Thanks to one of our readers, we’ve been able to confirm through Dell’s own website that the Xbox One will be able to run Windows 8 applications. This confirms the fact that the goal of Microsoft’s three-OS implementation on the Xbox One was purely so that they could unify the application development for all of their platforms, in effect giving their app developers significantly more users to reach with less development.
When Microsoft launched the $499 console this summer, they didn’t give many details about how it would work in terms of application development or the reason for having a three-OS implementation. However, it seems quite clear that Microsoft’s console was specifically designed to help the company unify their platforms under one roof to make it more powerful in terms of available applications and to allow the user to have the same experiences across all screens.
This way, when a user has an application on their Windows Phone, Tablet, Laptop or Desktop they can easily get at that data on their Xbox as well. This portability is something that virtually all companies have been looking for but have struggled to achieve. If Microsoft can pull it off smoothly across all platforms, the Xbox One may be Microsoft’s secret ace in the hole considering how many developers and games are already working on Xbox applications. With developers working on the Xbox, that will also likely mean that many games can more easily be ported over to Windows based tablets and computers. Perhaps, even, smartphones. Obviously the hardware differences between the tablets and smartphones when compared to the Xbox and PC platforms will still require significant work.
Overall, the Xbox One is definitely shaping up to be exactly what Microsoft had planned for it to be all along. The final piece in their puzzle. Lately, Microsoft’s Xbox console has been one of their biggest commercial successes and they’ve clearly shown that they intend to bank on that success to help their other divisions grow. It will be interesting to see how much Microsoft’s Xbox One will influence how their other Windows platforms succeed or fail. Because frankly, Windows Phone still lacks certain things that Windows 8.1 has, and we won’t even talk about Windows RT.
What will be interesting to see is whether the Xbox One will be able to play both Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT apps. After all, it wouldn’t be that difficult for it to run Windows 8 apps, while Windows 8 RT would most likely be more difficult. Even though I’m not really convinced that many users really care about Windows 8 RT compatibility considering the current state of Windows 8 RT.
Nevertheless, we can’t wait to get the Xbox One in our hands and to start using it with our Windows Phone, Windows 8.1 tablets and Windows 8.1 notebooks. There are a lot of very interesting use cases that we’d be interested to see, however, Microsoft hasn’t really talked about them and may not talk about them until we get a final launch of the Xbox One.