Brier Dudley blogs about “the end of an era,” (which is a bit fanciful) as Otto Berkes—a guy no one outside of Microsoft has ever heard of—is now leaving the software giant. Why is this relevant, you wonder? Turns out Berkes is the final “founder” of Xbox still at Microsoft. Or at least he was.
Otto Berkes, the last of the original Xbox founders still at the company, submitted his resignation this afternoon.
Berkes went on [from Xbox] to lead development of a new category of ultraportable, wireless touchscreen computers that Microsoft called Ultra Mobile PCs.
Berkes later was general manager for Microsoft's Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie until Ozzie left last year. Most recently he's been working on Bing's datacenter hardware architecture.
Wow, that’s a lot of awfully successful products there. :) But seriously, what did this guy have to do with Xbox?
Berkes and Ted Hase were among a group of four who first pushed Microsoft to develop a Windows-based gaming system to compete with Sony's PlayStation 2, which was luring game companies from the Windows platform in the late 1990s. The other two were Seamus Blackley, who left in 2002, and Kevin Bachus, who left in 2001.
So … this guy wanted to do a Windows-based gaming console? LOL. Wow. The first prototype was called a "Direct X Box", which nicely explains where the Xbox brand came from.
And that, really, is the only truly interesting bit here.