Give us some history of XNA, back to the MDX roots. I remember reading how MDX was started as Tom Miller's personal side project before the execs took notice (since DirectX-for-VB6 was outdated). If this is correct, can you flesh out the details?
Also: XNA supplanted MDX, but it leaves developers without an officially sanctioned simple and lightweight API for adding multimedia functionality to Managed non-game applications. Case in point: I was porting some C++ code to C# which included some code to control a robot with a gamepad, I had to use the certifiably ancient WinMM Joy* functions because XNA was inappropriate and SDL.NET/Tao had an unworkable build process. (Please, no comments about MSRS).
Also, will the whole DirectInput/XInput thing be sorted out soon?
Why couldn't you use XInput?