Throw some of that cash my way

You can’t fault their dedication.

Microsoft is spend $1bn repairing “general hardware failures” in the Xbox 360.  They haven’t been specific about just what they’ve screwed up, but the astronomical sum they’re commiting to the project implies it’s pretty catastrophic.

The president of the company’s entertainment and devices devision, Robbie Bach, says Microsoft has made production changes that would lead to fewer hardware lock-ups.

You’d think they would have done all that before it hit the shops. The race to get the console out and seize market share undoubtedly had a role in this, and the Xbox 360 has sold nearly 12m units since its launch in November 2005. It is far outselling Sony’s Playstation3, although both are well behind the Nintendo Wii.

Jessica Mintz writes:

Microsoft will pay for shipping and repairs for three years, worldwide, for consoles that experience hardware failure, which is usually indicated by three flashing red lights on the front of the console, something gamers sometimes refer to as “the red ring of death.”

Things of death seem to be a Microsoft staple — although this comes in a delightful red shape as opposed to a blue screen.

The amount the only company you can see from space is willing to spend is enough to make a man stammer.  At least they’re willing to rectify the problem and not ignore it. The firm can at least foster a reputation for righting what it’s put wrong because, gosh darn it, it couldn’t do the job correctly in the first place.

I just wish they’d send me a few quid. A few hundred, a thousand, hell I wouldn’t even turn down $1m of Bill Gates’ most worn and greasy greenbacks.

So come on Microsoft, help a guy out. I gots kids to feed/bills to pay/a sick mother/insert applicable plea here.

I shudder to think what would happen if the firm were to go belly-up. I remember an old episode of Sliders featured a world that had collapsed into anarchy because the stock market crashed after the company went bankrupt. It’s too iconic and powerful, although its share price seems lower than you might expect (certainly compared to, say, Google).

Markets are about confidence. Lack of confidence fosters jittery investors, and jittery investors in turn spark mass sell-offs which send stocks worldwide plummeting to their doom that correct stock values across the globe.

Should Microsoft ever send out a profit warning we should all be very scared indeed. No sector would be immune.

Apocalyptic? Accurate? Somewhere in between? Have your say in the comments box.

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