With a market cap of over $2 trillion Microsoft Corporation MSFT is one of the largest companies in the world. The company has many divisions, but one of its most famous products almost didn’t exist thanks to co-founders Bill Gates don’t believe in the story. The Xbox almost never saw the light of day.
What happened: Microsoft’s Xbox segment is now a $16 billion annual business, but it’s almost never been a part of Microsoft’s history.
A story out IGN from a few years ago is doing the rounds again showing a meeting between Microsoft executives where Gates branded the Xbox an “insult” and tried to block its launch. The gathering is known to many as the “Valentine’s Day Massacre.”
Xbox co-creator Ed Fries told IGN at a meeting that took place 18 months before the launch of the Xbox, where the Microsoft co-founder tried to block the Xbox.
Fries and his team pitched the idea of creating a video game console that would be “a PC in disguise” to Gates and the Microsoft co-founder Steve Ballmer. Another group wanted to make the Xbox a traditional console instead of running on Windows.
When it became clear that the console could not run on Windows and instead could run on a closed system, Gates was dissatisfied and almost canceled the launch. Gates called the launch of Xbox without Windows an “insult” for everything he had done with Microsoft.
Ballmer expressed concerns about abandoning the project they had spent so much money on.
The mention of the rival Sony Group Corp SONY The meeting, according to Fries, sealed the deal and launched the Xbox. Someone mentioned Sony’s potential as a rival to Microsoft and its growing presence in the living room. Gates and Ballmer opted out following Sony’s comments about the launch of the Xbox.
Related link: 5 things you might not know about Bill Gates
Why it matters: In the last full fiscal year, Xbox blow Revenue of $16.28 billion, up 17% year-on-year. The total was a record…