Don't normally read his blog - hope he's not mad at me for that - but generally I only read blogs that are pure industry. But I came across the entry doing a search on Google about Xbox subscription codes.
I have two theories why Microsoft REQUIRES you to get your Xbox Live subscriptions from retail.
1) They're trying to cut down on griefing. If cancelling and opening new accounts requires going to a retail outlet, maybe griefers will grief less because it will leave a permanent record.
2) They want retailers to stock Xbox Live, because pride of place at retail is the most powerful form of advertising there is. Retailers are less incentivized to stock things that are also available sans box, online. So Microsoft makes an agreement: "We will only sell Xbox Live through retail." And the retailers say, "You mean if I stock this, people have to come into MY store to buy it?" And Microsoft says, "Yes." Retailers say, "Sign me up." And everybody's happy except consumers-of-the-future like Brian Sharp and myself who don't see why we can't press a button and have our digital products available right then.
But there I go, trying to see the good in companies. It's freaking annoying.
And I threw out my old Xbox game boxes, so I don't have a spare subscription code lying around anywhere. Maybe my brother has one.
Oh, and kudos, Brian, for beating guitar hero on Expert. I still haven't beaten it on Hard.