Since Satya Nadella took over the reins at Microsoft, the company has made a big push toward consolidating its different products under one umbrella, the Windows umbrella. As part of his vision of computing that emphasises on the mobility of the experience over the mobility of different devices, Nadella wants you to find Windows 10, along with all the benefits and familiarity it brings, across all of Microsoft's products.
The most recent of such changes is the New Xbox One Experience (NXOE), which is slated to bring Windows 10 on the Xbox to the masses. What new features and benefits will Windows 10 bring to your living room?
One of the biggest advantages of having a similar base code is the increased compatibility between different Microsoft products. In the case of the Xbox One, this means access to cross-buying and cross-play.
Along with the ability to host Universal Apps (we'll get back to them later), having a unified Windows Store means that you don't have to buy the same game multiple times to use on different platforms. Not all publishers are going to opt for this option, of course, but for the many that do, it means less spending for you, as you can buy the game once and use it on your platform of choice, whether that be the PC, Xbox One, your phone or (in the future) HoloLens.
Another thing we haven't seen much of until today, you can now play games with your friends even when they are on a different platform. Among the many improvements to social features on the Xbox One, this might be the most important. One of the best examples of cross-play will be a Microsoft title, Fable Legends, which is due in the coming weeks and will be free-to-play.
A new UI
Microsoft has also cleaned up the UI of the Xbox One dashboard significantly, which now resembles the Xbox app in Windows 10 more. In the spirit of all things cross-, this will also mean that you'll find your Xbox Live friends on the PC, too. The dashboard on the Xbox One has gained some notoriety in recent months for being agonisingly slow and this update will speed things up a notch. You can catch up on all the improvements to the UI here.
Aside from backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games, the ability to stream games from the Xbox One to your Windows 10 PC is arguably the most coveted feature of the new features coming to the Xbox. To do so, all you need to do is connect both devices to the same network and, voila, console exclusives are no more! Having the flexibility of playing games from whichever device you want is obviously fun but I'm guessing that the widely expanded roster of available games will be the biggest draw of this feature. Oh, and Microsoft is working on making the opposite - streaming from a PC to the Xbox - a reality, too, potentially opening up thousands of games that you couldn’t access on your Xbox previously.
Did Someone Say Cortana?
The biggest, and most marketed, new addition to Windows 10 is Cortana, your digital assistant and Microsoft's answer to Siri and Google Now. Now, with the NXOE, Cortana will soon be making her way to the Xbox, so that console users don't miss out on her explosive wit and frighteningly accurate World Cup predictions.
Love is Universal – so are these Apps
Universal Apps represent the other big change underlying Microsoft’s grand unification of platforms and devices and, soon, they will be making their way to the Xbox. We don’t know much about what this will look like or, indeed, if all or only a selection of the apps found in the Windows Store will be available on Microsoft’s home console but we can be sure to see an explosion in the number of apps available on the Xbox, including many that have no business being on a console but the more the merrier, right?
All in all, the NXOE will be a huge improvement to your gaming experience on Microsoft's beloved console, with not only a much more responsive and faster UI but also a bevy of new features that may just convince the naysayers to abandon Sony's brainchild and return glory to Microsoft.
Image credit (Cortana): Windows Central
What do you think about these features? Are you excited about Windows 10 coming to Xbox? What future improvements do you envision having the same OS on your PC and console will bring? Let us know below.