Must be cool in Hell this time of year

Wed, Dec 29, 2010


The Street, home to dubious analysts like Jim Cramer and Scott Moritz recently put out their list compiling the top 10 most innovative companies of 2010. So who topped the charts – Apple? Google? Some obscure technology company with an ultra-cool product? Negative on all counts. Why the most innovative company in 2010, according to Jason Notte of The Street is none other than Microsoft.

Say what?!

1. Microsoft: First off, after slimming its Xbox 360 hardware and just about eliminating the “red circle of death” failures that cost gamers hundreds of dollars in console investment, Microsoft snagged the console sales lead from Nintendo’s Wii and has held it for months. Also, after years of taking a back seat to the Wii’s fun little motion controllers and Miis and getting beaten to market by Sony’s PlayStation Move motion device, Microsoft sold 1 million versions of its $150 controller-free Kinect motion-capture device within 10 days of its Nov. 4 release and 2.5 million before the end of November. By all accounts, that should have been a tough sell, considering the console itself goes for as little as $199, but a good concept and great third-party partner products such as Viacom’s infectious Dance Central remind us what Microsoft is capable of when its back is to the wall.

Adding ESPN to Xbox Live and putting it all on Windows 7 Phones may be for naught if nobody buys the handsets, but it may have been enough to engage Sony, whose rumored PlayStation phone has appeared in photos on gamer blogs as a tease to a potential Consumer Electronics Show debut in January. Way to change the game, Microsoft.

Kinect is cool and all, but a product released 11 months into the year and into a market that’s practically infinitesimal relative to the smartphone market, for example, is the height of absurdity.

Rounding out the top 10 were Apple, Google, HTC, Disney, Ford, Amazon, BYD, Fast Retailing, and Haier.



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