back to article Microsoft Xbox exec quits after ENRAGING the INTERWEBS

A high-flying Microsoft creative director has quit after enraging Xbox owners with a widely publicised tweet saying they should get used to consoles being constantly connected to to the internet. A week ago, Adam Orth provoked the wrath of bedroom-bound gamers and industry experts alike after sharing his thoughts on the always …

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  1. Alan Bourke

    Oh they would so love to do it ...

    all of them. But it would be a stupid move until uncapped high-speed broadband is as ubiquitous as electricity.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Oh they would so love to do it ...

      Rumours were the PS4 would do this too. It doesn't.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh they would so love to do it ...

        You've tried one out? Ohh, whats it like? whats it look like? Does it still use bluray? whats the new controller like? Tell us tell us how this new machine looks and behaves that no one else has seen yet!

        1. Arngrim

          Re: Oh they would so love to do it ...

          Sony's PR confirmed back in February that you will be able to go offline. It will be down to the game developers whether they require an internet connection or not.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh they would so love to do it ...

        You can pretty much bet where there this rumor originated from, it was hoped to gain some acceptance of Mcirosoft's plans by pretending it's usually silent competitor is doing the same, however Sony care out and said 100% that it's not happening on the PS4, which put a spanner in Microsoft's machine.

        However quite clearly Microsoft have little choice. The Xbox has been piracy central this generation, where the PS3 is pretty much piracy free. Studios are already voting with their feet and heading the Sony way, so Microsoft have little choice but to do always on....

        1. solidsoup
          Devil

          Re: Oh they would so love to do it ...

          Microsoft has gotten cocky as to even entertain the notion of persistent online requirement is ludicrous. One of the reasons consoles overtook PC gaming is that they "just worked". Microsoft should really look no further than Sony to see what happened to them last time they got cocky.

          I predict that it's next quarterly report that reflects sales of Windows 8, Surface, Server 2012 and nokia phones (what's a nokia?) will come with a prescription for humble pills attached. Hopefully, then we can see them care a bit more about what their customers want. That or they can crawl under a rock and die - ether's fine by me.

    2. Tom 13

      Re: Oh they would so love to do it ...

      Even then I'm not sure it would work.

      I'm fortunate to live in an area with at least 3 competing high speed providers. So from home devices can be constantly connected. But when I ride the train, I don't have that kind of connectivity. And that's when I like to pop out the laptop and play a game. So for me, being required to hook up to register isn't a problem, and to some extent I'm willing to do that. But I don't expect to need to be constantly connected to play the game, and I'd be pissed if after activating it properly they yanked my license to play the it because of some alleged security breach related to the key used to activate my game.

    3. MacGyver
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Oh they would so love to do it ...

      This is how you keep them at bay, by letting them know in no uncertain terms that we will not tolerate "Always On" nanny consoles.

      I suspect those Meme pictures will be thrown around whenever someone even hints at "always on" anything.

  2. LinkOfHyrule
    Paris Hilton

    This employee is now 'always on' the dole, that's the world we now live in and I'm sorry but I don't get the drama.

  3. Nate Amsden

    sad state of affairs

    when stuff like this happens.

    Society has gotten to be so over sensitive and paranoid. Some places better than others still. When the president of the U.S. feels he needs to apologize for complimenting another person it.. well I don't have words to describe this. Other than *big sigh*

    1. Chad H.

      Re: sad state of affairs

      Well, Microsoft could have killed the paranoia in a second. "No, we have no plans to do this".

      Now instead, with comments like this, we're left to wonder.

  4. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Comparisons with electricity are inappropriate

    When you turn on the lights you don't send the generating company a request for permission to turn the lights on. You pay the utility's bill, after that you and only you control the use.

    With "always on" games you control nothing. You only beg the games publisher (which is not even the "utility" providing your connection) to please, kindly let you play the game. They make the decision what you are allowed or not to do in your home.

    This is not acceptable.

    1. Chad H.

      Re: Comparisons with electricity are inappropriate

      I would have instead have gone with "When the Internet goes out, my PC still plays single player games, my TV still shows TV, and my Toaster still makes Toast".

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Re: Comparisons with electricity are inappropriate

        and when the power goes out my laptop can play games for quite a while too.

        1. Jolyon Smith
          Joke

          Re: Comparisons with electricity are inappropriate

          But not ALL games, unless you have a UPS on your ADSL router and/or wi-fi access point as well. :D

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Comparisons with electricity are inappropriate

      "When you turn on the lights you don't send the generating company a request for permission to turn the lights on."

      For the time being. Smart meters are coming RSN.

      (I'd use the 'Joke Alert' icon, but unfortunately I'm not joking.)

      1. Tom 13

        Re: Smart meters are coming RSN.

        Even Smart meters aren't Always On. They may be always monitoring, but they only check in periodically.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did he actually mention xbox.next?

    The piece I read only quoted some throw away conversation about 'always online', whatever that means.

    Although firing members of staff for simply using twitter seems to me an appropriate and proportional response for any employer.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Did he actually mention xbox.next?

      Damn straight. I think my first question if I was ever conducting interviews (fortunately I'm not in that position. I wonder why?) would be "Do you use twitter?" If the answer is yes then its time to move to the next candidate.

  6. Dazed and Confused
    Mushroom

    Its not like

    M$ has a reputation for managing always on

  7. JDX Gold badge

    “Every device now is 'always on'. That’s the world we live in.”

    He does have a point though. Although our current "always on" for phones and home WiFi is "always on bit a bit spotty".

    I can watch Netflix 24/7 for instance.

    But this is clearly not something we're ready for yet, and we're a fairly well equipped nation... in many countries consistant broadband is a bit of a luxury.

    1. Mike Brown

      Re: “Every device now is 'always on'. That’s the world we live in.”

      no he dosent. my phone is "always on", but if i turn off the data i can still make calls or play games, or take photos. By linking his tweets (twats?) to electricity he basically said if the xbox isnt "always on" it wont work at all. Thats a huge shift.

    2. nematoad Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: “Every device now is 'always on'. That’s the world we live in.”

      " we're a fairly well equipped nation... in many countries consistant broadband is a bit of a luxury."

      It might be interesting if you could tell us to which country you referring to. It sure ain't the UK.

      Here it's a post code lottery and just being in the centre of a town does not guarantee a good connection and as for us dwellers in the outer darkness, a minimum of 2Gb , as promised in this quote from the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/local-authorities-meet-deadline-for-broadband-plans.

      "The Government has allocated money from a £530 million fund to each local authority in England to help provide 90 per cent of homes and businesses with superfast broadband access and everyone with access to at least 2Mbps."

      That's not superfast, it's not even fast, it is the bare minimum that BT and its friends in Whitehall can get away with. Perhaps they should speak with telcos in Romania, Latvia, Ireland or Hong Kong to see how it's done.

      Romania? I ask you!

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: “Every device now is 'always on'. That’s the world we live in.”

        2mps (down) is fast in the USA.

        1. Tom 13

          Re:2mps (down) is fast in the USA.

          Depends on your location. I have affordable 10mps down where I live. My parents in a suburban-rural transition area are probably running around 2mps. But if you want to pay for it, you can get 2mps anywhere in the US.

  8. TonyJ Silver badge
    FAIL

    Christ on a bike...

    Seriously? Forced to resign because of a simple opinion. Not an official MS position at that, either, but his own.

    And even if it was official - chased down because of it?

    I don't want to live on this planet any more.

    1. peyton?
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Christ on a bike...

      Probably less about his opinion and more about his denigrating people/areas without broadband.

      1. danny_0x98

        Re: Christ on a bike...

        Yep.

        Kids, here's a tip for discussing a product that has implemented a business model at cost of some customers. When the lost or under served customers are mentioned, acknowledge the inconvenience and say we'll be thinking them in future iterations. You aren't, and their ability to be customers depends on technology advances or infra-structure improvements, i.e., things beyond your control. If satisfaction is not in the cards, empathy is a good alternative.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      @TonyJ

      Forced to resign because of a simple opinion.

      No, Microsoft can be a really weird bunch but I'm quite positive its the combination of things. First he's an executive, one should be able to expect that those guys know how to share an opinion in a non-insulting manner. Then there's the sheer arrogance of it all, in the end it isn't merely showing but actually radiating.

      It's simple; if you make it very clear that you seem totally incapable of even considering the way the other person in a discussion feels like then how the heck are you going to lead your own department? I wouldn't be surprised one bit if that guy doesn't have the foggiest of ideas what's going through the minds of his co workers ("now why would I want to associate with them?"). Not saying this is the case, but he sure makes it look that way.

    3. Tom 13

      Re: Christ on a bike...

      When you are an identifiable decision maker for a corporation and you are commenting on areas that are within the realm where you exert control and/or influence, you are expected to be aware of the implication and effects your statements will have on the sale of your product. The reaction was predictable and managers are expected to avoid that sort of bad PR when possible. Frankly I'm surprised he lasted past the FIRST tweet. And no I haven't looked at the tweet thread.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    His opinion...

    His opinion and the way it was expressed showed that he was not very qualified for the position.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: His opinion...

      agreed.

      " high-flying Microsoft creative director"

      He should have known better. After all, tweets are viewable by everyone and it is a known contentious position to take (saying everything is always on).

      There is no off switch for the internet.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why...

    Why, because you're in a 'senior' position should you reign in your personal thoughts?

    Yeah it sucks if you have crappy broadband - I had it for years, but fucks' sake. Some people need to grow up, grow a sense of humour and perspective and worry about things that fucking matter.

    My friends and I all frequently wind one another up about where come from - sometimes, shock horror, on public forums. We're all in senior positions. So what? If he'd made direct comments about the kind of people living there, perhaps but come on...

    1. asdf

      Re: Why...

      >Why, because you're in a 'senior' position should you reign in your personal thoughts?

      Its one thing if your "personal" thoughts have very little to do with your company but when they are directly related to your job and or company products and worse intermixed with your controversial opinion then of course bad things can happen.

    2. Law
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Why...

      "Why, because you're in a 'senior' position should you reign in your personal thoughts?"

      Because you'll lose your senior job if you say something that is likely to lose sales or reflect badly on the company/product as a whole.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Re: Why...

      @AC 17:11 sez '.. We're all in senior positions ..'

      No you aren't.

    4. Simon Westerby 1

      Re: Why...

      "why..."

      Your so unconcerned about venting your spleen yet you hide behind the blanket of anonimity... if your so unconcerned about other peoples needs to "grow up" just post under your real name and see how long you last in your "senior position"

    5. teebie

      Re: Why...

      It is rarely a bad thing for an idiot to reign in their thoughts

  11. Arctic fox
    Unhappy

    Personally speaking I am not at all sure about this "always on" society regardless of who.......

    .........is administering it. I think that I am inclined to find a deep cave somewhere and hide in it!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Twitter users were quick to hone in on his unwitting revelation about Sony's new gaming console. The firm has not yet confirmed that its new Playstation will be always connected to the internet."

    Think you might have got that section a bit wrong you know...

    1. Mike Brown

      I had to read the article 3 times to see if i had missed something about sony.....

  13. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Coat

    A high-flying Microsoftie?

    Clearly a comet-ary descent ....from the Orth Cloud!

    1. P. Lee
      Happy

      Re: A high-flying Microsoftie?

      High flying before, also high-flying shortly after his defenestration.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS needs to get rid of all it's employees with that kind of mentality, starting with Balmer. I'm fed up with this "We'll give the customer what we want and they will LIKE it!" attitude from big corporations.

    A message has been sent about Windows Phone. Another sent about Windows 8, Still another with Office 365, on and on, etc, etc.......

    How far does a company have to have sales slip before realizing they can't do it anymore?

    Oh, and for Adam Orth, if he's a fool and quit, along with that attitude, he may soon find out what it means not to have lights, much less an "always on" internet connection.

  15. ecofeco Silver badge
    Facepalm

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Cloud. Always on home connection.

    Is it just me who doesn't think this is a good idea?

    Maybe we should throw in home automation controllable from your phone using the Internet.

    Ah! Brilliant!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't Xbox always on now? I switch it on to watch a video from a USB stick, but have to wait 2 minutes for it to connect to Xbox Live before I can actually use it.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      No more than your PC is... you might have only have turned it on to watch a locally-stored movie, but if it finds an internet connection it will still want to check for updates etc I can always turn off my WiFi or unplug the ethernet cable, though.

      Two minutes sounds a little excessive to connect to XBOX Live, though.

  17. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Ort goes forth

    May have to face The Real World(tm) now. Might be somewhat of a shock..

  18. Philippe
    WTF?

    "customer-centric approach we take to our products"

    Since when does Microsoft has a customer centric approach?

    Inflicting Windows8 on people was anything but customer centric, and for that too, we want an apology btw.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ubisoft....

    Silent Hunter, had the very first version of that.....

    Chess Master.... somehow (probably their fault) the connecting to the online games stopped working, so did logging into my account - to play chess online, and despite a bunch of emails to them, they did fuck all and never fixed it.

    I never supported piracy of that game, I just kept on forgetting who's place I left the DVD at.

    What is that term, Malicious Obedience?

    I'd say that Ubisoft's losses are due to them being a bunch of arrogant arseholes.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Ubisoft....

      Malicious Obedience? Something from the Newspeak dictionary?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't the Xbox360 pretty much always online

    You seem to have to pretty much pay a subscription to use it, and then another one ontop to use the other services like Netflix and Loveflim...

    1. pixl97

      Re: Isn't the Xbox360 pretty much always online

      No. I have a friend with no internet service at their location at all. They are able to play non-online games just fine.

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Aoyagi Aichou

    Customer-centric?

    More like forcing-new-crappy-ideas-while-taking-awa-user-control-centric.

  23. Tom Maddox Silver badge
    Happy

    Always on?

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2013/04/08

  24. Mephistro
    Happy

    "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."

    This is one of the weakest denials of all time, together with "We didn't do it, and we'll never do it again".

  25. NotaFanboi
    FAIL

    HOW can those tweets be separated from his role?

    Sorry I have sympathy for people being hounded to quit because they have made a silly comment on twitter without knowing better. But Adam Orth should have known better (I assume he does now or maybe he is just bewildered). Tech company execs should realise that what they post is closely examined in the context of their role by the community they cultivate to promote their goods.

    Remember Steve Jobs on the iPhone 4 antenna issue? He only got away with that because of who he was but there were a lot of people thinking what IS he doing getting involved.

    1. Don Jefe
      Meh

      Re: HOW can those tweets be separated from his role?

      Executives of any stripe should watch what they say in public. An executive IS always on & they are compensated for that. What they say does matter & when they say stupid shit they deserve to be reprimanded.

      All things being equal though, he's probably an arrogant horses ass at the office anyway & nobody is too sad to see him go. If he wasn't already walking a fine line he probably would have just been made to swallow his pride and watch his mouth in the future.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Holier than thou wankers

    You lot are holier than thou wankers. He who has not sinned cast the first stone.

    None of you have ever put your foot in it? Hope YOU get hounded. None of you are any better than Eadon.

    Fuck off and diddle your iDevice/Android/Linix Kernel

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. hplasm
      FAIL

      Re: Holier than thou wankers

      Shutit, Orth.

  27. Neoc
    Stop

    It's not the comment, it's his response.

    It's not the fact he expressed an opinion that "always-on" should be the way forward for MS. It's the way he responded when it was pointed out to him that "always-on" doesn't "always-work". Instead of answering with a variation of "we're working on mitigating these problems" he answered with caustic remarks about people living in low-service areas.

    *That's* why he should be (rightly) grilled and lightly sautéed.

  28. Esskay
    Unhappy

    Even if my home was "always on"

    There's no guarantee that the servers would be, as evidenced by Simcity.

    I've put about 3 hours into SimCity in the last month, mainly because every time I go to play I think - what if the server cuts out halfway through? What if I play for 2 hours and the server doesn't sync, losing my save (it's happened before)? Once they've got my money there's no incentive for them to maintain the quality of the experience, and anyone so motivated by penny counting as to require always on is probably not going to be concerned about server issues after a sale is made.

    Even if Adam Orth's views "do not reflect those of Microsoft's", I find it unlikely that his attitude won't pervade his decisions at the company. Legally Microsoft might felt as though they've clawed their way out, but IANAL, and I care nought for their "legal" position.

  29. JeffyPooh
    Pint

    Even with ADSL...

    Even with ADSL, we simply can't get better than about 1Mbps due to the distance between the CO and our luxurious and extensive grounds waterfront estate (LOL). If two people in the house are watching YouTube, then the available residual bandwidth goes to zero. This happens all the time in our household.

    I'm happy to see that this message (killing the false assumption) is getting through. The world would be a better place if they'd stop making false assumptions about Internet access.

    How come Windows doesn't take more control of *all* the software updates? Force the programs' update process, including Java and iTunes (everything!), through a single control point. This single point of control would allow the human to assert more control. Presets might include (for example) "Internet connection through Inmarsat satellite at $10 per MB, stay off my expensive connection you damn update routines!". There could be a big red f-off button to dedicate the connection to only direct human use; or a green "Have at 'er" button for when you're going to walk away to eat dinner. Ideally this facility could even manage the update process, carefully deselecting the f-ing Ask Toolbar option and automatically updating Java for the thirty-seventh time that week.

    Instead the give us Windows 8. Crazy.

  30. JeffyPooh
    Pint

    What's wrong with the "Activation" algorithm?

    The Windows "Activation" process is probably what's required here.

    Yes I know that OS piracy still exists, that's another point worth highlighting. Piracy always routes around DRM. DRM then becomes more annoying, making Piracy The Better Option.

  31. kyza

    Eh?

    'Twitter users were quick to hone in on his unwitting revelation about Sony's new gaming console. The firm has not yet confirmed that its new Playstation will be always connected to the internet.'

    Still no edit?

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