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The good, bad and ugly history of Microsoft hardware

We look back at some of the memorable products in Microsoft's hardware history

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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.


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2006: LifeCam

Video-chatting gained a lot of steam in 2006, and Microsoft wanted to streamline the process by introducing the LifeCam brand of webcams. All were optimized for Windows Live Messenger, and boasted decent video quality and integrated microphones. They also came with a simple button that would bring up a tool to show who was online, and allow you to connect instantly.

The first two models were the VX-6000, which took 5.0 megapixel stills and 1.3 megapixel video, and the VX-3000 (pictured), which took 1.3 megapixel stills and 640-by-480 pixel video. Today there are still a ton of LifeCam products ranging in quality and price to fit any webcam need.


  • 1983: Microsoft Mouse
  • 1994: Microsoft Natural Keyboard
  • 1996: IntelliMouse
  • 1996: SideWinder
  • 1996: SideWinder Force Feedback Pro
  • 1998: Microsoft Cordless Phone System
  • 1998: DSS80 Speakers
  • 2001: Xbox
  • 2004: Microsoft Fingerprint Reader
  • 2005: Xbox 360
  • 2006: LifeCam
  • 2006: Zune
  • 2007: Microsoft Surface 1.0
  • 2010: Kinect


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