product, it is a Primesense sensor with some extra stuff and relabeled as Microsoft.

But if Apple had did it, it would be the next best thing to apple pie...right?
The typical problem with this is Microsoft is the hero and Apple is the villain.

It's a very tough call as i own an iPad and mind it an incredibly good portable device that has really saved the tedium on my commute on the train to work. However i wouldn't say there is much innovation in 2010 around the iPad. It is a large iPod Touch with an intergrated 3G connection. This is not to belittle the device but it doesn't do anything new that an iPod or an iPhone couldn't do in 2009.

I got my Xbox in 2006 and it's the first console since the SNES that i have truly got into, ive have had all of the others, Playstations, dreamcast etc.. and i own a PS3 for blurays. However the combination of achievements, solid release of games year in year out has pulled me from being a pc gamer to a console gamer. (Still play the classics on the PC such as Civ5 etc, however the really good pc games are few and far between).

This all leads to christmas for me in which i was lucky enough to recieve a Kinnect and it is truly mind blowing. I have found it accurate and simply amazing, it's a true interactive experience recognising all body movement (head tilt etc..) in a 3D space (i.e. it knows when i walk forward and then backward). It's really uncanny and reminds me of the feeling of using the iPhone for the first time in 2007, the feeling that you truly are using future tech.

The games for the kinnect show off what we already thought of motion controlled games, but with the unlimited range of motions that the kinnect is capable off i am really excited to see where they take it. Something like the PS3's heavy rain with the kinnect would make a mind boggling interactive experience.

So i support after the rather long ramble, i would agree that the Kinnect is the most innovative this year.

REM2000 said,
It's a very tough call as i own an iPad and mind it an incredibly good portable device that has really saved the tedium on my commute on the train to work. However i wouldn't say there is much innovation in 2010 around the iPad. It is a large iPod Touch with an intergrated 3G connection. This is not to belittle the device but it doesn't do anything new that an iPod or an iPhone couldn't do in 2009.

I got my Xbox in 2006 and it's the first console since the SNES that i have truly got into, ive have had all of the others, Playstations, dreamcast etc.. and i own a PS3 for blurays. However the combination of achievements, solid release of games year in year out has pulled me from being a pc gamer to a console gamer. (Still play the classics on the PC such as Civ5 etc, however the really good pc games are few and far between).

This all leads to christmas for me in which i was lucky enough to recieve a Kinnect and it is truly mind blowing. I have found it accurate and simply amazing, it's a true interactive experience recognising all body movement (head tilt etc..) in a 3D space (i.e. it knows when i walk forward and then backward). It's really uncanny and reminds me of the feeling of using the iPhone for the first time in 2007, the feeling that you truly are using future tech.

The games for the kinnect show off what we already thought of motion controlled games, but with the unlimited range of motions that the kinnect is capable off i am really excited to see where they take it. Something like the PS3's heavy rain with the kinnect would make a mind boggling interactive experience.

So i support after the rather long ramble, i would agree that the Kinnect is the most innovative this year.

How is it a tough call? The iPad isn't revolutionary. It is a 10" version of an existing product. The 360 wasn't a copy of an existing product and the Kinect is one of a kind. The iPad in its form factor was one of a kind per se. But the Touch foundation will be its achillies heel. The iphone and iPad all use the ipod Touch foundation. Remember the Touch was the fanciest iPod music player. Apple rushed to drop phone hardware into it and sold it first to get the platform rolling.

But iPad isn't a new technology. Kinect isn't really new either, but it is new on a consumer level and its usage. I girl tried to convince me the Sony move was better because phtsical buttons on a controller is better. I said, buttons are so 80's. Its time for a new controller. Now we are the controller. Its wireless, its never been done...its a winner.

Neither. I think Google should win for Android. US Android phone sales quickly skyrocketed past BlackBerry, and is now outselling iPhone in the US. 2010 has truly been Google's year on the mobile market. Bonus points for boldly going where no man has gone before, and offering an actual hardware product running a true home brewn cloud OS right before wrapping up this year.

Bahhh hahahahhaha android and innovation in the same sentence, good one mate! I think you're confused between sell numbers and innovation. But the iPhone clone does give its task-managing-users something to shout about though.

Edited by flexkeyboard, Dec 28 2010, 11:05am :

flexkeyboard said,
Bahhh hahahahhaha android and innovation in the same sentence, good one mate! I think you're confused between sell numbers and innovation. But the iPhone clone does give its task-managing-users something to shout about though.

Indeed, Android is a clone of Iphone but it also fulfill almost every single feature missing in Iphone, for example different model,real keyboard and such. And now is IOS who is following the path of Android.

Northgrove said,
Neither. I think Google should win for Android. US Android phone sales quickly skyrocketed past BlackBerry, and is now outselling iPhone in the US. 2010 has truly been Google's year on the mobile market. Bonus points for boldly going where no man has gone before, and offering an actual hardware product running a true home brewn cloud OS right before wrapping up this year.

Android? Give me a break.

Northgrove said,
Neither. I think Google should win for Android. US Android phone sales quickly skyrocketed past BlackBerry, and is now outselling iPhone in the US. 2010 has truly been Google's year on the mobile market. Bonus points for boldly going where no man has gone before, and offering an actual hardware product running a true home brewn cloud OS right before wrapping up this year.

As far as I'm aware RIM still outsells both iphone and android int he US. so... no.
and android wasn't really an innovation this year. (or any year imho)

Northgrove said,
Neither. I think Google should win for Android. US Android phone sales quickly skyrocketed past BlackBerry, and is now outselling iPhone in the US. 2010 has truly been Google's year on the mobile market. Bonus points for boldly going where no man has gone before, and offering an actual hardware product running a true home brewn cloud OS right before wrapping up this year.

Android is repackaging Linux and other open source code into a smaller screen. Ummm no. Kinect blows Android out of the water in terms of innovation.

Northgrove said,
Neither. I think Google should win for Android. US Android phone sales quickly skyrocketed past BlackBerry, and is now outselling iPhone in the US. 2010 has truly been Google's year on the mobile market. Bonus points for boldly going where no man has gone before, and offering an actual hardware product running a true home brewn cloud OS right before wrapping up this year.

LOL... You have very good sense of humour...

Magallanes said,

Indeed, Android is a clone of Iphone but it also fulfill almost every single feature missing in Iphone, for example different model,real keyboard and such. And now is IOS who is following the path of Android.

does fragmentation count as an innovation too....? lol

Northgrove said,
Neither. I think Google should win for Android. US Android phone sales quickly skyrocketed past BlackBerry, and is now outselling iPhone in the US. 2010 has truly been Google's year on the mobile market. Bonus points for boldly going where no man has gone before, and offering an actual hardware product running a true home brewn cloud OS right before wrapping up this year.

What did Google innovate?

Did they go back in time and write Linux?
Did they go back in time and invent JAVA?
Did they go back in time and invent a custom JAVA library based phone like a Blackberry?
Did they invent OpenGL ES?
Did they invent the concept of a smartphone?

Android is just creative packaging, not innovation...

Google is a lot like Apple, their products and success are from borrowing and using existing technology. They might slap on their logo or massage it to work like they want, but in the end they are more of a product packaging company. Instead of creating something they take what is out there, and even if they have to put a roll of duck tape on it, they use it instead of taking the time or research to develop technologies that would make better products in the end.

I don't have much respect in terms of 'innovation' when companies just take what is available that a lot of people put a lot of hard work into without paying back to the community or financially rewarding the work they use.

It's also impossible to get a good idea of the number of households with PS Move, as (I'm guessing) most people who buy a Move controller probably buy multiple of them.

virtorio said,
It's also impossible to get a good idea of the number of households with PS Move, as (I'm guessing) most people who buy a Move controller probably buy multiple of them.

thats a good point. Its like stating how many WII controllers have been sold instead of the actual WII systems.

Lachlan said,

thats a good point. Its like stating how many WII controllers have been sold instead of the actual WII systems.


Just remember Wii Sports has been a best seller since the Wii's launch

ctrl_alt_delete said,
the PS move has 4.1 shipped to retailers, not 4.1 sold to customers.

Why don't they finish correcting that mistake that has been haunting this site since it's beginning... Jeez.