Last November, Microsoft delivered a major update, the 'New Xbox One Experience', to its console, built on the foundations of Windows 10. Since then, Microsoft has continued to bridge the gap between the Xbox One and the latest version of its Windows operating systems in all sorts of ways.
One major feature that Xbox One owners have been awaiting is support for apps built on Microsoft's new Universal Windows Platform (UWP). The company has been talking about bringing Universal apps to the Xbox One for some time now - but at long last, the wait is finally coming to an end.
As Business Insider reports, Microsoft's Jason Ronald revealed today that the Xbox One will get the ability to run UWP apps, designed for Windows 10, later this summer. He also confirmed what has long been suspected - that the standalone Xbox Store will be merged into the existing unified Windows Store.
This convergence is expected to further strengthen Microsoft's proposition for developers, expanding upon the ability to create apps and games using a single common core base, which can then be lightly modified and optimized to run across different types of devices.
Questions remain over how exactly UWP apps will run on the Xbox One, given the very different user experience offered on the console. While desktops and laptops typically focus on cursor-and-keyboard interactions, and smartphones and tablets are controlled primarily through touch, the Xbox One's main input method is the gaming controller - along with gesture and voice support through the optional Kinect accessory.
Microsoft confirmed last year that it was working on mouse and keyboard support for the Xbox One, so users clearly won't have to rely exclusively on console-type inputs when interacting with UWP apps. But users also won't be able to use every available Windows 10 app on the Xbox One from day one; according to Ronald, the company will 'gradually open up' apps and their capabilities over the course of the year, suggesting that - initially, at least - it will only offer a curated selection of apps on the console.
We expect that Microsoft will clarify things further at its Build 2016 developer conference later this month. Neowin will be there to bring you all the details on what's announced, so stay tuned.
Source: Business Insider