“In another setback for Microsoft Corp.’s unprofitable entertainment and devices division, the company says it is planning to spend at least $1 billion to repair serious problems with its Xbox 360 video game console,” Jessica Mintz reports for The Associated Press.

“Microsoft declined to detail the problems that have caused an onslaught of ‘general hardware failures’ in recent months but said Thursday it will extend the warranty on the consoles to three years,” Mintz reports. The glitches, and the bad publicity, could weigh the company down as it claws for market share in the highly competitive console market. In May, the Xbox 360 ranked No. 2 in unit sales behind Nintendo’s Wii, but still beat out Sony’s Playstation 3, according to data from NPD Group.”

MacDailyNews Take: And if Sony wasn’t completely incompetent, Microsoft would be in dead last with their never-turned-a-profit Xbox.

Mintz continues, “‘We don’t think we’ve been getting the job done,’ said Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division, which also makes the Zune digital music player, a distant competitor to Apple Inc.’s powerhouse iPod.”

MacDailyNews Take: Robbie Bach, Microsoft’s President of Failures (Middling to Abject division). It seems like the average TV weatherman has more accountability than the childishly-forenamed Bach.

Mintz continues, “The software maker also said Thursday that sales of the game console fell short of expectations for the fiscal year that just ended. Matt Rosoff, an analyst at the independent research group Directions on Microsoft, estimates that Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division has lost more than $6 billion since 2002.”

Mintz reports, “A $1 billion write-down for one division in one quarter is significant. ‘It suggests the problem is pretty widespread,’ Rosoff said. Microsoft will pay for shipping and repairs for three years, worldwide, for consoles that experience hardware failure, which is usually indicated by three flashing red lights on the front of the console, something gamers sometimes refer to as ‘the red ring of death.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers too numerous to mention for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: So, now we have the “Red Ring of Death” to go along with the “Blue Screen of Death” – just how many “deaths” dealt to consumers from Microsoft does it take before consumers deal the death blow to Microsoft?