Last year when Microsoft rolled out Windows 10, one of the biggest promises of the new operating system was the support of universal apps, meaning that developers would be able to make simple changes to their apps to enable them to run across multiple Microsoft platforms. It's taken some time, but we're finally starting to hear more about how this might affect Xbox.
During Microsoft's annual Build developers conference today, the company said that Nickelodeon, Hulu, Dailymotion, and NASCAR all plan to bring Windows 10 Universal apps to the Xbox One gaming console. Microsoft hasn't said exactly when this will happen, but there's a chance it could be timed to the merging of the Windows 10 and Xbox App Stores pegged for this summer.
Better for Xbox, or a walled garden approach?
Today's announcement was preempted by statements made a couple weeks ago at gaming conference GDC. Jason Ronald, Microsoft's Advanced Technology Group chief for Xbox, said at GDC that Microsoft would be opening up Xbox One to universal apps sometime this summer, but again, few specifics were given at that time. Now, at least a few app developers have committed to creating universal apps for Windows.
In theory, having an ecosystem of universal apps that can run on both Windows 10 PCs, mobile devices, and the Xbox could enhance both the gaming and entertainment experience on the hugely popular gaming console; but some critics have said that the universal apps approach creates a walled garden.