When it comes to generating consumer lust, Microsoft often comes up short.
Windows 8 sales seem to be falling shy of analyst expectations. And despite its best design and engineering efforts, Microsoft continues to struggle to get anything more than a toehold in the smartphone market.
And yet Microsoft's success with the Xbox continues to undermine any argument that the company is preternaturally unable to understand consumer desires. The Xbox 360 has performed so strongly in its seven-year run that Microsoft is in the enviable position of being able to wait for rivals Nintendo and Sony to unveil their next-generation game consoles before disclosing its own plans.