Microsoft is finally ready to deliver on the promise of Windows apps running on the company's Xbox One gaming console. Today at its Build 2016 keynote, it was announced that universal apps will arrive on Xbox with this summer's Anniversary Update. Cortana, Microsoft's personal assistant, will be coming then, too — and other oft-requested features like background music playback.
"Windows is the best platform for the vast community of game developers," said Xbox boss Phil Spencer. "Windows is and will continue to be an open development ecosystem where anyone can build, deploy, and service their games and applications." And those games will run on the whole ecosystem of Windows devices, from smartphones to desktop PCs and the Xbox console.
At //build, Phil Spencer just announced Xbox Dev Mode for Xbox One. Now anyone can start creating on Xbox One!— ID@Xbox (@ID_Xbox) March 30, 2016
Further, all retail Xbox One consoles will soon be able to be used as developer kits to help software makers optimize their apps for the TV screen. A new "Dev Mode" will be enabled in the forthcoming update. A preview of Dev Mode is available beginning today. Consumers can be switched back and forth between developer environment and the regular consumer experience with a "Dev Home" application.