In Pictures: The good, bad and ugly history of Microsoft hardware

Microsoft built its identity on software development. Just refer to the name, and pay special attention to the "soft." But throughout its storied history, the company has progressively become much more of a multi-discipline workshop, producing physical gear alongside ethereal software code. And now we have the Surface RT tablet, the perfect springboard to recount some of the most memorable (and forgettable) products in Microsoft's hardware history.

2005: Xbox 360

Thanks to the success of the original console, Microsoft started conceptualizing a second Xbox in 2003. The first generations of Xbox 360 had a reputation for hardware failure, bringing notoriety to the "Red Ring of Death." These system failures were mostly attributed to a heating issue, which Microsoft took responsibility for and extended the warranty of the machines, eventually replacing each one that died.

Unlike the original Xbox, 360 employed detachable hard drives secured to the top, allowing for more customized storage options, and the ability to upgrade at a later time. The Xbox 360 is now strongly marketed as a set-top box, capable of delivering an entire entertainment center in a single device.

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