Gates praises Xbox 360 reliability

Says positive feedback proves it.

Soon to be sort of retired Microsoft chief Bill Gates has called Xbox 360 the most reliable console on the market.

His comments were made at CES to the BBC, which fired reader concerns at him - a remarkable amount apparently concerning Xbox failure rate.

"Well we certainly had to apologise to our users about the number of boxes that had to be replaced. We did that for free, for all those people, and we got a lot of positive feedback about the way we handled it," said Gates.

"We've got incredible reliability on the new work that we've done. Our commitment is that it will be the most reliable videogame box out there. People love the Xbox because of the content, but we've got to make sure the hardware never stands in the way of that."

Bill Gates has been gradually stepping out of the picture at Microsoft and will eventually become a part-time chairman there, although he insists his involvement will still be strong.

He wants to go off and follow his philanthropic pursuits, you see, chiefly his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which grants funds to things like AIDS prevention, scholarships for under-represented minorities and more.

Quite a good bloke, really. But then we would be more cheery if we were worth a reported USD 56 billion.

Gates also forecast his vision of the future to the BBC, predicting that traditional interfaces like mouse and keyboard would become obsolete in favour of more Star Trek inventions like voice and touch systems.

Naturally this gave him a perfect segueway to blab about Microsoft Surface, the impressive coffee table-like machine with massive touch-screen cleverness that was unveiled last year.

"I'll be brave," pledged Gates. "In five years we'll have many tens of millions of people sitting browsing their photos, browsing their music, organising their lives using this type of touch interface."

Whistle your way to our CES 2008 Gates keynote to see what he had in store for his swan-song performance.

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