In the eight years since you announced the original Xbox, the Xbox division has made it a lot harder to hate Microsoft. The original Xbox was the modders dream, and I know plenty of people who still have one in their living room as a media center. Xbox Live remains the benchmark for online and community features on a console (unlike the Zune, Live is “the social”.)
You also made the people from Bungee rich (something I felt was already deserved for gracing the Doom-less Macintosh with Marathon in 1994) and then gave them back their independence once they had polished Halo as much as any game should be polished.
My original Xbox 360 might’ve died within six months, but I was playing again within a week. It took Sony three consoles before they turned out a reliable launch unit, and they definitely didn’t treat me so well when my launch PSX died.
And besides - if the Xbox 360 didn’t exist, Blu-ray-pushing Sony wouldn’t have been in any rush to add DivX support to my PS3 - nor would I have played Gears of War.
I guess what I’m trying to say is… I don’t know where you were for that whole Vista thing, Bill - but thanks for the Xbox 360.