They sunk mega bucks into the Xbox business, which sums up the company says Bach as Microsoft is willing to "take those kind of bets."
"Oh, it's hard for a businessperson to answer, no, I lost exactly how much money I wanted to," Bach joked with in an interview, asked how much they spent and lost.
"The company did make deep investments, there's no question about that."
"On the other hand, you're now seeing the fruits of that reward, so three years of continuing profitability with actually I think a lot of upside going forward, especially given what we're doing with Natal," explained Bach.
"Plus the asset value of what's been created, forget the ongoing earnings potential that's been created, but the asset value of what's been created more than makes up for the investment we made." The Xbox division is worth hefty notes now for Microsoft.
"It just turns out Microsoft is one of those unique places that will -- forget whether we can afford it or not -- that will -- is willing to take those kind of bets."
"And I think sometimes people give us -- because we're a bigger company and we -- all those kinds of things, people say, well, you know, they don't bet big, they don't -- they're not old, they're not innovative," he continued on.
"I just kind of look around and I go, oh come on, I mean, Xbox to me, you know, in some mathematical way was a gigantic investment. And yet look, asset value paid off, earnings potential paid off, upside for the future pays off. Id' do that again in a heartbeat."
"Sure there's things I would do differently along the way, no question, you always learn as you go along, but, wow, that's not one I would think twice about." This autumn Robbie Bach of E&D after 20 years at Microsoft, to spend more time with his family and with non-profit work he's been doing.
The Xbox gamble has paid off handsomely for Microsoft - who'd have thought the corporate giant would operate a massively successful games console 20 years ago?