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Xbox Live is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service created and operated by Microsoft.
It was first made available to the Xbox system in November 2002.
Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates both had a vision of making premium download content and add-ons that would attract many new customers.
Based on this reasoning, the console included a standard Ethernet port (10/100) in order to provide connectivity to common broadband networks, but did not include a modem or any dial-up support, and its online service was designed to support broadband users only.
The online features, while praised as innovative, were largely considered a failure, and the Dreamcast's immediate competitor, the Play Station 2, did not initially ship with built-in networking capabilities.
Microsoft, however, hoped that the Xbox would succeed where the Dreamcast had failed.
The Epic title was one of the flagship titles for the service, which was slated for a debut on November 15, 2002, marking the anniversary of the Xbox launch.Nevertheless, due to lack of widespread broadband adoption at the time, the Dreamcast shipped with only a dial-up modem while a later-released broadband adapter was neither widely supported nor widely available.Downloadable content was available, though limited in size due to the narrowband connection and the size limitations of a memory card.On November 12, 2009, Dennis Durkin, COO of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, announced that November 10, 2009, the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 marked the busiest day ever on Xbox Live, with over two million active users simultaneously.On the same day, Larry Hyrb, Xbox Live's Major Nelson, announced on his blog that Xbox Live support for the original Xbox would be discontinued on April 15, 2010, including online play through backwards compatibility on the Xbox 360 and all downloadable content for original Xbox games.
Leading up to the launch, Microsoft enlisted several waves of beta testers to improve the service and receive feature feedback. (which never was released officially) and NFL Fever to beta test.