Microsoft's greatest successes and biggest failures

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2. XBox Marks the Spot

xbox.jpgREUTERS/Yuriko Nakao
Visitors try out Microsoft's new videogame "Halo: Reach" at the Tokyo Game Show in Chiba, east of Tokyo September 16, 2010.

Besides the Microsoft Mouse, the XBox is the only hardware product to come out of Redmond and not suffer a swift demise. It's also the only Microsoft brand to ever to find a home in people's living rooms. Despite the Red Ring of Death fiasco, which cost Microsoft more than $1 billion to repair, the XBox 360 continues to be the platform game developers most want to be on. Meanwhile, XBox Live now boasts some 35 million members, making it Microsoft's most successful exercise in social media. With the addition of the surprisingly good Kinect motion detector, the XBox is even a viable alternative for Generation Wii -- especially those of us too old and unhip for Halo 3 and Red Dead Redemption.

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