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Author Topic: 360 outsells Wii for XMas  (Read 38251 times)
Sky
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Reply #35 on: January 11, 2007, 11:52:45 AM

I'm still standing by the whole 'included with PS3' thing being huge.

HaemishM
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Reply #36 on: January 11, 2007, 12:04:16 PM

Sure, it could mean the difference between success and failure, or it could mean the difference between dying in 2010 or 2008.

stray
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Reply #37 on: January 11, 2007, 06:21:03 PM

I like the Sony interface (and the Wii for that matter). XBL is nice, but ugly.

Anyways, I don't think it'll be some great task for Sony to replicate it's success. Online play is already great out of the box. They just need some kind of way to track friends and bring up the Network interface within games. And as I mentioned in another thread, if the chair of Epic thinks your online model is better, then that's a good thing. It's a lot more of an open system than what Microsoft has.

Bonus that PSN is free..

Btw, speaking of that, here are some fun numbers:

XBL over 5 years: $250
Wireless: $100
HD-DVD: $200
XBox Pro: $400
---------------------
$950
Big Gulp
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Reply #38 on: January 11, 2007, 07:00:56 PM

Bonus that PSN is free..

You get what you pay for.  Call me when I can keep track of all my friends, send them a voicemail in their game, invite them to whatever game I'm currently playing and presto bango, they're playing with me.  Also let me know when every game has voice enabled by default.
stray
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Reply #39 on: January 11, 2007, 07:07:53 PM

Man, I could be a better XBox fanboi than you. There are better, more unique strengths to it than that. OS features are the last thing to defend here, as those can change easily. I'd expect each one of those things to be on PSN within a year.
Big Gulp
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Reply #40 on: January 11, 2007, 07:23:34 PM

Man, I could be a better XBox fanboi than you. There are better, more unique strengths to it than that. OS features are the last thing to defend here, as those can change easily. I'd expect each one of those things to be on PSN within a year.

Considering that the Gran Turismo download brought down the network I have doubts as to it's robustness.  Particularly when you consider that they don't even have 1 million consoles out there and the download was launched a day early as a surprise, so very few people even knew about it.  This doesn't exactly fill me with confidence as to their eventual online strategy.

Look, I didn't own any of the previous gen consoles except for the Cube I bought used 8 months ago.  If the PS3 gathers steam and gives me a reason to eventually buy one, I will.  But that's the problem, right now the system is made up entirely of potential and fairy dust.  The 360's only real problem is the enormous amount of hardware defects, but at the very least they seem to be extremely eager to fix 'em.  For everything else, from exclusive must-own games to the very best online experience I've ever had (including the PC, the supposed king of online) the 360 has crushed all my expectations.  The 360's shiny goodness is a reality right now, the PS3's shiny goodness is entirely theoretical and as yet unrealized.
Roac
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Reply #41 on: January 11, 2007, 07:26:23 PM

OS features are the last thing to defend here, as those can change easily.

Then why aren't they already included?  

-Roac
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Reply #42 on: January 11, 2007, 07:48:50 PM

Also felt like adding that I don't in any way want the PS3 to fail.  Sony needs to stick around to keep MS hungry (and vice versa).  However, it's hard to be a booster for what Sony's doing with the PS3 when it's just been one unending string of fuckups.  I don't think they could have damaged their prospects more if they were intentionally sabotaging themselves.
stray
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Reply #43 on: January 11, 2007, 07:52:06 PM

OS features are the last thing to defend here, as those can change easily.

Then why aren't they already included?  

Software doesn't grow on trees? They just released the console, and they're already adding updates as it is. More will trickle down. I don't what you're reading, but it's not even close to bad to begin with. I'm already playing a shooter with larger capacities than anything on the XBox now. I can already do clan and team set ups with it. It has a messaging system. It has a browser and store. It's not like there's nothing, or that things are broken. They're not.

BigGulp: What fuckups? Outside of the initial slow BD manufacturing, and Krazy Ken's big mouth (and just bad PR tactics in general), they aren't doing that bad.
Krakrok
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Reply #44 on: January 11, 2007, 07:53:13 PM

I don't see this info in the thread yet. Japan sales of the consoles were (according to some article I have no idea where I read):

Wii: ~986,000
PS3: ~400,000
360: ~240,000
squirrel
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Reply #45 on: January 11, 2007, 08:03:55 PM

Historically speaking, it's MS that has blown the real money. Why doesn't anyone ever talk about that?

No, they can't. It's all relative. Either way, a company like MS wants to grow. Not shrink.

Oh for fucks sake get over your MSoft hate and Sony love. Read a bit about the two companies and then come back and defend your posts. Jesus. Learn a little objectivity.

HINT: MSoft has the world's largest war chest and is wildly profitable. Sony is a fucked up business losing market share and money in just about every market they compete in. Growth != revenue by the way.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2007, 08:05:26 PM by squirrel »

Speaking of marketing, we're out of milk.
Big Gulp
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Reply #46 on: January 11, 2007, 08:19:57 PM

Growth != revenue by the way.

Yep, and Microsoft's MO has always been growth, damn the expense.  Shit, for most of their history (and a wildly profitable history, at that) they never payed any dividends at all to their shareholders, that money just went right back into the borg machine.  It was only because of shareholder grumbling that they finally started to pay them out on a regular basis.
stray
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Reply #47 on: January 11, 2007, 08:25:03 PM

Historically speaking, it's MS that has blown the real money. Why doesn't anyone ever talk about that?

No, they can't. It's all relative. Either way, a company like MS wants to grow. Not shrink.

Oh for fucks sake get over your MSoft hate and Sony love. Read a bit about the two companies and then come back and defend your posts. Jesus. Learn a little objectivity.

HINT: MSoft has the world's largest war chest and is wildly profitable. Sony is a fucked up business losing market share and money in just about every market they compete in. Growth != revenue by the way.

Hah. Wtf? Is this bizzaro world? Losing four billion dollars is "bad". That's all there is to it. If saying otherwise is "objective" then fuck your objectivity. I have no use for it.

As for Sony "love", nothing I post on this site is about Sony love as much as it is simply about stopping FUD (though I do hate Microsoft, no doubt....But that has fuckall to do with Sony). Seriously, you guys are off your fucking rockers. You post an extreme amount of bullshit. Someone has to speak up.

I'm the neutral one. Me. You, on the other hand, needlessly flame people for pointing out things like Microsoft's financial standing in this business.
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Reply #48 on: January 11, 2007, 08:28:46 PM

Historically speaking, it's MS that has blown the real money. Why doesn't anyone ever talk about that?

No, they can't. It's all relative. Either way, a company like MS wants to grow. Not shrink.

Oh for fucks sake get over your MSoft hate and Sony love. Read a bit about the two companies and then come back and defend your posts. Jesus. Learn a little objectivity.

HINT: MSoft has the world's largest war chest and is wildly profitable. Sony is a fucked up business losing market share and money in just about every market they compete in. Growth != revenue by the way.

Hah. Wtf? Is this bizzaro world? Losing four billion dollars is "bad". That's all there is to it. If saying otherwise is "objective" then fuck your objectivity. I have no use for it.

As for Sony "love", nothing I post on this site is about Sony love as much as it is simply about stopping FUD (though I do hate Microsoft, no doubt....But that has fuckall to do with Sony). Seriously, you guys are off your fucking rockers. You post an extreme amount of bullshit. Someone has to speak up.

I'm the neutral one. Me. You, on the other hand, needlessly flame people for pointing out things like Microsoft's financial standing in this business.

They are not wildly profitable. Hardware wise, they're losing money on the Zune front, the XB front, and the Tablet front. With the 360 finally (and just) redeeming things a bit (but overall, the games division is in an upward climb because of the last generation).

Look man, I've been reasonable in many threads in the face of your sony dick sucking gushing just because you bought a PS3. You know fucking nothing about business if you think spending money to gain market share is bad. I don't love Msoft - I'm an Apple user personally - but being objective I can read their financials and see that as a business they make a fuckton of money even if individual initiatives aren't profitable. Unlike Sony who are losing money faster than a drunk midget in a stripjoint. Wanna argue that? Care to look at edgar and read the financials. Don't be a fucking tard, admit when you're wrong.

EDIT: You claiming to be neutral while arguing that MSoft losing money is the same kind of 'bad' as how Sony loses money is hilarious. Way to make my point for me.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2007, 08:35:24 PM by squirrel »

Speaking of marketing, we're out of milk.
stray
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Reply #49 on: January 11, 2007, 08:36:28 PM

Admit when I'm wrong? What? You're just right by fiat now? Please. You haven't posted anything but flames.

As for the Sony gushing, I simply like the PS3. It's a kickass system. Because I'm not participating in "the hate" doesn't mean I'm sucking their dicks. I've said time and time again that I'll be getting a Wii and a 360 too. I already have older consoles from all three. Nothing will change.
Roac
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Reply #50 on: January 11, 2007, 08:38:41 PM

Software doesn't grow on trees? They just released the console, and they're already adding updates as it is. More will trickle down. I don't what you're reading, but it's not even close to bad to begin with. I'm already playing a shooter with larger capacities than anything on the XBox now. I can already do clan and team set ups with it. It has a messaging system. It has a browser and store. It's not like there's nothing, or that things are broken. They're not.

I didn't say it was bad.  You were given a list of features that the PS3 had, to which you responded it would be easy to add them.  If it were easy, why hasn't it been done?  Answer:  Either it isn't as easy as you think (time, resources, technical issues, whatever) or they lack the desire (deemed not worth the trouble, not part of their vision, etc).  In any case, they don't have it.  Quit trying to spin that as a positive of some sort.

-Roac
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"Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us." -SC
squirrel
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Reply #51 on: January 11, 2007, 08:38:55 PM

Admit when I'm wrong? What? You're just right by fiat now? Please. You haven't posted anything but flames.

As for the Sony gushing, I simply like the PS3. It's a kickass system. Because I'm not pariticipating in "the hate" doesn't mean I'm sucking their dicks. I've said time and time again that I'll be getting a Wii and a 360 too. I already have older consoles from all three. Nothing will change.

How about instead of crying that I flamed you and hurt your feelings you answer the fucking question:

I can read their financials and see that as a business they make a fuckton of money even if individual initiatives aren't profitable. Unlike Sony who are losing money faster than a drunk midget in a stripjoint. Wanna argue that? Care to look at edgar and read the financials.

Do you want to argue this or not? If not your previous posts are incorrect and YOU ARE WRONG. Admit it or stand up and fight.

And i won't swear anymore to respect your delicate sensitivity.  rolleyes

EDIT: And btw - I've said repeatedly in threads I know you've read that I like the PS3 as a system. That is irrelevant to your assertion that MSoft losing money to be into a market while they remain overall profitable is the same as Sony losing money - which is all they seem good at lately. (Overall MSoft is hugely profitable. Overall Sony is hugely unprofitable. Do i need to draw you a clearer picture?)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2007, 08:43:58 PM by squirrel »

Speaking of marketing, we're out of milk.
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Reply #52 on: January 11, 2007, 08:43:48 PM

Hay guys. Sup?
stray
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Reply #53 on: January 11, 2007, 08:53:50 PM

Hay guys. Sup?

Heh. Squirrel thinks I'm sensitive.
Roac
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Reply #54 on: January 11, 2007, 08:55:28 PM

Do i need to draw you a clearer picture?)

A chart would be nice, but it's only page 2.

-Roac
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"Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us." -SC
squirrel
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Reply #55 on: January 11, 2007, 08:56:32 PM

Hay guys. Sup?

Heh. Squirrel thinks I'm sensitive.

Heh. Stray thinks he's right.  wink
« Last Edit: January 11, 2007, 08:58:24 PM by squirrel »

Speaking of marketing, we're out of milk.
squirrel
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Reply #56 on: January 11, 2007, 08:59:02 PM

Do i need to draw you a clearer picture?)

A chart would be nice, but it's only page 2.

I'll have to see if i can get Signe to provide one - hers are more impressive than mine.

Speaking of marketing, we're out of milk.
stray
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Reply #57 on: January 11, 2007, 09:34:09 PM

Yeah, someone really does need to post some charts.  tongue I'm having a hard time finding info.

Seems like Sony actually was operating at a profit up until August. Sony electronics and Sony Erricson are selling well (call it a different company if you want). PS3 production, however, and especially the recent battery fiasco, put them in the red (A brief report.

Microsoft was at a loss during Sony's good summer, but picked up right around November. So for now, yes, they are not in the shithole that Sony is.

[EDIT] "In the red" might be slightly too old for reporting though. Sony recently just projected profits by the end of this year, and stock has risen. Coupling that with the entire gaming division raking in more cash than MS and Nintendo after Christmas (Due to the PS2/PS3 combo), it doesn't seem all that bad.

Relatively speaking, the entire scope of these two companies are more equal than not. I will admit that. Gaming division wise however, they are not. $4 billion loss over the last generation, coupled with slow gains this generation to make that back is nothing to gloat about. And that was my only point with that original post -- It's silly to talk about Sony's business foibles when Microsoft has historically done much worse.

This all goes without mentioning how Microsoft is going to get their asses kicked by Google and Apple, in their respective domains (already are getting their asses kicked actually). Their best business is still Windows and Office (and who knows after Vista).
« Last Edit: January 11, 2007, 10:26:21 PM by Stray »
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Reply #58 on: January 11, 2007, 10:30:59 PM

Growth != revenue by the way.
Yep, and Microsoft's MO has always been growth, damn the expense.  Shit, for most of their history (and a wildly profitable history, at that) they never payed any dividends at all to their shareholders, that money just went right back into the borg machine.  It was only because of shareholder grumbling that they finally started to pay them out on a regular basis.
Actually the money wasn't going back into growing the Borg machine, they were simply accumulating a humongous pile of cash. Sure it's nice to have a stockpile of cash for a rainy day but Microsoft had/has so much of it the stockholders wanted them to do *something* with it, so they decided to start paying out a dividend. They were up to over $50 billion -- yes billion -- in 2003 (it's good to be a monopoly) and now they are down to around $30 billion or so.
stray
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Reply #59 on: January 11, 2007, 10:34:04 PM

Software doesn't grow on trees? They just released the console, and they're already adding updates as it is. More will trickle down. I don't what you're reading, but it's not even close to bad to begin with. I'm already playing a shooter with larger capacities than anything on the XBox now. I can already do clan and team set ups with it. It has a messaging system. It has a browser and store. It's not like there's nothing, or that things are broken. They're not.

I didn't say it was bad.  You were given a list of features that the PS3 had, to which you responded it would be easy to add them.  If it were easy, why hasn't it been done?  Answer:  Either it isn't as easy as you think (time, resources, technical issues, whatever) or they lack the desire (deemed not worth the trouble, not part of their vision, etc).  In any case, they don't have it.  Quit trying to spin that as a positive of some sort.

I said it would be easy to add them over time.

As opposed to the bullshit Microsoft's suits spout out about Sony not having the "talent" and that it's not in their "DNA" to make an online service.
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Reply #60 on: January 11, 2007, 11:16:43 PM

Growth != revenue by the way.
Yep, and Microsoft's MO has always been growth, damn the expense.  Shit, for most of their history (and a wildly profitable history, at that) they never payed any dividends at all to their shareholders, that money just went right back into the borg machine.  It was only because of shareholder grumbling that they finally started to pay them out on a regular basis.
Actually the money wasn't going back into growing the Borg machine, they were simply accumulating a humongous pile of cash. Sure it's nice to have a stockpile of cash for a rainy day but Microsoft had/has so much of it the stockholders wanted them to do *something* with it, so they decided to start paying out a dividend. They were up to over $50 billion -- yes billion -- in 2003 (it's good to be a monopoly) and now they are down to around $30 billion or so.


And this is what I referred to as their "War Chest". They hold a phenomenal amount of cash and liquid securities. Obscene amounts actually, and shareholders were right to complain, although dividends are not necessarily the best use of that money. Still you don't MSoft stock for it to act as a mutual fund, which was essentially the case with that kind of liquid sitting around.

Speaking of marketing, we're out of milk.
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Reply #61 on: January 12, 2007, 01:37:18 AM

Microsoft dumping cash to get into the console market can only be seen as a loss if the initiative fails. If they succeed (which they seem to be doing), it's an investment.

You have to spend money to make money.

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Reply #62 on: January 12, 2007, 02:06:29 AM

It took them 4 BILLION dollars just to get on equal grounds with sony or nintendo, that is neither a good business practice nor a good investment. It just shows that Microsoft and its OS monopoly are a real threat to any industry that Microsoft might be interested in and just how fucked up the console market really is.

What it shows is that trying to break into the console market is like trying to run for President as a 3rd party candidate.  You'd better be ready to lose a shitload of money and don't expect to actually win on your first try, if at all.  Nintendo was smart to avoid competing with MS and Sony in the "next-gen" market this time around because the console market now is all about blowing a ton of money upfront with the hopes of making it back later.  Between R&D costs and the loss Sony takes on each console, how many years does anyone think it will take for the PS3 to actually become profitable for Sony?  How many games and accessories will each person have to buy in order to offset the loss on the system itself?
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Reply #63 on: January 12, 2007, 02:29:19 AM

I'm thinking of getting a Wii, but there's not that many good games out for it yet.  Wii Sports... Zelda: Twilight Princess... uh...?

As for the PS3, I think I'll wait until they come out with a version that emulates the PS2 better.  With games like Rogue Galaxy coming out, the PS2 is actually a better gaming platform than the PS3 right now.


 

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Reply #64 on: January 12, 2007, 03:07:49 AM

Between R&D costs and the loss Sony takes on each console, how many years does anyone think it will take for the PS3 to actually become profitable for Sony?  How many games and accessories will each person have to buy in order to offset the loss on the system itself?

I can't recall where I read it but with fully loaded costs and a attachment rate of 2 (2 games sold with each unit) Sony should recover their costs in approximately 30 - 36 months. Assuming manufacturing costs drop as well to a profitable level they can be making money in 3 years. This of course completely discounts the potential revenue from the Blu Ray licenses as well as the PS3 titles that will no doubt ship loads. Personally I think they'd be targeting profitability per unit in 24 months.

All that is totally suspect as it's off the top of my head on what i recall from reading about it a fair bit.

Speaking of marketing, we're out of milk.
stray
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Reply #65 on: January 12, 2007, 03:20:45 AM

I'm thinking of getting a Wii, but there's not that many good games out for it yet.  Wii Sports... Zelda: Twilight Princess... uh...?

As for the PS3, I think I'll wait until they come out with a version that emulates the PS2 better.  With games like Rogue Galaxy coming out, the PS2 is actually a better gaming platform than the PS3 right now.


I imagine they might do some software side fixes for some of the games that aren't compatible at the moment (It's what Microsoft does, though overall, their solution is all software. All emulation is done in software on the 360. Which means less games than Sony. Sony put a PS2 EE chip in the PS3. Although it may be halfassed, it's better than the MS solution).

On the other hand, some games will not work at all, if certain unique hardware components are involved. Like Guitar Hero (due to it's lack of Bluetooth interfacing).

Either way, the PS3 backward's compatibility is not going to change in any drastic way. Take that for what it's worth.

Between R&D costs and the loss Sony takes on each console, how many years does anyone think it will take for the PS3 to actually become profitable for Sony?  How many games and accessories will each person have to buy in order to offset the loss on the system itself?

Supposedly, the 20gig PS3 cost $804 to make. It costs $840 to make the 60 gig model. I'll just set the median price at $820, and the median retail price at $550. So for every console sold, they're losing $270.

At one million units sold, they are making $550 million (while it cost $820 million to manufacture, with a loss of $270 million).

So, for the sake of argument, they need to make $270 million for every million consoles sold (their goal is 6 million at the end of 2007 by the way).

As for accessories, how much does a Sixaxis controller cost to make? Anyone know? It retails for $50.

"Official" HDMI cables retail for $50

The BD remote retails for $25

Memory card adaptor is $15

As for games, I think they get a $10 royalty per game? Or is it $15? Either way, they basically need to sell 20 or 30 games per console (or a bit less, if console buyers purchase some of the accessories mentioned above).

Should we also count Blu-Ray movies too?
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Reply #66 on: January 12, 2007, 03:48:36 AM

And this is what I referred to as their "War Chest". They hold a phenomenal amount of cash and liquid securities. Obscene amounts actually, and shareholders were right to complain, although dividends are not necessarily the best use of that money. Still you don't MSoft stock for it to act as a mutual fund, which was essentially the case with that kind of liquid sitting around.

The problem is that they have 30 billion in the bank, AND NO FUCKING CLUE HOW TO USE THAT MONEY. That is why the stockholders are complaining. That they are giving the money away as dividends clearly shows that they have no use for their big warchest and no clue how to use that kind of money to actually do something with it.

They lack strategy. The only thing they are good at is throwing obscene amounts of cash around in order to get into a new market. That is no strategy.

Take Vista for example: They blew 2 billion dollars and 5 years on the development of something that now only has 20% of the features that were announced. Nearly everything that was a bit hard to implement or design was scrapped because the development teams fucked it up.

In those 5 years Apple has managed to develop a whole new OS and has already gone through 5 iterations of said OS while being on par or even better featurewise and they have spent one tenth of the amount microsoft has. They developed the iPod to generate sales for the Mac platform (halo effect) and have doubled their marketshare

THAT is a strategy.

Microsoft has spent nearly 2 billion and has taken 8 years to get a foothold in the PDA/smartphone industry. At times they were giving away licences for Windows CE/Pocket PC 200X for free so that at least somebody was deploying that. After all that time and money they are still not the major player in the mobile phone industry with only 10% market share in the smartphone market (Symbian 55%) and less than 2% in the whole phone market.

That is not a strategy.

In the same timeframe SonyEricsson has gone from naught to 7% market share and Samsung from naught to 12% market share and Symbian from naught to 55% in the smartphone market.

THAT is a strategy.

If sony wasn't continually shooting itself in the foot, the 360 wouldn't be the number one in the next gen market and the PS2 is still outselling the 360 by a wide margin, and if they don't watch out nintendo might even be able to eat their lunch with the Wii and the DS.

Without the obscene amounts of money coming from the Windows and Office business (the only ones that are currently profitable), Microsoft would already be out of business.

And worst of all they have no clue as to how to spend that money in a clever way.

If their OS business takes a deep hit somewhere down the road they are in serious trouble and they know it. That is the reason why they fiercely combat everything that might destroy their stranglehold on the OS and Office sector (Java, Linux, Media centers, mobile platforms etc.)

Stockholders are getting more nervous by the minute because they too realize that microsoft has no clue and no direction. It is usually only reacting to innovations coming from other companies.
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Reply #67 on: January 12, 2007, 04:06:52 AM

but being objective I can read their financials and see that as a business they make a fuckton of money even if individual initiatives aren't profitable. Unlike Sony who are losing money faster than a drunk midget in a stripjoint.

The only two business units that are profitable are the desktop OS (Windows) and business software unit (Office) everything else bleeds money. At the moment however apart from some analysts nobody cares about that because those two units make an obscene amount of money that easily offsets any losses by other BUs.

Sony's only profitable BU is the console and games unit with every other unit bleeding money. Mainly because Sonys product strategy is totally inane, they take ages to react to customer demands and suffer from "not invented here" syndrome. If everbody and his dog is using mp3 Sony will use ATTRAC. If the next gen format for video coding is MPEG4 Sony will use MPEG2. By the time that sony releases something new all the competitors have already moved on to the next great thing etc.
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Reply #68 on: January 12, 2007, 04:16:17 AM

Supposedly, their TV's are making money (I do not endorse Sony televisions btw. They've all fucked up on me ;)). Apple is killing in them in the music sphere. Their computers division has tanked, and undergone a complete overhaul (without only laptops in sight for the time being).

And yet, they were profiting up until those batteries fucked up (they lost nearly a half of billion from it). The PS3 launch exacerbated the situation.
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Reply #69 on: January 12, 2007, 04:25:23 AM

Too much stuff to quote Jeff, so I'll try and respond reasonably and linearly.

Firstly I agree with you on the Msoft comments - mostly. There's a couple deviations in my opinion (but it's been a while since i did my MBA and looked at Msoft in any depth.)

AFAIK their revenue is driven by Office (something like 40 - 50%). They use that to shoehorn in their OS and backend apps by making Enterprise site licenses cheaper than outfitting a whole org with Office. The end result is that companies end up with Office for everyone, Exchange (natch), and things like Sharepoint which kind of suck but are free so get used. Windows (consumer) is a break-even at best product last time I looked, but it gets its funding from the Corporate sales and the bundled server OS's. At that level MS does well, just because there is NO credible threat to Office in the Corporate world (unfortunately). Outlook and Excel alone will keep them afloat for a long time.

I completely agree that the warchest is a big bag of missed opportunity. I wouldn't say they have no strategy however. It's simply that they are pursuing a old and weakening model - follow, don't lead, acquire rather than develop (Direct X, CMS, SQL) use leverage to cast doubt on rivals (their database is named SQL - their content system is called CMS - way to confuse the consumer). The dividend payout is not a symptom of this though, they fought it pretty hard and were legislated into paying it.

As a long time Apple user, current owner of 2 new Apple machines, an iPod and a Airport to go station as well as a shareholder, I agree - but Apple is largely irrelevant at this scale, for now anyway. Times may change.

Sony on the other hand is not only extremely mismanaged, but they have a fundamental business divide that is causing massive infighting. As a huge content producer they need to be proponents of DRM and standardized media. As a huge consumer electronics manufacturer they need to supply the consumer with the products they want. It's a source of massive conflict internally and coupled with their lame duck management is killing the company. Add the not invented here issue you mention and it becomes lethal.

Interesting times...

Speaking of marketing, we're out of milk.
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