More rumors on how Windows 8 kernel works with Xbox One pop up

As expected, Microsoft confirmed on Tuesday that its upcoming Xbox One game console will have a version of the Windows 8 kernel installed, alongside a version of the Xbox OS plus a "bridge" operating system that helps the other two work together.

So does that mean that any and all apps made for Windows 8 could run on the Xbox One? Sadly, that does not seem to be the case. ZDNet reports, via unnamed sources, that Microsoft will have to invite apps to be part of the Xbox One family, just like they are on the current Xbox 360. That means app makers can't simply upload and submit their software to an "Xbox One Store" as they can with Windows 8 or Windows Phone platform.

Some Xbox One apps, such as Xbox Music and Xbox Video, are based in part on their Windows 8 counterparts, but ZDNet.com claims their source says the Xbox One versions will be customized so they can also work with the Xbox One controller and the Kinect sensor, along with the Xbox One UI.

The Windows 8 kernel on the console is considered to be a "shared" partition that can run multiple apps at once on a custom virtual machine. The Xbox OS also has its own partition but it is only for games and can only run one game at a time.

One more interesting thing is that the API for the Windows 8 core of the Xbox One is called WinXRT internally at Microsoft. The PC version of Windows 8 uses the WinRT API and the Windows Phone version has the WinPRT label.

Source: ZDNet.com | Image via Microsoft

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22 Comments

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there would be a ton of garbage apps in the xbox app store if Microsoft opened it up. (just try searching through all the mess in the Windows 8 store to find the few good apps that exist).. in a perfect world, they could find some sort of happy medium where developers with creative ideas can get in while keeping the "riff raff" out.

I don't know, seems like most Windows 8 devices switch between Metro and the Desktop Environment, including Surface RT. Sounds like Xbox One will do it more seamlessly?

At least they're consistent.

Javik said,
So much for the "unified device experience" Metro evangelists are so eager to tell us about.

Microsoft's portfolio right now is more unified than Apple's or Google's current offerings.

I have not heard any whining about how there is only 500GB of storage, and all these OSes will take up X GB of that storage and so Microsoft is lying to the consumer and committing fraud as well as false advertising.

The PS4 fanboys have been working hard (just see the forums), but apparently not hard enough because they are letting this great opportunity for another manufactured "scandal" slip by them.

StephenBratz said,
I have not heard any whining about how there is only 500GB of storage, and all these OSes will take up X GB of that storage and so Microsoft is lying to the consumer and committing fraud as well as false advertising.

The PS4 fanboys have been working hard (just see the forums), but apparently not hard enough because they are letting this great opportunity for another manufactured "scandal" slip by them.

It says so right on the bottom of the Microsoft page for the Xbox One that the system software takes a significant amount of storage.

"Xbox One system software uses a significant amount of storage; less internal storage will be available to users. 500 GB = 500 billion bytes."

StephenBratz said,
I have not heard any whining about how there is only 500GB of storage, and all these OSes will take up X GB of that storage and so Microsoft is lying to the consumer and committing fraud as well as false advertising.

The PS4 fanboys have been working hard (just see the forums), but apparently not hard enough because they are letting this great opportunity for another manufactured "scandal" slip by them.


That all might be a bit strong... LOL

But I personally HAVE been vocal as 500 GB for z hard drive that you will be required to install all games to in order to play, is hoping to replace DVR functionality, install apps and things, AND will need space for two OS's, and all of the OS needs, is WOEFULLY insufficient. And no, an external hard drive is not an acceptable solution...

InsaneNutter said,
Fraud? lol... hardly.

You buy a Windows PC with a 1TB hard drive, you are never going to have 1TB of usable space, same if you purchase a 16gb iPad or 16gb Android device.

Way off topic anyway do you not think? you would be better spreading your accusations of fraud here: http://www.neowin.net/news/xbo...port-supports-extra-storage

Sigh. Obviously you missed the part where I was mocking people who are turning every little thing about Xbox One into a huge crime against humanity.

My favorite new "crime" - Microsoft should just get out of the gaming business because they are not including a headset in the box like Sony is. Kinect - a device that supports multiple channels of surround sound audio output, directional microphones, advanced speech recognition, and more. But Sony went all the way back to the 1920s to find this great tech called "Mono" and threw it in the box, so that means they have won.

Never mind the storage, how much RAM does that shared OS take up? Rumours of 3GB reserved leaves 5GB for games. The PS4 should allow a lot more than that.

I'd dig an immersive RSS reader that I can swipe through with Kinect on my Xbox so I can stay up to date with the latest news before starting a game session. Please make it happen Microsoft.

The Laughing Man said,
I wonder if this will making hacking/exploits easier....
If you break into the Windows 8 side you're still sandboxed in that VM. You won't be able to use it to load games into the Xbox OS. It would be really awesome if they allow you to screw around on the Windows 8 side but they won't.

Doubtful, that "other" OS that wrangles the two is a hypervisor for sure. Now you have to exploit both the shared OS AND the "other" OS. The Hypervisor on the 360 alone was a tough nut to crack and wasn't really hacked much itself (there was a small exploit a few months after release that was quickly patched - after that, the HV had to be bypassed at the beginning using a JTAG/Glitch rather than attacked directly).

I'm sure once the Windows Store becomes unified (with Windows, Windows Phone, etc.), I'm sure it'll allow Xbox One as well through a future update. That's going to be awesome

j2006 said,
I'm sure once the Windows Store becomes unified (with Windows, Windows Phone, etc.), I'm sure it'll allow Xbox One as well through a future update. That's going to be awesome

I hope thats the case and MS not botching it and shooting themselves.

MS is going to heavily curate what is allowed on Xbox for the foreseeable future. They have said multiple times they don't plan on open app development. Personally, when I look at what is available for Xbox now the only really **** app I've seen is SyFy. I would hate to have a ton of really awful apps all over the place.

"I hope that's the case and MS not botching it and shooting themselves." Nope i don't want to see a bunch of fart apps on my Xbox One....Hell Noo..