Microsoft's Games division isn't making Steve Ballmer happy, at least not from the reference point of the Xbox 360. After realizing that they may be facing a smattering of lawsuits, Microsoft recently made the wise choice of extended the Xbox 360 warranty across the board.
This has the Microsoft Chief irate, dubbing the entire process as a painful one. I can certainly understand it being financially painful, as it was estimated the impact would be over $1 Billion – enough to wipe out a good chunk of money that the 360 has made them, putting the games division down nearly $1.9 billion. I don't, however, understand it being painful from a customer service standpoint – after all, that is what the company should be about.
The hardware issues which plague console shouldn't erode customer faith, he claims, saying basically that they will “do it better next time”:
Although the Xbox 360 “Red Ring of Death” debacle may have shaken consumer confidence in the company's ability to design and manufacture hardware, Ballmer promised that, going forward, Microsoft will be “world-class when we do hardware.”
World-class indeed. I hope that the Zune isn't an example of their “world-class” hardware.