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Microsoft to finally unveil its universal Xbox apps later this month

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Microsoft is planning to unveil its universal Xbox apps later this month. Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans have revealed to The Verge that the software giant will detail a number of apps and plans to open the platform to developers at the Build conference in San Francisco on March 30th. Xbox chief Phil Spencer revealed on Twitter today that Microsoft will "discuss our next steps with the Universal Windows Platform at //build later this month."

Microsoft has teased its universal Xbox apps over the past year or so, first unveiling a true Windows 10 app on the Xbox One back at Mobile World Congress last year. Developers can currently build Xbox One apps, but they're not universal Windows 10 apps that run across PCs, tablets, phones, and the Xbox One. Microsoft is expected to open up its Xbox app store more broadly to allow developers to build apps and games for the Xbox One.

Spencer also responded to criticism of Microsoft's universal apps for games. Epic Games co-founder Tim Sweeney accused Microsoft of creating a walled garden with its universal apps, and encouraged games developers to "fight it." Spencer says "Windows has always been an open ecosystem welcoming the contributions of hardware and software partners, and will always continue to be." He also counters that Microsoft's universal apps for Windows 10 are a "fully open ecosystem."


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