During the summer of 2015, Microsoft finally launched its Windows 10 OS, which it believes would save the company from being overtaken completely by other platforms, especially in the mobile arena.
However, the Redmond giant took one step further and announced that Windows 10 will arrive not only to its PCs and laptops, but to other devices as well, including tablets, mobile phones, and even the Xbox One game console.
This year, that last part will finally come into fruition, based on the announcement made at the Game Developers Conference this week.
Jason Ronald, the principal group program manager for Microsoft Game Studios, announced that the Xbox One game console will begin supporting the universal apps of Windows 10 in May.
— Gadgets 360 (@Gadgets360) March 18, 2016
In addition, the announcement also said that Microsoft will merge the Windows Store and Xbox Store into one ultimate store, which will be the source of all apps and games available to the platform.
Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP) program is also another bold attempt by the company to expand its Windows 10 OS and lure more consumers to upgrade their Windows 7 or Windows 8-powered PCs.
Aside from that, Xbox One users will finally be able to experience Windows 10 in their game consoles, further expanding the target audience of the new operating system.
— Elite Group Asia (@elitegroupasia) March 18, 2016
Roadblocks and Challenges for UWP
Unfortunately, while there are a number of things that can be achieved using this program, there are also some factors that are regarded as points of concern. First, not all developers have the capacity to tweak their games or apps and let them run in a Windows ecosystem.
While big companies like Facebook, Uber, Hulu, and Twitter can easily adopt the new campaign, most developers will not be able to transition as smoothly. As an evidence of this, a report said that the developer of Here Maps did not sign up for the program.
— The Next Web (@TheNextWeb) March 16, 2016
But why would developers not sign up for such a huge opportunity to expand the reach of their products? The report said that developers think that rebuilding their apps just for UWP will require too much work.
Looking at the Brighter Side
However, Ronald pointed out during the conference that this is a very good opportunity for developers to make more money with their games. The Microsoft program manager said that both Windows 10 and Xbox One users can soon use apps interchangeably with a cross-saving feature.
Also, Microsoft announced that soon, there will be an Xbox Live Tournaments Platform, where developers that make Windows and Xbox games would be capable of hosting their own tournaments.
— Engadget (@engadget) March 16, 2016
What Ronald is trying to say is that the UWP is a program that encourages players to never stop playing their games. Because they can easily access their Xbox One game in a Windows 10-powered laptop, dropping it would be extremely difficult.
As long as the developer provides occasional support for the game (add-ons, DLCs, performance updates), consumers would stick to their games longer.
The problem with rebuilding apps and games is still not solved, but at least developers know what they are missing if they do not choose to join UWP.
— MSPoweruser (@mspoweruser) March 10, 2016
Fortunately, Microsoft itself is working on new tools and features that will make things easier for developers who want to rebuild Xbox One games for Windows 10 and vice versa.
The UWP is certainly among the cleverest ideas Microsoft has come up with because it boosts the popularity of both the Xbox One and the Windows 10. The only real work they have to do is help developers in the transition so they do not end up with a relatively empty Windows Store.
[Images via Wikimedia Commons]