What the Xbox One tells us about ‘the new Microsoft’

Xbox One Microsoft Strategy Analysis

The Xbox One is apparently more than just a killer next-generation gaming console — it’s also apparently a dry run for what outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer hopes will be a more collaborative Microsoft. Bloomberg Businessweek reports on how the Xbox One really is the first major consumer product Microsoft has built where it’s encouraged input from so many of its major divisions including Windows, Skype, Bing, Azure, Kinect and SkyDrive. All of this in-house cooperation is somewhat new to Microsoft, which has long been famous for encouraging cutthroat competition among its employees.

“The Xbox One’s operating system includes Windows 8 and speeds switching between apps and games,” explains Bloomberg Businessweek. “
“Windows also means a broader range of apps for users, because it makes software development easier than on earlier Xbox systems… Users can pan and zoom during Skype calls, and cloud service SkyDrive allows them to view photos and videos they’ve uploaded from other devices. Say ‘Xbox, record,’ and cloud service Azure will save the last 30 seconds of game play as a video clip that players can share with friends.”

As great as all this sounds, Bloomberg Businessweek notes that it doesn’t come without risk for Microsoft: If users hoping for a game-centric console find all the added features distracting then it could force the company to reconsider its strategy of making the Xbox a console that tries to be everything to everyone. If early reviews are any indication, though, it looks like Microsoft has a winner on its hands that will give it an excellent start to its new “One Microsoft” policy.

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