Should Microsoft Xbox Live-n Up its PC Software?

Dennis Faas's picture

It may be safe to say that Microsoft's much-anticipated operating system (OS), Windows Vista, has, at least in the eyes of the mainstream and even tech media -- fallen flat.

Some complaints have surrounded the OS' extensive technical requirements, its new, controversial interface changes, and of course, its cost. That's why the Microsoft hounds over at ZDnet have comprised a list of possible suggestions to improve the company's PC software. How? Put the Xbox team in charge at Redmond HQ.

Although the Xbox and newer Xbox 360 have had their struggling moments, the latter's current position in the gaming market is fairly impressive. Although the Nintendo Wii has stolen much of Microsoft's thunder since last Christmas, the Xbox 360 still boasts the most software support, and above all, the best online community. (Source:

So, what makes the Xbox 360's multiplayer hub so attractive? The same eye candy that could help Microsoft's software.

For one, the Xbox Live hub uses sleek, simple lines that are easy to navigate. All necessary data and options can be found by flipping through about five or six "blades", each clearly marked.

Secondly, the pricing is simple. Want to play online? Buy the $60 a year gold subscription. Not so interested in multiplayer, but want access to free goodies like downloads? Stick with the free silver subscription. Two options: it's pretty simple.

Finally, ZDnet gets a little controversial. Xbox Live features something called "Gamerscore", and even has a reputation meter. This could easily be worked into the PC software community by encouraging businesses to offer feedback on various programs. Rewards for staying in touch could lead to happier customers and more satisfying future products. (Source:

Whether Microsoft takes the advice is up to them. But, it's never a bad decision to make things both a little simpler, and a little more fun.

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