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.Sound-dampened booths and broadband-connected Xbox consoles—featuring an early version of Unreal Championship—demonstrated the service on the show floor.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.Critics scoffed at it, citing poor broadband adoption at the turn of the century.Xbox Live was finally given a name at E3 2002 when the service was unveiled in its entirety.The packaging for playable Xbox Live titles on the original Xbox console featured the trademark gold bar underneath the Xbox header.
By the time of the Xbox 360, all titles were required to provide at least a limited form of Xbox Live "awareness".
In February 2013, Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, shared that Xbox Live members now number 46 million, up 15 percent from a year ago, during the Dive into Media conference in Southern California.
In June 2014, Microsoft retracted the Xbox Live Gold requirements to download streaming media apps (including Netflix, Hulu, You Tube, Internet Explorer, Skype, and others), though various rental or subscription fees may still apply.
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.
Microsoft has announced plans to extend Live to other platforms such as handhelds and mobile phones as part of the Live Anywhere initiative.