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With Windows Phone 8 arriving with the NT core used in Windows 8, the mobile and desktop/tablet OS share even more in common. The reason for this shift is to make this universal approach appeal to more than just consumers. Even developers will soon find that all Microsoft products are quite easy to port back and forth to and write for.
Microsoft’ Xbox is likely included in this vision. I wouldn’t be even slightly shocked if the next Xbox features the NT core and has an app store that allows easy conversion of existing Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 apps.
We’ve already seen Microsoft attempt to bring the Xbox experience closer to their new modern approach with the Metro-like UI update. Now a second update rolls out today, bringing Xbox 360 even closer to the new Windows/modern experience.
What arrives with this change? Internet Explorer, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, improved search, new personalization options and a heck of a lot more. This is a global update and will make its way to all Xbox 360 markets within the next few weeks.
Not only is the UI even closer this time, so is the capabilities. Having Xbox Music on all Windows devices is a great move and could finally give Microsoft the edge it needs to knock down existing music giants like Apple with their iTunes.
Microsoft’s Future is Quickly Starting to Be Realized
I wasn’t so sure about Windows 8 before. Why force change on users? Obviously, change for change itself is never a good idea. Microsoft’s strategy was instead about change in order to lay out a more unified future that makes development and operation experiences simple to pick up no matter what Microsoft-based device you are talking about.
This is part of Microsoft’s claim that they aren’t a software company, they are a software, services and hardware provider. What’s next? While the Xbox 360 will likely not see any more dramatic changes like the switch to an NT core, I think it is in card for the Xbox line.
I’d also not be surprised to see a full “Store” experience with productivity and entertainment apps. Sure, this somewhat-exists on Xbox now, but imagine having the same kind of apps you find in Windows 8 and Phone 8 on the big screen.
Microsoft’s future still has a lot of questions unanswered, but the puzzle pieces are coming together. What do you think of the new changes heading to the 360?
Microsoft recently updated its Xbox 360 dashboard. This is part of a move that brings Internet Explorer and other Windows 8-esque features over their popular gaming and multimedia console. Apparently they didn’t just giveth, they also taketh away.
What’s gone in this mandatory update? They are axing two useful – if not massively popular – features. Facebook and Twitter Xbox 360 apps are getting the boot. Why? Microsoft gives us an unclear “the move will allow Microsoft to streamline app functionality”
Of course, Microsoft doesn’t really have a social network persay. It does have chatting features and gamer tag sharing in Microsoft Xbox already though. These apps have been around for three long years, so it is somewhat strange to see them just disappear like this.
Microsoft says that you can always use IE9 for Xbox 360 in order to update Facebook and Twitter statuses. This can’t be about just promoting use of IE9, can it? Taking away all these extra social elements can be seen as a pretty big hit against Microsoft, which leads me to believe there has to be a bigger reason for why they are forcing this change.
Could Microsoft be thinking ahead?
With Xbox Live integration coming to play in Windows 8– could Microsoft be working on creating its own connected social network for Windows devices? There are already basic chat and gamertag page stuff on Xbox Live, but it wouldn’t be that hard to stretch into things like page-sharing and social features using a gamer tag. The service could also work with existing Skype and Messenger/LIVE user accounts.
Keep in mind this is pure speculation, but it could make sense. With Google and Microsoft coming head to head on things like cloud productivity (Office 365/Google Docs), cloud storage, operating systems, search– could Microsoft want to bite into the growing Google Plus initative as well?
There is a good chance I’m reading too much into this. Still, Google’s appearance in social, cloud and everything in-between makes the Android experience all the more appealing. If Microsoft wants to knock Android out of the park, it needs to have competitive and comparable services. Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer has already stated they are a services and hardware company too, so why not?
Would you be interested in an Xbox Live-based Social Network or do you already feel that the social networking market is overcrowded with options already?