Would you prefer the PS2 instead? Are we going to assume it would have turned out more like that?
PS wanted to have cross play with the 360 and MS told them to get bent. I wonder why when PS was willing to hand XB exactly what they wanted, they rejected it, only to then pay for it with XB1, then implemented cross play, and had to seriously push to get PS to join, in the most minor partial way possible. Maybe just maybe, when MS was selling enough consoles, they were going to remain headed in that direction, until they got stomped by PS4. Then just by chance, they decided they would take another direction with much less solidified competition where they could more easily get their foot in the door. Now they want to put their first party games on the largest solidified console platform? Sounds a lot like someone doesn't think they can sell enough consoles to make it worth their while, like another ghost of console past.
So because MS saw the potential downside to selling consoles in the future, partially because of what has happened to other consoles in the past, they changed their direction, and that makes it completely different than Sega? I agree it won't be identical to how things ended for DC, but it would certainly have similarities. It's not like Sega could have done what XB is doing to change direction, and it's not like MS is looking to offer games on other platforms like Sega does.
WTF? I never said that! I said that their plan was to sell software from the get-go. They just found out, that they don't need their own console to do so effectively, and the original plan of pushing DirectX didn't work this gen at all, just look how many new AAA PC releases are not DirectX 12 titles even though it's mandated on their own console.
About your first paragraph: Again, it's just because they want to sell software. They are the opposite of Nintendo in that regard: Microsoft produces hardware to sell software, while Nintendo produces games to sell hardware.
Microsoft could have sold quite a bit better if they kept all their IP for themselves. Just imagine how well the XBO could have sold in Japan if they just kept Minecraft exclusive for them. Hellblade and Cuphead are on the Switch already for some time now, and Crash Bandicoot is coming to Smash. They are also opening up to other platforms on PC, not just on consoles. You no longer have to buy the games in Microsofts store, you can get them on Steam and GOG (not using Epic, so not sure about there), too.
In short, they want to make their games accessible to absolutely everyone and not just those with an Xbox live account (you need one to shop in their store on PC). Why? Because they are in the business to sell software, and being on all platforms guarantees, that more people could buy their games.
The Nintendo eShop rating Thread: http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=237454