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Lerc

What happens to the X-Box if microsoft splits

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The X-Box can go with the OS division or the non-OS division The X-Box is not an operating system so presumably it will go to the non-OS division but I''ll consider both posibilities. --The X-Box stays with the operating system division -- Microsoft has a console, but presumably they can''t market it the way that most consoles are sold where they sell the console at a loss and make money on the games since I assume they wouldn''t be allowed to jump straight back into the non-OS field immediately. or --The X-Box goes with the non operating system division-- What operating system would they run. Surely if they just get a custom version of windows made specificly for the console they have just negated the purpose of the split. Many of those changes are being incorperated into DirectX8 which changes the windows platform itself to the benefit of the X-Box. Once again, this seems to step around the split. What is going to be done? What should be done? Are the answers to those two questions going to be the same? Given that the release of the X-Box is quite a way off yet, It might be the case that the court action will be completed before the release.
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Both divisions can get into pretty much any field they like, except they are prevented from working together in any kind of ''exclusive'' way. ie. the OS division can license Windows to the non-OS division providing that the same prices are available to anyone else. The same goes for the Non-OS division licensing the applications, etc. The purpose of the split isn''t to forcibly separate Windows from the applications, it''s to open both sides up to be able to work independently if the market allows it. If DirectX8 was designed with the X-Box in mind, that''s no worse than NVidia designing a chip with the X-Box in mind. The point of the split would be, assuming X-Box is part of the Non-OS division, the OS division won''t want to handicap its OS to favour the Non-OS''s game console, as the OS division won''t get to see any of the money X-Box brings in. This is the crucial difference from the status quo, where one part of MS is perfectly happy to limit itself, harming consumers and reducing choice/competition, in order to leverage higher revenues and/or market share for the other part of MS.
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quote:

If DirectX8 was designed with the X-Box in mind, that''s no worse than NVidia designing a chip with the X-Box in mind.



But it is worse because DirectX8 is part of the Windows operating system. It is an example of a change to the operating system that other microsoft products benefit from.

The difference between NVidia designing something specificly for the X-Box and Microsoft adding things to Windows that supports the X-Box is that NVidia does not have a monopoly on the 3d chipset market.

So do you really beleve there is any chance of the X-Box running an operating system for another company? Say Linux/OpenGL? financially it would seem better for non os Microsoft to go with Linux given that they wouldn''t have to pay for it at all. GPL issues might get in the way.

Actually, a more interesting issue will be if there are X-Box Clones. What reason could the OS company for not selling it''s operating system to another party and NVidia doing the same with it''s chipset.

If the only reason for them not doing so is to give another company exclusive access to the platform then haven''t they just stepped around the entire issue of competition again.

If Microsoft is split then presumably they have to be out to make money for themselves, not their seperated sibling then why should they give exclusive access to the X-Box platform to their sibling company. Surely they couldn''t buy exclusve access, that would be a joke, ''We pay you 2 billion for exclusive access to everything you make and you do likewise''.

When the X-Box was first announced plenty of people said that OpenGL support would suffer by not being supported on the X-Box. The scenario usually described is that The X-Box will have poor OpenGL support and as a result games will be developed For DirectX over OpenGL. This would mean that it would be difficult to port games to other platforms (Linux, Mac etc.) so fewer games would be ported and thus force people to stick with Windows.

As it turns out this probably isn''t going to be the case but it does show that people believe that Microsoft has the power and inclination to use something like the X-Box to influence it''s monopoly.







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In case of a split, the XBox will most likely go with the OS division. I totally depends on WinCE. M$ is including DX into CE at the moment, and porting the GeForce ICD from win32 to WinCE should be done relative fast...

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If there is a split I think you will find that X-Box goes with the X-Box division. All the groups at MS have their own company structure, management and finances already. X-Box is effectively already a stand alone company (as are all the divisions) so there will be little change.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
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