How did Microsoft pull it off? They were a boring, monolithic software company helmed by Bill Gates, the world's biggest geek. They made Windows. They made spreadsheet software and word processing programs.
They were a boring part of our lives we were forced to accept as a boring part of our technological infrastructure, only a few pixels away from concrete or plumbing. Then, of all things, Microsoft turned its hat backwards and tried to sit at the cool table. They released the Xbox.