TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Microsoft Cracks Down on Xbox Changes

Microsoft Cracks Down on Xbox Changes

Monty Solomon (
Mon, 15 Nov 2004 21:56:50 -0500

By ALLISON LINN AP Business Writer

SEATTLE (AP) -- In the days before Microsoft Corp. released the hotly
anticipated Halo 2 video game for the Xbox game console, some gamers
noticed a sudden spike in the number of people being kicked off the
company's online game service. That was no coincidence.

With Halo 2 expected to entice a new batch of users to the Xbox Live
online gaming community, Microsoft says it got tougher with people
suspected of making unauthorized modifications to their Xboxes.

Gamers who modify Xboxes usually do so either to be able to cheat on
games or use pirated copies, although some also have made changes so
they can use the Xbox for other functions, from running Linux to
playing music.

Cameron Ferroni, general manager of the Xbox software platform, says
Microsoft is not interested in suing individual users. But the company
does want to banish scofflaws from its online service, Xbox Live.

It's hard to know how many of Microsoft's 15.5 million Xbox users have
modified their game consoles, although the percentage is believed to
be small.

Microsoft has a unique glimpse into the approximately 1 million Xbox
Live users' computers because, by virtue of signing up for the
service, users agree to let Microsoft gather certain information from
their machines.


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