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article imageMicrosoft to let Xbox gamers write Office docs from their console

By James Walker     Feb 25, 2016 in Technology
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has reportedly confirmed that the Xbox One will soon be able to run Windows 10 Universal Apps, further blurring the line between games machine and full-blown computer. The console will also support mice and keyboards.
Rumours of Universal Apps someday coming to the Xbox One have been around for quite a while. Technically, the console supports them as its software now runs on top of Windows 10. Getting Windows apps running in an interface optimised for gaming is something else entirely though.
WinBeta reports that Satya Nadella confirmed to developers at the Madrid dotNet conference that the Xbox One will support Windows 10 Universal apps in the future. Although Nadella did not reveal any specifics, it does show Microsoft's commitment to intricately linking Windows and Xbox together, creating better experiences for both platforms.
Since launch, Windows 10's Xbox app has let gamers use the console's best features from their computer. Screenshots, gameplay recording, friends, chats and parties can be managed on Windows 10 as Xbox is deeply integrated into the operating system. Games can even be streamed from an Xbox One over a local network and played on a PC.
This feature sharing began to trickle the other way in November as the Xbox One was updated to the Windows 10-powered "New Experience." Microsoft reemphasised the role of apps on the Xbox One and made it easier for users to navigate between content, creating a more PC-like experience.
In the future, Cortana will come to the Xbox One, one of Windows 10's star features. Users who managed to enable the digital assistant in previous Xbox preview builds discovered that Cortana on the console uses the same interface as on Windows 10, hinting at Universal Apps being just around the corner.
Now Microsoft has seemingly confirmed that the Universal Windows Apps platform will grow to embrace the Xbox One console. With mouse and keyboard support also in the works, it seems feasible that the console could become a different class of hardware altogether, evolving into a gaming-focused media PC for the living room.
Although writing a Word document on a games console may seem odd, there could be practical scenarios in which it actually makes sense. Games consoles are still popular with teenagers worldwide, many of whom own an Xbox but nothing else. When the time comes to buy a computer to use for schoolwork, a much cheaper option could be presented instead: connect a keyboard to the Xbox and use it like a PC, saving documents to the cloud.
The move will also make Windows a more attractive platform for developers, adding another type of hardware to target with apps. After writing code once, app creators could release their product to desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones and the Xbox One, connecting with millions of Microsoft customers with very different computing priorities.
The Xbox One has evolved significantly since its 2013 launch but this could be the most major change yet. If Microsoft opens up the entire Windows Store to the Xbox One - as rumours suggest it may - then the games console could be considered a full computer and the Windows 10 ecosystem would grow even larger.
More about Microsoft, Windows, windows 10, Xbox, xbox one
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