Microsoft reportedly planning major Xbox One app push this year

Microsoft will reportedly launch the first major salvo of Xbox One app support this year, with the company planning to make development easier with Windows' universal platform.

According to a report by The Verge, Microsoft will detail plans for universal apps at its Build conference from April 29 to May 1, including finally allowing developers to use retail Xbox One consoles as development kits. The ability to use retail consoles as development kits is a capability Microsoft promised well before the console's launch. Following its Build presentation, Microsoft will "publish an SDK preview in May alongside the retail to dev kit switch," the report claims.

Developers would begin being able to create apps around summer, according to the report, with Microsoft "planning to switch over to universal apps in November."

Perhaps a bigger issue for users will be additional abilities Microsoft will provide to developers. The report claims Xbox One apps will now be able to run in the background, allowing music to be played while a game is also in action, for instance.

The report comes after Microsoft's announcement that Windows universal apps would come to Xbox One, alongside Xbox One features coming to Windows 10. Microsoft has said the Xbox One operating system will be updated to Windows 10, which will include some modifications to the current appearance of the Xbox One dashboard interface. A time frame for the update hasn't been announced, though Microsoft is likely focused on releasing Windows 10 for computers and mobile devices before Xbox One.

Microsoft's improved app development capabilities on Xbox One will likely focus on entertainment apps, which the company has long pushed for its consoles. The Xbox 360 has received several video- and music-streaming apps in its lifetime, a trend Microsoft has continued with the Xbox One app marketplace. Microsoft has said more intensive workplace apps are also technically possible, such as the Office suite, though they aren't as likely to appear on Xbox One.

Source: The Verge

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