Common set of Xbox Live services may work across Microsoft phones, PCs and gaming consoles

Common set of Xbox Live services may work across Microsoft phones, PCs and gaming consoles

Summary: Microsoft is looking to make the user interface on its Windows Phones, Windows 8 PCs/tablets and Xbox console more similar in appearance. But it seems Microsoft's plan goes beyond the user interface, and involves the company's growing family of Xbox Live entertainment properties, as well.

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Microsoft is looking to make the user interface on its Windows Phones, Windows 8 PCs/tablets and Xbox console more similar in appearance -- as Windows Supersite's Paul Thurrott noted earlier this week. But it seems Microsoft's plan goes beyond the user interface, and involves the company's growing family of Xbox Live entertainment properties, as well.

Speaking to The Seattle Times' Brier Dudley this week at the E3 conference, Microsoft Vice President of Global Marketing for the Interactive Entertainment Business group, Mike Delman, explained Microsoft's evolving strategy this way:

Seattle Times' Dudley: Speaking of phone, I was surprised we didn't hear about connections between Xbox and Windows Phone here at E3.

Microsoft's Delman: Live has been successful on the Windows Phone. Live will be built into the PC. It will be the service where you get your entertainment. We were talking about it — you will not just see consoles and handhelds at this show next year, this show's going to morph into other devices.

Microsoft is known to be working on some new entertainment media services that are codenamed "Ventura," and which may end up superseding the Zune music/video service that Microsoft currently offers. The coming Ventura services are focused on music and video discovery and consumption, according to Microsoft job postings. They sound, from my sources, as though they also include recommendations, ratings and comments.

Microsoft also is planning to deliver this fall via cable and satellite providers the Xbox Live TV service, codenamed "Orapa." Orapa is Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV infrastructure and capabilities delivered via Xbox Live.

I'm thinking Delman's description of these coming Xbox Live services as being "built into the PC" may mean that the Softies will be taking a page out of the Windows Phone playbook and providing access to them via a hub/tile on Windows 8. On Windows Phones with their Metro/tiled interface, there's an Xbox Live tile which provides easy access to downloaded games and gaming avatars. With the Mango Windows Phone update coming later this year, users will get more Xbox Live gaming-related capabilities.

I'm wondering whether Microsoft is planning to offer not just games, but apps, too, that will be purchasable once but run on phones, PCs and Xbox. A common XAML-based platform like "Jupiter" may enable them to do just that with newly created applications.

Topics: Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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33 comments
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  • RE: Common set of Xbox Live services may work across Microsoft phones, PCs and gaming consoles

    if you notice there is an apps slot on xbox with the upcoming update...no way they are going to do that unless they intend to have a way to publish 3rd party apps for xbox
    mcrommert
    • RE: Common set of Xbox Live services may work across Microsoft phones, PCs and gaming consoles

      @mcrommert Don't they already do that? There are all sorts of indie games on the Xbox marketplace.
      Aerowind
      • RE: Common set of Xbox Live services may work across Microsoft phones, PCs and gaming consoles

        @Aerowind Those have to be games and they are programmed in xna which is directx. These would be programmed in Silverlight and they would be applications like a weather app or a Crunchyroll App (that is what I would like)...even an email app.
        mcrommert
      • RE: Common set of Xbox Live services may work across Microsoft phones, PCs and gaming consoles

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  • will fail

    as long as the ecosystem does not include Linux and Android.
    Linux Geek
    • The only reason it's a success is because

      @Linux Geek
      they don't use Linux or Android.

      Don't get me wrong, Linux or Android are [b]great[/b] for running toaster ovens and such, just not able to do anything high end like game consoles. :)
      Will Pharaoh
      • Visit Earth much?????

        @Will Pharaoh

        Why is it that almost all of the 500 biggest and fastest supercomputers run linux? Time to grow up my friend and come back down to Earth.
        linux for me
      • Don't you people ever learn?

        Linux Geek is just baiting you people, and having fun at your expense..
        adornoe
      • RE: Common set of Xbox Live services may work across Microsoft phones, PCs and gaming consoles

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    • Resident Jester

      @Linux Geek Another round of applause for our resident jester !!!
      1773
    • RE: Common set of Xbox Live services may work across Microsoft phones, PCs and gaming consoles

      @Linux Geek
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  • New Windows 8 apps on the Xbox?

    The xbox dashboard is getting an update to Metro UI, and there is also the new "apps" category. The dashboad can be fully controlled by "touch" with the Kinect sensor. My guess is that new Windows 8 apps will run perfectly on the updated xbox, and this is Microsoft ace, millions of computers ready to run Windows 8 apps from day one.

    Info about the dashboard update: http://www.winrumors.com/new-xbox-dashboard-includes-a-marketplace-with-apps/
    reidar76
  • RE: Common set of Xbox Live services may work across Microsoft phones, PCs and gaming consoles

    MS do seem to have built up the beginnings of a pretty good consumer eco-system without anyone really noticing, it will be interesting to see if they are able to pull all the disparate elements together and execute on it.
    OffsideInVancouver
    • RE: Common set of Xbox Live services may work across Microsoft phones, PCs

      @OffsideInVancouver

      I have since 2007, Zune specifically. It's been quite the amazing transformation. When I got my Zune there was only a music marketplace. Then music videos started popping up, and eventually a browsable catalog for them. A bit after that a some TV shows popped up with a hand full of content providers, and over the months more and more became available and then a crap ton of movies came in. Now they have season passes and special albums with bonus tracks and music video bundles. All it needs is the complete my purchase for singles and partial buys, and album booklets, and they'll be pretty much matching Apple in extra goodies. Not to mention the Zune Pass option. For now Apple is king of content though, a holy cow do they have content.
      WixosTrix
  • RE: Common set of Xbox Live services may work across Microsoft phones, PCs and gaming consoles

    Finally, The '3 screens and cloud' concept comes to reality.
    jamal_indo
  • Only one thing to say

    "Breaks app compat."
    symbolset