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dealwithitMicrosoft apologized this afternoon for comments made by an employee to critics of the company’s reported plan to require an Internet connection to play games in the next version of the Xbox console.

Adam Orth, a Microsoft Studios creative director, had posted on Twitter, “Sorry, I don’t get the drama around having an ‘always on’ console. Every device now is ‘always on’. That’s the world we live in. #dealwithit.” His tweets have since been set to private.

Here is Microsoft’s official statement, via Xbox Live’s Major Nelson.

“We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers.  We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter.” 

As noted in the statement, the company isn’t actually confirming that it plans to require an Internet connection. In that way, it seems like the bigger deal here is that Orth implicitly confirmed the company’s plans, or at least appeared to confirm them.

Putting that aside, even if you disagree with his thoughts on the merits of a persistent Internet connection, is it really that bad that he spoke his mind in a way that didn’t happen to be “customer centric”?

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