@chose What you pointed out is what it might have been, we don't and probably won't ever know for sure what pre-180 plans were. But yeah, funny how letting 10 people use 1 copy of a game gets publishers more money, supposedly.
@humanity That is certainly true that you don't move forwards if you are afraid that anyone might be left behind. And what MS was planning to do if I can loan your Netflix example, is scrapping their current DVD mailing part and jumping straight to internet renting only, in selected cities, in selected states. (I don't really know where Netflix is actually available, living behind don't-know-who's back in northern europe kinda has made sure of that)
What MS probably should have tried is what Netflix did, start providing digital service and make it more appealing to use than physical discs like everyone and their dog's chewtoy has probably said at this point.
And MS can decide to try that jump later, before or after launch but if they decide to ignore/not care about a large part of their current customer base by their own choice, they can't act suprised when that part of their customer base doesn't care about them or their product anymore.
Because if you go around yelling "screw poor/sick/military/less priviledged people" and those people return the favour you can only blame yourself for it, don't you?