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Microsoft only entered the console market because Sony refused to work with them, according to a former Microsoft executive.
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Joachim Kempin, who was VP of Windows Sales at Microsoft for 20 years starting in 1983, made the claim in an interview with IGN.
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This decision supposedly came right from the top of the company, with Bill Gates himself even chipping in. Despite initial reservations, Kempin claims that Gates always had qualms that the living room computer would, at some stage, metamorphosise into an alternative PC that could threaten Microsoft's dominance of the traditional market. As a result, it was eventually felt the company had to try and tackle Sony head-on.
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"Sony was always very arms length with Microsoft. Yeah, they bought Windows for their PCs but when you really take a hard look at that, they were never Microsofts friend. And Microsoft in a way wanted them to be a friend because they knew they had a lot of things we could have co-operated on because they are, in a way, an entertainment company, you know? I mean, at least a portion of Sony is and they had some really good things going there, but as soon as they came out with a video console, Microsoft just looked at that and said 'well, we have to beat them, so lets do our own.' - IGN
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