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Microsoft Owns Up To 360 Defects 101

Next Generation reports on Microsoft's acceptance of responsibility for early 360 defects. While originally claiming that system failures were well within the norm for consumer electronics, they've now adopted a more service-friendly attitude. From the article: "Upon further investigation, it was further discovered that the bulk of the units were isolated to a group that was part of the initial manufacturing run of the console. Returns for repair are coming in for a variety reasons and it's a higher rate than we are satisfied with. We've made the decision to comp repairs for consoles manufactured before January 1, and provide refunds to the small group of customers who have already paid for repairs."
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Microsoft Owns Up To 360 Defects

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  • Yeah (Score:5, Funny)

    by Eightyford ( 893696 ) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @04:44PM (#16169651) Homepage
    While originally claiming that system failures were well within the norm for consumer electronics
    Yeah, because all of my power supplies melt!
    • "Yeah, because all of my power supplies melt!"

      You're looking at that comment from the wrong end of the telescope. They meant that of all the machines released, only x% failed.

      I suppose that could have been a joke, but regarding MS around here, it's hard to tell.
      • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @06:10PM (#16170295) Homepage Journal
        "Yeah, because all of my power supplies melt!"
        You're looking at that comment from the wrong end of the telescope. They meant that of all the machines released, only x% failed.

        Yeah, we know what they mean and it's bullshit. Of all the brick style power supplies and wall warts you have owned, how many ever melted? None? That's what most people would say because melting is not normal for consumer electronics. That M$ managed to ship one that did means they shorted several qualifying steps required for a UL listing with obviously dangerous results. Once again they suck, they don't care and they are going to lie to you about it.

        • Welcome to Earth. Beware of exploding laptop batteries and consoles you have to lay upside-down. Enjoy your stay!
          • Any buisness that sells melting power supplies is a bit odd.
            • I'm not saying it's not. Not even Apple with their golden reputation has been able to avoid production problems. Allow me to quote the immortal Forrest Gump: Shit happens.
              • "Golden reputation"? I think you're missing the sarcasm when people say "Apple Quality(tm)".
                • "I think you're missing the sarcasm when people say "Apple Quality(tm)".

                  I was mod-bombed to the point of being banned once because I pointed out a scenario where Apple's hold on the market prevented an interesting feature from being added to the iPod. I get your point though, I shouldn't generalize because of a few noisy people.
        • Interesting twitter. How many indeed? I'm not sure how many from "M$", that's for sure.

          Still, I wonder if you'd care to take the time to comment on other pieces of exploding hardware []? I wonder, actually, since you seem to be such the big IBM champion if you would like to refer to them as Once again they suck, they don't care and they are going to lie to you about it. Go ahead, I'd love to see that.

          I absolutely love how these posts of yours get modded up.

          • by twitter ( 104583 )
            I wonder if you'd care to take the time to comment on other pieces of exploding hardware?

            Thinkpad 600, holy shit! I have one of those and love it but the battery has always sucked []. I'm not too surprised that the made in China replacement could have some of the same cells and same problems other batteries made at the same time have. Mine replacement battery, which holds a charge just good enough for sleep mode, is too old to be part of the exploding lot. I looked around but was unable to find a NiCd re

            • My overall take on laptop batteries is that they are a giant rip off. If you look back through my posting history, like all of the rest of my "fans" do, you will see that I've always reccomended standard cell sizes.

              We can't look back through your posting history further than about last week, because we're not subscribers.

              Anyway, so IBM ships faulty shit - your reaction is "well, that stuff is always faulty whoever makes it". Microsoft (sorry, M$) ships faulty shit - your reaction is "OMFG M$ SUXX0RZ THEY DO
              • by rtb61 ( 674572 )
                The point that you seem to be missing is, M$ ships faulty shit and proceeds to bullshit about the faulty shit not being faulty and blaming customers for months there after. It is September and they are finally doing something for customers who have been basically screwed over since January.

                Add to that, they cover over M$=B$ with even more M$=B$, only a few customers were affected, what happened to the infamous microsoft, xbox sold out, marketing campaign. Now it turns out there were only a few customers.

                • Oh god, your creative use of the dollar sign is simply amazing. And "microtrolls"? A classic. That's why I come to Slashdork - the comedy relief never ends.
                  • by rtb61 ( 674572 )
                    Perhaps if I explained it to you very slowly with an alternate example. Slashdot /. or microsoft M$, you see it is all about reducing the number of characters you have to type and everybody knows that M$ stands for microsoft. As for microtolls, what else would you call people who microsoft pays to post comments in just about every forum imaginable. Keep laughing, it makes for a better world, heres another one for you M$=B$, I bet you are ROFL now ;-).
        • That M$ managed to ship one that did means they shorted several qualifying steps required for a UL listing with obviously dangerous results.

          The power supply was designed and manufactured by Delta Electronics, one of the largest manufacturers of power supplies in the world. It is UL listed.
    • by Ucklak ( 755284 )
      About 23 years ago, I had to return 2 Vic-20 computers (1 at a time - I never thought I'd get a working one after the second) because the power brick melted.
      • The power bricks for the C64 and the earlier generations were usually the least reliable part of the computer. I had one that melted, and I have had dozens that stopped working because the fuse short circuited (fortunately, a fuse only costs a few pennies and takes a few seconds to replace). I had to replace a fuse in my A2000 too, which was a real b**tch because you essentially have to strip out everything in the computer to get to it...
  • by Siguy ( 634325 )
    I just received in the mail, 6 months late, my warranty I purchased the day I bought my 360. If I get free repairs now then shouldn't they give me my money back on that warranty?
    • by sowth ( 748135 ) *

      "Warranties" purchased in addition to an item are useless. Stores started pushing them and selling them because they found out from Sears almost no one ever makes any claims on these extended "warranties." It isn't really a warranty at all. It is a service contract.

      A real warranty is essentially just a guarantee that a vendor will fix any defects if they are found within a certain amount of time. It is to assure customers the product won't fall apart too soon after buying the thing. You don't really buy t

    • If I get free repairs now then shouldn't they give me my money back on that warranty?

      My initial response was 'no way', but then I recalled they had an extended offer for something like 12 months 'extended cover' which they included in the box and seemed to be pushing quite heavily. Caveat emptor applies here I think, for two reasons:

      1) In most western countries companies are under obligation to resolve issues caused by inherent serious design flaws in their products (typically as long as the flaws are disco
  • Only 360? (Score:5, Funny)

    by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @05:04PM (#16169791) Homepage Journal
    Last time I heard, they had thousands of defects...
  • That was the hardware. Now why don't they fix their crappy media center so that it will allow the 360 to play anything other than WMV and MPEG? There's this container format called AVI. Hello, Microsoft? Have you heard of it?

    No, Transcode360 (or any form of transcoding) isn't good enough.
    • Then buy something else that does exactly what you're looking for. Oh, you can't find one you say. Yeah imagine that. So you want AVI support, despite the seemingly endless number of new codecs that are required for that format. You'll complain when you download an AVI and the codec is not available. I'd like my 360 to cook me breakfast in the morning... eggs. Ever heard of that Microsoft. I want eggs support. Get on it.
      • by Svenne ( 117693 )
        Seriously. The codec's no problem. They install and play just fine. But it won't stream them to the 360.
        • by jandrese ( 485 )
          That's because .avi is not a streamable file format. It stores the metadata in a big chunk at the end of the file.
          • by Svenne ( 117693 )
            That's funny, because AVI movie files can be streamed just fine to any other UPnP video media renderer.

            But that doesn't really matter, since Microsoft decided that that wasn't good enough. Instead they use the Media Center PC to decode the video and then stream it via some form of RDP. That's why it makes no sense at all that it doesn't work.
      • I found one. The original Xbox with Xbox Media Center.
      • by bit01 ( 644603 )

        Then buy something else that does exactly what you're looking for.

        Yep, the mere possibility of having another product available precludes any possible comment about the featureset in the original product.


        Don't be fooled, slashdot has many lying astroturfers [] fraudulently misrepresenting company propaganda as third party opinion. FUD [] too.

    • by ClamIAm ( 926466 )
      A proprietary, lock-in focused company supporting every format they can? Is this even possible?

      Oh wait, yeah it is actually possible. Except I think that the only way you could get MS or Apple to stop pushing their pet formats is if you remove the crutch of software patents. The rate of innovation and improvement in software means that most patented formats will be rather obsolete and inefficient by the time 20 years are up. And then there's the whole issue of allowing patents on compression, which is b
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Svenne ( 117693 )
        I'm not talking about the codec here. I'm talking about the AVI video container. You know, the one Microsoft developed.

        I can install the codecs my self. And they work just fine. Thumbnails are created, so I know it can read the video files. But it won't play them.
        • by ClamIAm ( 926466 )
          Oh wow, that's horrible. I assumed malice, when the real culprit is either incompetence or laziness.
    • so everytime somebody creates a new funky code that is used in an an AVI you'd need a new codec on that if it were to be natively decoded on that.
      Transcoding (lossless) is a much better solution - you know it plays on your PC - you know it'll stream across exactly the same to any extender you have. I only want to have to install codecs in one place and I'm sure MS aren't falling over themselves to let every codec maker install their stuff on their lovely 360s.
      Current problem is that all we have is Transco
  • > We've made the decision to comp repairs for consoles manufactured before January 1,

    "comp" is a verb? Since when? Perhaps it's a Microsoft patented word, like IsNot?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kfg ( 145172 ) *
      "comp" is a verb?


      "Comp: Complimentary or free items and or services casinos give gamblers in gratitude for their business."

      Some jokes you can't write because they just drop into your lap.

      • Actually, the definition you quoted is of "comp" as a noun. "comp" as a verb would be something like:

        "Comp: To give a complimentary or free item and/or service to e.g. a gambler (by a casino) for their business."

        • by kfg ( 145172 ) *
          They may write themselves, but it helps if you remember to perform the necessary editing before you hit "Submit."

          Mea Culpa.

        • Actually, I believe the correct derivation is "compensate"...
    • Yes it is. Like in a casino.
    • by Kagenin ( 19124 )
      You've clearly never worked in a Restaurant or Casino before. "To Comp" as in "To Compensate."
  • Sad (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Saturday September 23, 2006 @05:23PM (#16169941) Homepage
    I don't own a 360 (costs more than I'm willing to pay right now, and my motivation has dropped now that the main game I want to play, Dead Rising, won't work on my TV and won't be patched). But I do know a neighbor who does have one. They've had it for a few months (they got it after Christmas, I think). I was talking to them the other day and they told me the thing has been in like 3 times for service (although they think MS just replaces it each time). They've said it's really hard to get into contact with MS (long waits, etc.), and they won't cross ship (so you are 360-less while all this is going on) and it can take like two weeks to get the working unit. They have had different problems every time. Some failed as soon as they came back, some lasted a few months. They don't play it very hard or anything.

    I've got to say I was surprised and disappointed when I heard their story. But then again, I find the idea that MS considers a 1 in 20 defect rate of boxes in the hands of the consumer abysmal. Stuff happens, but that's just pathetic.

    One more reason for me to wait for a redesign of the unit or a re-spin of the silicon to a smaller process. Maybe by then things will be better.

    I've never had problems with my XBox (non-360). I've never had problems with any of my consoles (even my initial batch PS and PS2s).

    Anyone know Dell's defect rate (hardware only, in the first year)? I can't possibly be as bad as MS claims is OK (5%) or what they actually have (15%).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by HuguesT ( 84078 )
      I'm not sure about DELL, but Apple, who has earned a reputation for good engineering in general, posts about a 15% failure rate on its laptops in the first year, according to that survey []. On some models, it goes as high as 4!%, and 73% over two years.

      So 15% is within normal by that standard.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by refitman ( 958341 )
        Yeah Apple [] have a great [] reputation [].
      • by Macgrrl ( 762836 )

        A surevy like this will self select for a higher than average failure rate. The people most likely to post are those that have had an issue. People who's machines just work would be less likely to be looking for defect information or post in a surevey about defects.

        You might as well use my personal purchases of Powerbooks as the definative sample - I've bought 4 over 10+ years. None have had a hardware failure in the first 12 months, one has had a failure in the first 3 years. It was the clock battery on a

        • by HuguesT ( 84078 )

          I'm not sure how the survey was conducted, they don't say. A proper survey is completely random, you ask random people if they have an Apple laptop, what name, year etc and if it ever needed repairs. Survey by people who volunteer their experience is near worthless, as you said. You can't derive any sort of meaningful information from them.

          I tend to believe the reliability of Apple notebooks is not great though, based on my own experience. I've own a powerbook, an ibook and now a MBP. All three were in h
    • I have a 36" wega non-hdtv, I play dead rising on it. If you're not getting DR because you need to take a second glance to read the menu text (which you don't need to anyway, I've played the game just fine ignoring 90% of the text), it's not likely the fix would convince you to buy it either. Seriously, it's not like it's a madden fatigue or morrowind lockup/stuck in the hills type bug. During the first 5 minutes of the game, you have to squint about 5 times. BFD.
      • Yeah, the text size in Dead Rising only seems to be a problem with people that use abnormally small TVs (like significantly under 20 inches) and shitty composite connections. S-video or component and a reasonably decent (not even good!) SDTV are more than sufficient to read Dead Rising's text.
  • by squisher ( 212661 ) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @05:39PM (#16170077)
    I don't own one, but I'd imagine that there are a number of early adopters out there, that are pretty upset now. They bought one of the first batches, it failed a while later and because I'm assuming that most early adopters were enthusiasts, they probably bought a new one when the old didn't have warranty anymore. Those people of course don't get any compensation from Microsoft, even though they admit now that it was basically their fault...
  • by mincognito ( 839071 ) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @05:40PM (#16170087)
    Why didn't this make the front page, especially considering all the slashdot stories [] about [] xbox 360 [] problems []?

    Maybe because the important stories are about microsoft's fuckups while the unimportant ones are those where they acknowledge their problems and address them.

    Regardless, shouldn't this info be given the frontpage considering all the apparent 360 owners who are fixing their problems with strings, etc., and who could use the free service or refund?

  • by afroken ( 721165 )
    This is Slashdot, right? There are a lot more than 360 defects with Microsoft. "Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all" doesn't happen by itself.
  • Actually... (Score:2, Informative)

    by MoriaOrc ( 822758 )
    They've done this kind of thing atleast once before with the 360, though not publically as far as I know. I bought a 360 around new years, and since I didn't get an extended warranty (although hat was probably a little stupid), it fell out of warranty about the end of March. Back in July, I think it was, they released a big new feature filled patch (the one with background downloading, finally). A few days after that, my 360 started locking up and then showing the Red lights. A little browsing the inter
  • about 1990-1992 or so, i worked for a regional retailer that sold computers, printers, etc from a number of vendors including hp, ibm, toshiba, epson. one of the problems we had was a high rate of doa equipment from ibm. we felt that the doa rate was too high, especially on monitors and printers. an ibm rep said that the proprinter doa rate was only 2%. 2 out of a hundred. i mentioned that any company making tvs or vcrs would be out of business with a 0.02 out of box failure rate. the rep seemed to
    • it seems that when companies get 'so' big, there seems to be warping of reality for them
      It's relativity. Gravity causes distortions in spacetime.
    • by zenhkim ( 962487 )
      > it seems that when companies get 'so' big, there seems to be warping of reality for them. i would bet there are some people at microsoft that were very unhappy to admit to this.

      Good point, though I would rephrase it as "when egos get too big, there seems to be a warping of reality for them." The first Macintosh team at Apple discovered this when dealing with Steve Jobs, and adopted a Star Trek term to describe this confounding phenomenon: tosh&stor []
  • because their homes burned down due to the faulty PSU's. I don't know how the smell of charring carpet could have escaped Microsoft's QA, but it sure did. For shame.
  • you know ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by brokeninside ( 34168 )
    If Microsoft had always been this forthcoming, I'd never have grown to be anti-Microsoft.


    The single biggest thing that turned me off of Microsoft was the refusal to admit their mistakes. When I worked as a tech support rep for business clients, I can't even begin to count the number of times that I'd research a bug to find a MS knowledgebase article claiming ``this behavior is by design'' meaning it was a defect that they never intended to fix.

    If they had openly admitted their defects, strove

    • Very, very true. My first computer in 2001 came with Windows ME and I've been in the anti-MS camp ever since because of that. It was so buggy it was practically unusable, but Win98 worked fine on the same computer. I rarely saw a BSOD after switching to 98. Now that's just pathetic, truth be told. If they had recalled ME and offered 98 or 2k as a replacement I'd have had nothing bad to say about them, but as it is everyone who paid for ME got royally screwed.
  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Sunday September 24, 2006 @07:14AM (#16173717) Journal

    and they damn well deserve it for rushing the thing out in the first place, the Xbox 1 is only 4 and a bit years old, don't fuck your first adopters by releasing it's replacement so quickly and dropping the original like a bag of shit with no support anymore.

    Even Sony damn well supported the PS1 pretty well after the PS2 came out.

  • by ProppaT ( 557551 ) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @08:26AM (#16174009) Homepage
    Would have been really nice if Sony would have done something similar with my original Playstation and original PS2 that both died well before their time. Or at least owned up that their consoles were plagued with problems. But wow, issuing checks to people who sent in their console for repair? Hats off to MS. I've sworn off of buying any first gen sony product after my multiple psx and ps2 systems. I was sworn off of first gen MS systems (not that I'm interested in the x-box much to begin with), but come NEXT generation (whenever that may be), if MS is in a better market position I'd be much less hessitant to buy their first gen console after this.

    Why can't MS and Sony take a lesson from Nintendo? They're the only company that actually spends time engineering hardware that actually works. Only bad Nintendo experience I've ever had was the horrible N64 controller. I was lucky if one of those lasted me longer than a month.
    • by llZENll ( 545605 )
      I guess you never owned a NES, those things would stop reading cartridges after a few years, or sometimes even months. Half of the game was knowing how to blow on the metal pins on the cartridge, and slide it in just right so the game could actually be read.

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors