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Nobody can deny that Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox has done it. They have become a success in only the second generation of their console product. And against embedded competition.

Xbox is now a license to print money. And if they manage it right it will become a bigger cash cow than their PC software ever was.

Microsoft’s genius was that they saw beyond the box and they saw beyond the packaged games. They realized that the future of gaming was an online service. An online service that will ultimately work with several different boxes. And an online service that is growing to be independent of packaged games. Xbox Live is that service, the biggest game portal in the world and by far the most valuable property in the history of video gaming.

Eventually you will be able to access Live from your television, from your phone and from the seatback screen when you are flying. It will be all things to all people. What we have seen thus far is only the beginning.

Source: The Genius of Microsoft: 20 Million Xbox Live Users and Counting