Seen holistically, Windows 10 is not simply about a new operating system, or mere deployment of a single software platform. Windows 10 represents the ambition to create a bona fide ecosystem, to extent further the company’s prowess in advanced user-interface control, and to cast Microsoft devices in a much more favorable light, vis-à-vis the application-development and media-delivery communities.
On the gaming front, Microsoft is baking an Xbox application into fixed and mobile Windows 10 devices, and in so doing, elevating a strategy that it first began to explore – however timidly – with Xbox Smartglass. In bringing full-blown game streaming to Windows devices, Microsoft has settled on an implementation that sits somewhere between Sony’s PlayStation Now, and Sony’s Remote Play. The new Xbox app is decidedly cross-platform – Remote Play is primarily a method to allow dedicated, mobile consoles like the PS Vita to operate a PS4 – but limits game streaming to other Windows-running devices. By contrast, while PlayStation Now is on the verge of leaving the Sony nest, and leaping onto Samsung Smart TVs – without the need for an accompanying PlayStation console – Microsoft’s app extends gaming across a tablet and PC landscape that retains an Xbox at its center. As such, Microsoft’s strategy does not revolve around extending reach out-of-footprint. This is a strategy intending to unify console and PC gaming under a Microsoft banner, and to add value to owning an ever-wider complement of Microsoft-flavored hardware, in all of its forms.
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