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Microsoft Apologizes For Cavalier 'Always-Online' DRM Tweets

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the but-why-wouldn't-people-want-to-eat-cake? dept.

Microsoft 236

Adam Orth, creative director of Microsoft Studios, on Thursday tweeted that "doesn't get" objections to DRM schemes that require always-on internet connection to play console games. An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft on Friday released an official statement regarding the tweets: 'We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter.'" I can't help reading those tweets in the voice of Sterling Archer.

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Archer? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43375653)

I read the tweets in the voice of Ben Katz.

Re:Archer? (5, Insightful)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376007)

I read those tweets and felt the sheer contempt burning through the internet, as did many other people.

If the always-on thing is required for the Xbox720, effectively Microsoft are saying "we don't care if you can't use your product you purchased from us because of a hundred possible reasons". Moving house can mean a month of downtime to get internet connectivity back up, nope, can't play games during that month. Recently an Australian telephone exchange burned down in Warrnambool - the entire area had no internet connectivity for a few weeks - yep, no gaming during that time either. A tree took out my phone line and Telstra took 2 weeks to get it repaired - yep, no gaming during that time. These are just the examples I can quickly think of.

We currently own 67 Xbox 360 games in this house, and have two of the consoles (one for my wife and I and one for our kids). If having the internet permanently connected for the purposes of DRM is a requirement of the Xbox 720, I guarantee we will purchase exactly zero consoles and games for that generation.

Re:Archer? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376229)

Dell-Alienware announced some officially supported Linux Gaming systems today. And yet Slashdot chose to ignore this in favor of some lame twitter drama about XBOX DRM.

Why? Even the slashdot editors have realized that (1) the Linux desktop is dead and nobody cares, and (2) their demographic is Microsoft customers who want to complain about Microsoft all day but will never switch.

Re:Archer? (5, Informative)

jellyfoo (2865315) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376271)

Obviously someone cares, otherwise Valve wouldn't be throwing resources at an apparently dead market. Oh, and I care. That's at least one person.

As for the Dell-Alienwar announcement, ArsTechnica covered it. They're ultimately a far better tech site than Slashdot is, but I think Slashdot has a better selection of commenters.

Re:Archer? (3, Insightful)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376365)

Awesome to hear Dell and Alienware getting behind linux gaming... I love my dell u2311h monitor, but there's no way in hell I'd buy an alienware system, I'll just build my own. As for Slashdot not covering it... well they have lagged behind getting tech news out for quite a while now.

Re:Archer? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376405)

(3) Slashdot's advertising money comes from Microsoft, Apple, Facebook et al, and they see the Linux aricles purely as an opportunity to smear competition.

It's not like there's ever much positive said here about FOSS. It's all just sly astroturfing and FUD.

Re:Archer? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376483)

You got it, fellow AC. This site has devolved into corporate marketing-oriented opposition trolling.

Whenever they do talk about FOSS: Gnome sucks, KDE sucks, Ubuntu sucks, Gentoo sucks, Centos sucks, etc. There's nothing good about Linux anything and no reason to use it except that it sucks slightly less than something else.

Overall impression: unless one hates M$/Crapple so badly they're willing to stick hot-pokers into their eyeballls and use sucky Linux stuff. Slashdot offers no real justification to use FOSS.

Of course, they know this is not a real option for their userbase bragging about how many XBOX games they own.

But the fact you didn't mention Google, when they are by-far the most obvious astroturfer here, leads me to believe you are part of the problem :=(

Re:Archer? (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376621)

I wasn't aware that Slashdot had an obligation to proselytise for Linux or anything else.

Welcome to Slashdot. We're here because we're here, and because we want to be here.

If you are not here, you are not reading this.

If you are here, and you would prefer to be somewhere else, you are welcome to go there.

It's all good, mate.

Re:Archer? (2, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376669)

If you are not here, you are not reading this.

Wait - we need to rename the site Schrödingerdot. Who do I yell at to get this done?

Re:Archer? (5, Interesting)

twistedsymphony (956982) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376331)

I'm a game collector myself, I've bought 3 Xbox 360 consoles and over 150 games on that platform this generation. I will also buy exactly ZERO if the always on DRM is implemented.

For me the biggest problem is the the fact that the games have a finite time after which they will not work. The servers will not be available forever and if I'm spending money on game I want to know that I'll still be able to play them 10 years, 20 years or even further in the future. I have games that I bought in the late 80s and early 90s that I still play, it stands to reason that if I buy games next generation I will want to play them again in the distant future, but that's not going to happen if "Always on" becomes a reality. Given a long enough time frame my having an internet connection is more guaranteed than MS supporting their server for the remainder of my lifespan.

This doesn't even take into consideration people like my friends who serve in the military, and play games in their down time despite not having access to broadband while deployed, or those friends who lost their jobs due to the economy and had to cancel their internet and TV service but kept their gaming consoles as a meager source of entertainment in an otherwise shitty period in their life.

Microsoft earned the lions share of my gaming budget the last two generations and if I were to receive similar gaming experiences in the next generation I have no problem continuing to spend money that way, but if they required an internet connection I will not be giving them any money what-so-ever. I have no interest in purchasing games with an expiration date.

Re:Archer? (4, Insightful)

GaratNW (978516) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376357)

I saw the reactions to his posts, and felt the overwhelming overreaction and hypocrisy to his comments. Now, before slashdot votes this to -20, stop and think for a second. While he actually is correct, sadly that is the way things are moving, I think not being able to play games if your connection is down is stupid and bad to a insane degree. But stop and think about how the whole game playing internet reacted to him. They basically tried to destroy a persons career - someone who has no involvement in the not actually officially announced product - over a stated opinion with a friend.

The reaction to his posts, however, are skin to the Christian conservatives reactions to Cesar Chavez on Google. The people fucking bitching the loudest.. NEVER FUCKING LOG OFF. It doesn't make their core point wrong, but assigning "burning contempt" to a guy fucking around with his friend in twitter is hubris, hyperbole, and hyprocrisy that only normally comes from people with an extreme politcal agenda.

Seriously. People need to fucking GROW UP. IF, and I state again, IF, Microsoft is stupid enough to require an always on connection, guess what? Flame the hell out of them. Frankly, they'll deserve it. But the shit I saw made up about a guy on Reddit and random other sites.. because a bunch of self righteous, outrage point seeking entitled assholes wanted to burn down someone that.. they FUCKING DISAGREED WITH. Makes me goddamn sick.

Re:Archer? (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376723)

I agree about the need for folks to do a head-check before reacting to something said off-the-cuff, but there's one sticking point... ...why did he use Twitter to verbally horse around with a buddy on such a touchy-assed subject? I mean, there are many, many less public means of doing that.

I play Devil's Advocate on a lot of subjects. I work with fellow sysadmins and developers, and I often say some incredibly crazy/provocative things (err, even at work) - usually to force someone into thinking through a blockage. But, what I don't do is use a publicly-viewable means to do any of that.

One other bit I should mention; it's not that the loudest gripers are bitching about the always-on aspect per se, but the unstated-yet obvious reason it torques them is that they want to retain control over the stuff they paid for. The always-on requirement implies that they won't have that control. When I was younger (I know...) I'd play Quake (1, 2 and 3, usually a CTF mod) at all hours, and between that plus goofing off on USENET, I practically never logged off.

I don't game anymore (well, almost never), but the very thought of keeping a connection open just to get permission to use a product I paid for? Hell, my skin crawls at the thought.

Little wonder the more passionate gamers are up in arms at the idea.

Just food for thought.

Re:Archer? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376729)

But stop and think about how the whole game playing internet reacted to him. They basically tried to destroy a persons career - someone who has no involvement in the not actually officially announced product - over a stated opinion with a friend.

That guy is the fucking Creative Director of Microsoft, if he has no involvement with the direction the XBox at all, he is not doing his fucking job and he deserved to be fucking fired.

What he said publicly (yes, those tweets are public, even though he might have intended otherwise) does reflect on his company. This may be news to kids living the basement, but many companies have code of conducts for employees that have explicit clause for disciplinary action or even termination for employees behaving badly in public and damaging the company's image.

Re:Archer? (2)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376261)

No idea why your comment is modded down. I read the tweets in the voice of Coach McGuirk.

Always on is important! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43375671)

It means all of our "customers" (as I like to call them) can become part of our vast surveillance system

www.nytimes.com/2013/04/04/nyregion/new-york-citys-police-surveillance-technology-could-bring-in-money.html?src=rechp&_r=1&)

And all that investment in social media marketing can be moneterized too.

Being able to track so much community activity both on the web, and more directly via XBox and Windows telemetry, is no longer just for our marketing sockpuppets.

All that juicy information gathered on so many people is a product we can sell as well not just to other marketing organizations, but also to "law" enforcement types as well.

Aren't we clever?

"We are very sorry if you are offended..." (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43375685)

"...but we're still making it always-on anyway. Fuck you. Sorry."

Re:"We are very sorry if you are offended..." (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376183)

Fuck you. Sorry."

except we're not

Re:"We are very sorry if you are offended..." (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376309)

except a high-ranking employee said we were...but officially, we're not saying one way or the other...

But expect an anal probe when we release the system.

Translation: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43375695)

"Well *that* blew up in our face. Let's sacrifice this guy while we pretend we give a damn about the drones and wait for them to forget about this before we get back to screwing them over, I mean, making an 'honest profit.'"

Re:Translation: (1, Interesting)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375913)

What the hell are you talking about? Some Microsoft guy made some comments thorugh personal channels and you think they're "sacrificing" him for them as though this was some sort of official announcement they're recanting?

Re:Translation: (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375995)

Some Microsoft guy made some comments thorugh personal channels

Not just "some Microsoft guy". He's creative director at Microsoft's video game division. If you think his opinion is irrelevant or atypical, you're delusional.

Re:Translation: (3)

Bruce McBruce (791094) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376289)

Defending a business direction is one thing. Lashing out at customers is another. Guy deserves his career to be crucified because that's just stupid and unacceptable behaviour for a corporation to allow. The DRM issue is totally irrelevant to the problem.

Re:Translation: (4, Insightful)

max (79752) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376589)

I didn't see the following tweets until Major Nelson put out the apology, and I was rather horrified by the way Adam Orth expresses himself to a potential customer. Still, I am not sure kicking someone is the right way to go, but I do think they need to give at least the management some media training and make sure that everyone is aware of a company media policy. So many people are ignorant of how the internet ecosystem works and how things spread.

Personally, I refrain myself from publicly commenting on matters regarding the organization where I work. We have people whose job is to take care of these matters. When I see something I can tell them, say what I think and let them decide the correct course of action. I am entitled to my opinion, but that doesn't mean that I need to express it at all times. I know that my word might be taken for the official position and that might not be true, anyway I am not paid to comment on my employers decisions.

Yesterday I summed up some of my thoughts in the matter: http://mzomborszki.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/how-to-be-an-insensitive-clod/ [wordpress.com] .

Re:Translation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376727)

I know that my word might be taken for the official position and that might not be true, anyway I am not paid to comment on my employers decisions.

This is the _essential_ part of your comment. If Adam Orth is not being paid for PR, why is he engaging in (HORRIBLE) PR?

Assuming MS is going to introduce this "always-on" DRM thing (and, trust me, they are..), "letting" Adam Orth spill the beans like that, regarding what's ultimately an anti-consumer measure, without any kind of corporate spin or media control is... well... not smart.

I'd say Microsoft is dumb if they keep someone like this on their staff (and this is even if we completely disregard the shitty tone of his tweets; I'm just considering the content here...) and they deserve all the backlash they'll get when they introduce this always-on DRM thing.

Re:Translation: (2)

sjwt (161428) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376325)

Creative director...

So he chooses what colour the led's will be?

Re:Translation: (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376635)

I'm aware of his position, but how exactly does that change anything I've said? I merely stated that it was his personal feelings on a very controversial topic and had nothing to do with Microsoft proper.

AC was implying that Microsoft has a dastardly plan in store and once they caught wind that people aren't actually that keen on it, they're throwing the messenger under the bus and implying it was all a misunderstanding. That's not what happened. Someone at Microsoft (Creative Director or not,) who does not publicly represent Microsoft, spoke their personal thoughts in a "private" place and caused a shitstorm huge enough that Microsoft had to jump in and explain that his words don't actually represent Microsoft. That's all.

Steve Balmer could make a post on a private twitter account tomorrow saying he doesn't understand why people care that Hitler killed millions of Jews. That doesn't mean Microsoft has some sort of pro-Hitler/Nazi agenda.

Re:Translation: (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376569)

This wasn't some random drone, some low level programmer, whose input and decision plays no role whatsoever. This was the creative director. If ANYONE'S input in stuff like that is important, it is his.

The mere fact that this was NOT some "official" fart but actually a decision maker making a (from a purely company politically point of view) "stupid" remark says 100 times more than any "official" press release.

The summary doesn't mention (5, Interesting)

DrEldarion (114072) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375703)

... that they made absolutely no effort to refute the rumor. At this point, I think it's pretty safe to say that their only objection is to how the guy said what he did, but they still are going to proceed with it.

Re:The summary doesn't mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43375759)

Hmmm, not really. MS never comments on things like this. So far, I've seen that the next Xbox will require a functional, and calibrated Kinect plus always on internet. There is no way they are going to do this, at least, I expect most people don't shit the bed on purpose.

For the record, before I'm called a MS fanboy, my Xbox broke years ago and I switched to PC only gaming ever since. I doubt I'll buy Xbox 720 or whatever it is, so I don't really care what MS does. It won't bother me. However, this crap just seems like obvious FUD to me, and I wish people would be a little more thoughtful. MS got burned with the 360 over console breakage and now they're setting themselves up to repair/replace broken Kinects and consoles due to defective network hardware? I don't buy it. The move is too stupid for even MS, and so far, the only "confirmed reports" come from no-name informants with super-secret info. Otherwise known as Sony plants and/or gaming news muckrakers.

Re:The summary doesn't mention (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376587)

Set themselves up? Quite the contrary. "Your console doesn't work? It's not the console, it's your internet connection".

Re:The summary doesn't mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376049)

They will. They will.

Re:The summary doesn't mention (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376575)

The objection is mostly THAT he said it, I'm pretty sure. I highly doubt it was supposed to be trumpeted out that the X720 will be relying heavily on "always on" DRM before people could get a chance to buy it unknowingly.

Drunk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43375721)

Orthy sounds drunk in his replies.

What happened to our lynching! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43375725)

This clearly doesn't meet the social media's need for a a public whipping so that we can all watch and jeer? When do we get our mob justice?

Ah yes, the "the customer centric approach" (5, Insightful)

robbak (775424) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375727)

That explains why we are all being pushed onto a schizophrenic mess that nobody wants called Windows 8.

Re:Ah yes, the "the customer centric approach" (0, Offtopic)

davidoff404 (764733) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376059)

Perhaps nobody else wants it, but I *love* Windows 8.

I've found it to be significantly faster than Windows 7 and I actually like the Metro home screen to the extent that I don't miss the Start button in the slightest.

I know it's deeply uncool to feel anything other than seething hatred for Windows 8, but there you are.

Re:Ah yes, the "the customer centric approach" (2)

soupbowl (1849394) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376175)

I have not seen any benchmarks showing a noticeable speed difference between windows 7 and 8. Let alone "significantly faster than Windows 7"...

Re:Ah yes, the "the customer centric approach" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376351)

Here ya go:
http://www.techspot.com/review/561-windows8-vs-windows7/page2.html

Re:Ah yes, the "the customer centric approach" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376615)

Every MS OS is faster than its predecessor, at least it seems to be. Given time, every MS OS slows down to molasses speed. I have no idea where it comes from, is it the patches... because even after reinstalling it just doesn't get to the same benchmark it has gotten to when it was installed the first time.

I should probably do a check, install a clean Win7 and see how much faster it is without the latest service pack.

Re:Ah yes, the "the customer centric approach" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376211)

And yet /. still doesn't have a -1 fag moderation option. Always on... LOL. Like I can't ever turn anything off? Ever? Who is this MS and who do they work for?

Re:Ah yes, the "the customer centric approach" (0)

Kawahee (901497) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376597)

I wouldn't say I love Windows 8, but after running it at home and work I'd say overall it's not worse than Windows 7.

There's some nice performance improvements and generally the operating system works very well. Metro usually keeps out of my way. But that is to say Metro does get in my way every so often.

So +1 in general, -1 for when Metro intrudes.

Re:Ah yes, the "the customer centric approach" (5, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376599)

Old joke: Why does MS put the customer at the center of their efforts?

So they can fleece him from every possible direction.

customer centric approach (3, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375731)

lol, that made me laugh. Customer Centric Approach. I think that means they didn't actually plan on telling anyone, you'd have to find it out for yourself when you buy the systems and the games. I'm sure on the back of the game box, in small letters, will say, "Requires an Always On Internet Connection".

Re:customer centric approach (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376305)

On the back of the box?
You seem optimistic.

I would expect to find out only after opening said box,
Seeing the EULA that you accept by breaking the plastic wrap,
And only THEN seeing the "always on" small print after
Booting up the device for the first time.

Ps. Hah! The /. captcha was "cynical"

Slow News Day (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43375753)

People at large corporates not realising their personal views carry the weight of the company they work for, we know it's not official but social media embraces the teenage minded journo who'd lose their job for reporting the same crap, which in turns creates enough hype that the real journo's end up needing to report on it, making it news about something that isn't news, and an apology made when not needed.

I love the internet.

Re:Slow News Day (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376619)

In this special case the personal view of him does carry over into the company. He's not some no-name programmer who can do little but execute what is decided further up. He's one of those making the decisions.

Indy Games (3, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375769)

Coming soon to a console/computer near me.

Re:Indy Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376035)

Actually, since Lucasarts got canned the other day, thats not very likely.. ;)

Re:Indy Games (1)

darkshot117 (1288328) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376485)

But if it was made by Lucasarts it wouldn't be indie... oh I see what you did there...

Corp. Comm. (4, Interesting)

ebonum (830686) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375779)

So the Microsoft Studios Creative Director's views have no impact on what he does at work? He has nothing to do with Microsoft. Wow. Then why is he a director? These Microsoft Corp. Comm. people are more disconnected from reality than I expected.

By the way, the new Windows 360 Office for 2013 ( or whatever it is called ) is moving towards always on cloud connectivity. And directors at Microsoft are actually idiots who have no impact on product direction. Give me a break. First, fire the Creative Director for speaking the truth. Next fire the Microsoft Corp. Comm. for regurgitating canned responses that makes the company look dumb.

Re:Corp. Comm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43375973)

simple solution .....Linux

Re:Corp. Comm. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376131)

Home of TuxRacer and other fabulous games.

Re:Corp. Comm. (1)

humblepie (650771) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376017)

So the Microsoft Studios Creative Director's views have no impact on what he does at work? He has nothing to do with Microsoft. Wow. Then why is he a director? These Microsoft Corp. Comm. people are more disconnected from reality than I expected.

By the way, the new Windows 360 Office for 2013 ( or whatever it is called ) is moving towards always on cloud connectivity. And directors at Microsoft are actually idiots who have no impact on product direction. Give me a break. First, fire the Creative Director for speaking the truth. Next fire the Microsoft Corp. Comm. for regurgitating canned responses that makes the company look dumb.

Of course, the previous observation is only stating the obvious, which needs repeating. Microsoft, has always been managed by arrogance, and continues. They'll do whatever they want, and customers will have nothing to say about it, unless they vote with their dollars, in droves. Lest you think I'm a Sony troll, I say much the same about them -- I have a bricked Playstation III, which will stay bricked.

Re:Corp. Comm. (2)

psnyder (1326089) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376327)

These Microsoft Corp. Comm. people are more disconnected from reality than I expected.

No, I think they know what's going on, even though the things they say are carefully crafted attempts at making us think the opposite. When I was a kid, we called that "lying".

Re:Corp. Comm. (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376623)

Get with the times, it's "public relations" now.

Re:Corp. Comm. (4, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376511)

So the Microsoft Studios Creative Director's views have no impact on what he does at work? He has nothing to do with Microsoft. Wow. Then why is he a director? These Microsoft Corp. Comm. people are more disconnected from reality than I expected.

By the way, the new Windows 360 Office for 2013 ( or whatever it is called ) is moving towards always on cloud connectivity. And directors at Microsoft are actually idiots who have no impact on product direction. Give me a break. First, fire the Creative Director for speaking the truth. Next fire the Microsoft Corp. Comm. for regurgitating canned responses that makes the company look dumb.

Or perhaps he was speaking what HE wants to see. Microsoft Studios is Microsoft's first party games publisher - so he's speaking what he'd like to see in the Xbox. Which will probably be similar to what other people at EA, Activision, Ubisoft, etc. wants.

They want always-on DRM. They don't see the bigger picture. They run independent of Entertainment and Devices (who go under the Microsoft label). They don't speak for anyone's interest except their own as a game publisher.

Larry Hyrb ("Major Nelson") works for the Xbox division, so he knows what is probably in the next Xbox. And he also knows that division is having to balance a ton of competing interests - some publishers (like Microsoft Studios) will want always-on DRM. Some will want one-time codes. Others want an easy way to be indie. And then there's the other competing interests - the Online division wants web browsers, Bing, and other services in by default. The Windows group would want Windows Media Center extender.

So yes, the director is speaking frankly. Because he runs that group, which is pretty much isolated from the core Xbox team. Even more so at Microsoft because of the way it's run - Microsoft is a HEAVILY silo'd operation - the people from one team rarely speak with people from another team - and sometimes the lines of communications rise from the engineer through a half-dozen managers (probably a couple of steps below Ballmer), over to the counterpart in the other division, then down a half-dozen managers, to the responsible engineer. I've known people who got in trouble for trying to speak directly to their counterpart.

It's why the various divisions often have their own toolsets - Windows team have their own compilers and maintain their own compilation tools (and may pull now and again from the Visual Studio team but never are allowed to contribute nor ask about stuff like bugs). Likewise, the Xbox team probably have cloned a copy of the compilers as well and have inhouse people maintaining them as well (because the Xbox director would get a serious chewing out if they even asked a question about the compiler code - as far as the development tools team go - they've done Xbox a favor by giving them a code drop).

Fiefdoms, is probably the better word. And the Xbox team probably haven't decided how the DRM is supposed to work.

After all, the tweet was about why he felt always-on DRM was good and didn't see why people would care otherwise. The Xbox team simply said "we can't comment because we've not announced anything". It's likely yes, there will be the option. Or maybe it'll be like the Xbox is now - if you download it, the DRM license is for that console, or if you're signed into Xbox Live (the latter is "always on" as disconnecting will end the game).

At Microsoft, one hand literally does not know what the other hand is doing.

Sure (1)

Waveguide04 (811184) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375793)

Riiight. holding my breath now. News at 11. /sarcasm

Because there is no on/off switch? (2)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375799)

average intelligence does not mean what you think it means. The autonomic nervous system is there to ensure stupidity's survival.

always-on DRM (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375809)

... Well, here's a thought: Not everybody has internet. I know this is shocking, but some people actually take their XBox, etc, on road trips, to friends houses, etc. Shocking, I know. So unless something really needs internet, it shouldn't have it because there are perfectly legitimate reasons beyond "zomg, piracy!" to not have internet. Secondly, always-on internet means when your servers crap, or you decide the game isn't popular enough, the people who paid for that game get screwed -- they can't play it anymore.

And for the second reason, I'll never buy a game that needs a DRM server to play. I play an MMO, and I can understand that the server is the game in that case, but unless you can make a compelling case that the game simply can't be played without it, I'm not buying it. Ever. And take a page from EA's playbook, Microsoft: Their stocks just took a big dive because of DRM and now one of your idiot employees is saying your company supports it. Do you want your stock prices to plunge too?

Re:always-on DRM (1, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376243)

So don't buy it. There is nothing wrong with designing a product for a specific subset of the market, like people who have always on connections.

Re:always-on DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376607)

Just not buying will make microsoft lie to their shareholders with shit like "it's not selling due piracy".
You need to not buy AND create a big enough internet scandal to reach the shareholders and they put pressure on the company into stopping doing the shit.

Re:always-on DRM (1)

Comen (321331) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376565)

I actually have a PS3 and XBOX360 and tons of games I almost never finish, but buy them only when I go on vacation and take a console. I always play PC games when at home.

Creative directo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43375813)

Is this a new position I'm not aware of?

Re:Creative directo? (2)

ShaunC (203807) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375843)

Maybe we should ask Dice.com, surely they know how many Creative Directos are out there.

Non-apology (1)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375837)

We are very sorry if this offended anyone,

Typical non-apology apology. "I'm sorry you were offended"

Someone needs to listen to the This American Life episode "Mistakes Were Made"

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/354/mistakes-were-made [thisamericanlife.org]

--
BMO

Re:Non-apology (2)

JabberWokky (19442) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375887)

I absolutely agree with you. But I'm also not really sure what they need to apologize for. An employee stated an opinion on the net.

The opinion might have been stupid, and you might even be able to connect it to prevailing attitudes at Microsoft. That said, I'm not sure what Microsoft actually needs to apologize for, so this whole thing started off on a purely invented media vs. public relations theater footing. Nothing actually apology-worthy was done, so the "apology" being flaccid is unsurprising. At most they could say, "The opinions expressed on private Twitter accounts do not necessarily represent those of Microsoft." Although you kind of have to be fairly naive to think that a private twitter feed spoke for the company. If one employee spouting off in public dictated the official stance, then I can say from experience that Bank of America's corporate policy is that the moon landing was faked, and Burger King officially believes in ghosts.

Re:Non-apology (5, Insightful)

rst123 (2440064) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376151)

I absolutely agree with you. But I'm also not really sure what they need to apologize for. An employee stated an opinion on the net.

true, if said employee is a low level grunt, but when that employee is high level management, don't you think that changes things?

Re:Non-apology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376209)

Because the rule is that an employer is responsible for the actions of its employees when done in their name. If I slander my company's customers and say I'm an employee of said company then I'd expect some backlash.

Re:Non-apology (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376653)

The difference is maybe that this isn't just anyone making a comment. It's not like some bank teller complaining that he can't understand how people could get loans they can't pay back when everyone knows that management tried their best to convince everyone that everyone should have another mortgage running and that nothing can happen. It's the bank manager talking.

no apology like firing adam orth (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375857)

I understand the xbox is circling the bowl, but if they had any hope to change course firing adam orth would seem a natural choice.

Re:no apology like firing adam orth (1)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375867)

He'll probably get a raise. Like the Hollywierd people always say, there's no such thing as bad press. Pretty much every shitty company on the planet is making money hand over fist right now.

Re: no apology like firing adam orth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43375929)

On what planet is the Xbox circling the bowl? The Xbox is a tremendous success and is an example of Microsoft's ability to gain marketshare in a difficult environment.

Re: no apology like firing adam orth (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376117)

On what planet is the Xbox circling the bowl?

Consoles are dying. The people who used to play console games are increasingly playing games on a phone or tablet.

The Xbox is a tremendous success

As far as I'm aware the Xbox has still cost a couple of billion dollars more than it's made. If that's a 'tremendous success', I'd hate to see a failure.

and is an example of Microsoft's ability to gain marketshare in a difficult environment.

Buying your way into a market isn't hard if you can throw enough money at it. Shame it's not a market that actually matters any more.

Re: no apology like firing adam orth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376287)

You get your information from like minded idiots who reinforce your view.
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/36011/Microsofts_Xbox_360_Division_Sees_132_Billion_Profit_For_Fiscal_Year_2011.php

Microsoft has succeeded in this market, which is a fact despite your obvious bias.

Re: no apology like firing adam orth (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376303)

You get your information from like minded idiots who reinforce your view.

There's a psychological term called 'projection'. You might want to look it up sometime.

The Xbox has finally been making an operating profit after years of losses, but unless I'm much mistaken, it's still billions away from making a real, actual, profit over the life of the product. And now they have to blow a lot more money making a new console, while casual gamers are moving to tablet and phone games.

Re: no apology like firing adam orth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376339)

Twice you've admitted to holding an opinion based on very little information. What is it with your kind that you feel the need to make concrete statements, with no knowledge of the subject. you literally have no idea how much Microsoft has spent on this product, but you've already concluded that it's a failure. /. is, in itself, the laughing stock of the tech community and your assumptions reinforce this view.

Re: no apology like firing adam orth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376415)

2% profit margin ... woohoo partytime.

Has Xbox really done anything positive for the Microsoft brand? Is fighting Sony relevant to Microsoft's business as a whole? Is undermining their high-end PC market worth it? And ... How many Xbox customers have purchased a Windows Phone?

My suspicion is that gamers are largely introverted types who connect online and have little social influence in the real world. Thus it is easy for an unsophisticated company like Microsoft to "buy" marketshare there. When it comes to "fondle slabs" and things that actually matter to people who leave their house, they don't have it. Xbox = dead-end product for losers.

Re: no apology like firing adam orth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376681)

You went too far; you've overplayed your troll. Nobody will take you seriously, now. You should have just dropped the last paragraph... you could have strung it out for several more comments.

Re:no apology like firing adam orth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43375933)

As I explained in the other Slashdot news article, this is what will happen:

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3618909&cid=43369147

All that Microsoft is doing right now is damage control, and it's justified. However, I can assure you Orth is in hot water over this, but you (nor anyone) will know just how hot. Fired? Nope, but there will definitely be some form of reprimand.

That said: kudos to Microsoft for issuing a statement, which in effect, confirms that Orth either failed to understand and/or comply with Microsoft SBC. It's not rocket science, but apparently, case in point, some people just do not have common sense.

Re:no apology like firing adam orth (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375953)

nice try microsoft damage control. Now fire orth.

Re:no apology like firing adam orth (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375949)

Then instead of this article we would get one condemning MS for firing an employee because of a personal tweet.

Re:no apology like firing adam orth (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376001)

firing an employee who does not really care about their Customers would not be very controversial.

Microsoft isnt as stupid as Electronic Arts (1)

voss (52565) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375915)

Admittedly that is a low threshold to cross.

Definition of customer centric (5, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375925)

From the Microsoft dictionary, 3rd ed.

Customer Centric adj. Pertaining to any system in which the customer is trapped in the center and cannot easily remove himself. Originally this was accomplished through vendor lock-in and market share, due to changing market conditions it is now largely realized using various IP protection methods, including lawsuits against wayward users, DRM platforms, and DMCA crackdowns. If the newest legislation passes congress this month, we may should be able to add to our customer cenrtic portfolio by having over-zealous prosecutors press criminal charges on customers who stray beyond the bounds of the impenetrable EULA or any TOS we care to write. Currently customers are also kept centralized by the fact that there is no possible legal recourse to any malfeasance or negligence on our part due to the fact that all our customer-facing contracts specify that all disputes must be settled by arbitration, using arbitrators of our choosing.

See also: Coopetition, survival strategy.

Re:Definition of customer centric (1, Flamebait)

sjwt (161428) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376345)

From the Linux dictionary, 2864rd ed.

Customer Centric adj. The point where most newbies end up being surrounded by Linux fanboys and yelled at for anything and everything untill they go back to where they came from.

Re:Definition of customer centric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376537)

From the Microsoft dictionary, 3rd ed.
refutation, noun.
accusing of being a linux fanboy

err... (1)

redneckmother (1664119) | about a year and a half ago | (#43375965)

"...or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers..."

I know that others snapped to this, but it bears emphasis - M$ regards their "customers" as "consumers". That says a lot about their motives and attitudes.

Corporate Communications a.k.a the PR department (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376013)

Those people lie all the time. Any company, any sector, any industry. They lie in order to make a living.

For the truth, watch out for what they're NOT saying; what has been conspicuously omitted.

our bad (1)

jameshofo (1454841) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376075)

Dear payment drones, we apologize. Ok we're good put in the DRM.

By Customer centric you mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376093)

By Customer centric you mean your advertising customers.. like Doritos, ect.. that pay for advertising on your internet only based system.
We the people who pay to license your console are actually the commodity. Games are just the commodity delivery system.
Thank you for finally clearing that up. I just hope that somewhere I'm referred to as a unit and not a paying customer.
Microsoft better turn this PR storm around by hiring my all time favorite PR Spin Doctor: Ocean Marketing, Paul Christoforo http://kotaku.com/tag/paul-christoforo

Found it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376189)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5cu5BRZc3M8

Pseudo apology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376195)

"This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers."

So what was he doing representing you online? A twitter hacker?

What this apology is really saying: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376227)

We're sorry that our employee chose to justify always-online DRM by saying that what the customer wants doesn't really matter and they should just suck it up. In the future we'll be sure to only try to justify it by saying that it's a feature that will benefit the customer.

Why need an off button your computer is always on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376285)

Thats the windows 8 response about the hidden off button. This response regarding the X-BOX isn't all that surprising.

An apology is not sufficient. (2)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376323)

Microsoft needs to prove to its customers that those comments were in jest. Unfortunately for Microsoft, in order to prove something like that, Microsoft requires credibility.

.
Such a conundrum for Redmond.....

Re:An apology is not sufficient. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376385)

Microsoft needs to prove to its customers that those comments were in jest.

You proof will appear in the form of 'Publisher Optional Online-DRM Frameworks', that will NOT be present on launch titles, but a year later will appear on some unspecified AAA title from a publisher that SHOULD know better (Probably EA, but Bioware might go full retard)

By then it will be too late for any bad press to affect the console's foothold. Look how long it took for the Wii to rack up the negative points, and people were down on it AT launch!

So yeah, this is a stall tactic, as well as an implicit 'I didn't say we wouldn't' to the future user base of their console.

Best blurb of the week (1)

proca (2678743) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376391)

Any article posting containing references to Archer gives it legendary status in my book

Microsoft and /. sitting in a tree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376419)

Another day, week, year, another MS post FP /.

Missing borg logo? No problem! The Kinect EYE is always watching.

New logo proposal: THE ALL SEEING EYE.

Support 24/7 tax & SEC auditing for MS & o (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43376527)

If they're not doing anything wrong, then why would they object?

Somewhat stupid question... (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | about a year and a half ago | (#43376651)

If a Creative Director, a corporate officer of a subsidary isn't considered to be a spokesmutant for said subsidary, who the fuck is?????
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