Microsoft may well be set to license the insides of the Xbox gaming device to other companies, it has been revealed. Bill Gates, who is always talking with partners about how to expand the Xbox culture, said nothing was concrete but has dropped hints that he may be ready to license the brains of the Xbox given the right conditions.

Microsoft's reasoning may be that the more Xbox-like consoles there were on the market, the easier it would be to sell Xbox-branded games. That would mean Microsoft would have a larger market for the titles it published. And it could also put the squeeze on the PlayStation by inspiring game developers to focus on titles for the Xbox and its generic brethren.