Boston.com / Business / A new push for power: "They're supercomputers, capable of trillions of mathematical calculations per second. They're the kinds of machines once used only to simulate nuclear explosions or create special effects for Hollywood blockbusters. But over the next year, these monster machines will start turning up in homes all over the world.
Microsoft's Xbox Live Internet gaming service is at the heart of the company's strategy. All Xbox 360 customers will get free access to basic Xbox Live access, allowing them to compete with other players worldwide, conduct voice chats, download new game content, and even get access to recorded music. Players will also be able to use Xbox Live Arcade, a service already available on the system that allows people to play games like poker or checkers.
By giving free access to this service, Microsoft hopes to dramatically expand the appeal of the Xbox platform, which is currently a distant number two in market share to Sony's PlayStation 2."