The authenticity of a massive 56-page document that was leaked over the weekend seems to no longer be in question. That document purported to reveal the Redmond, Wa.-based company’s plans for their next-generation gaming console, dubbed in the Powerpoint the Xbox 720. Not only was the first copy placed on the Internet (on Scribd) get pulled at the request by Covington & Burling LLP, an international law firm that lists Microsoft as one of its clients, now Microsoft itself has directly entered the fray.
It’s not unusual for Microsoft to be protective of its “leaked assets.” A recent Google Transparency Report outlining content removal requests found that Microsoft issued 448,236 URL removal requests in the prior month alone.
However, a takedown request from Microsoft indicates that the company is acknowledging ownership. Thus we now know that the document, dated 2010, is Microsoft’s property and is valid – or at least it was valid in 2010.
Among the sites “gifted” with takedown notices is Ihned.cz, based in the Czech Republic. That site received a notice over the weekend from Alan Radford, Internet Investigator on behalf of Microsoft, which said:
Microsoft has received information that the domain listed above, which appears to be on servers under your control, is offering unlicensed copies of, or is engaged in other unauthorized activities relating to copyrighted works published by Microsoft.
1. Identification of copyrighted works:
2. Copyright infringing material or activity found at the following location(s):
The takedown notice then said that the content needed to be removed or access disabled to it. IEB refers to Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business division, which is the one to which the Xbox belongs.
The leaked document indicated that an Xbox 720 would launch in 2013. That document also referred to the company’s Kinect 2 plans and a project codenamed Fortaleza that would bring augmented reality Kinect Glasses to the market in 2014.
The suggested marketing tagline for the Xbox 720 in the document was “All Your Entertainment. One Box.” The price was set to a rather aggressive $299.
In addition, Microsoft has asked for a Dropbox version to be removed, resulting in a public sharing block on that copy of the document.
That said, the old adage applies: once something is on the Internet, it stays on the Internet. There are probably – nay, definitely – innumerable copies still around on the Web, some on sites too small to be noticed by Microsoft.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s answer to inquiries on the leak has been somewhat humorous. The company used the opportunity to try to sell Xbox 360s. It said,
“We understand there is great interest and anticipation for what comes next for Xbox and we are lucky to have customers who are so passionate about the platform.
“Today, there has never been a better time to own an Xbox 360 console. We have found new ways to extend the console lifecycle by introducing controller-free experiences with Kinect and we’ve re-invented the console with a new dashboard and new entertainment content partnerships.
“We are continually thinking about the future of the platform and when we have something to share, we will.”
In other words, “we’re trying to distract you away from the roadmap that our lawyers have validated for you. While we’re at it, why don’t you buy our current generation Xbox 360? After all the Xbox 720 isn’t due out until next year, and we haven’t even announced it.”
While the details from the leaked document were exciting, including the above information, but also that that the Xbox 720 would include support for Blu-ray, native 3D, video acceleration, and five power states, from “full power” to “standby.”
Still, everyone (and we mean everyone) should remember that document came from 2010. There could have been a number of changes since then, perhaps including Microsoft’s increased focus on mobile.