Microsoft has been extremely tight-lipped not only about the details of the next-generation Xbox, but also about the timing.[br]So it was more than a little surprising when Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith, addressing the Rotary Club of Seattle last week, said something that sure made it sound as if the next Xbox might be slated for release later this year.[br][br]Here's the full quote: "Certainly we're very excited about what we believe the year has to offer," Smith told the group.[br]"Technologically, our developers are focused on a number of products you'll see come to market, ranging from search technologies online and on your desktop to things you'll see as we get to the next holiday season with the next generation of Xbox and holiday devices."[br][br]Had it been a crowd of video-game enthusiasts, there might have been a collective gasp, or at least an interested murmur. But as you might have guessed, the Rotarians didn't seem to recognize the potential significance of the statement, at least judging by their lack of reaction.[br]Afterward, however, Smith said his words shouldn't be taken as conveying anything about the timing of the next Xbox, one way or the other. "I did not mean to imply anything about when it comes out," he said. "I was just talking about all the energy that's going into working on it."[br]Smith pointed out that any news along those lines would come not from the company's general counsel but from Xbox executives.
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