Monday, November 18, 2002

e, x, ex?

The day after the last election I was onstage first thing in the morning, opening a conference. I'd been watching the TV and had just seen Hague's resignation speech and was fairly sure that few of the delegates would have seen it. I opened with an observation that the trend to prefix everything with "e" seemed to have just finished and that we were moving to "x" - xbox, Mac OS X, Office XP, XML and so on. So the previous day, I continued, we'd had the xlection and this morning we had an "x leader of the Tory party". This month's Edge magazine has managed to combine both "e" and "x" to come up with "ex-box" in reference to the likely future of Microsoft's games machine. And if games keep coming out like Blinx, those words will come true. Truly awful. And, yes, I realise that this has nothing to do with e-government, but the tenuous link was to my presentation speech nearly 18 months ago! Two years ago, I bet a senior exec from Microsoft UK that Xbox would consume more than $2 billion and then be dropped, a failure. It needs to sell 10 million units to get me out of the bearish camp and I don't see that happening. But what's more likely is version 1 will consume this amount and then will come version 2, launched at the same time that Sony launch version 3. Kutaragi versus Allard. I'd be long Sony again, but with less certainty this time.

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