Trending Now

Microsoft is mixing Windows and the Xbox together to make it universal

When Microsoft launched Windows 10 in the summer of 2015, it came alongside a brand-spanking-new app strategy for the company.
Microsoft promised that with its new Windows Universal Platform (UWP), developers could write their apps once and they would run on any device running Windows 10 - including PCs, tablets, smartphones, and, eventually, the Xbox One and HoloLens holographic goggles.
Microsoft has been telling Windows developers to think about running apps on a TV screen using an Xbox for more than seven years now, first as part of the "three screens and a cloud" vision and more recently as part of the Universal Windows Platform. Microsoft also said that the Windows Store and Xbox Store would be merged.
Developing for phones, desktops, and tablets has always been more or less open, with even the gatekept phone platform easy to access with no particular entry requirements. But the Xbox has always been treated differently. Building traditional Xbox games meant buying expensive Xbox development units (which aren't available on the open market), with Microsoft exercising tight control over the finished game and being deeply involved in things such as the delivery of patches.
Programs to court independent developers opened up the platform to make it easier to create games, but writing more general purpose applications remained off-limits to most developers, with only special partnerships (such as the Google partnership that yielded the Xbox's YouTube app) permitted. However, the implication was that one day the Universal Windows Platform would include the Xbox One. Now it's actually happening.
Plus, Microsoft also announced the "Xbox Live Tournaments Platform," a tool to let developers making Windows 10 and the Xbox One games organize their own competitive eSports leagues.