Xbox Live coming to PCs, possibly with Windows 8

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Microsoft has some big plans for Xbox Live, as announced at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), including YouTube access and even live television access for users. Expanding the service’s offerings on the Xbox 360 console isn’t all you’ll be seeing, however.

Mike Delman, vice president of global marketing at Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business group, was interviewed by The Seattle Times’ Brier Dudley last week at Microsoft’s E3 booth and spoke about how Xbox Live “will the pervasive media service across devices.”

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Xbox Live coming to PCs, possibly with Windows 8

“Live will be built into the PC,” Delman said. “It will be the service where you get your entertainment. We were talking about it — you will not just see consoles and handhelds at this show next year, this show’s going to morph into other devices.”

Xbox Live has already seen some success as an integrated feature of Windows Phone 7. Delman explains that Microsoft’s relationship with Nokia will expand the service’s distribution on that platform.

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“If we have that and the PCs to leverage, that will be a big Live base It’s our job to make ‘buy a movie in one place and play it everywhere, buy a game in one place and play it everywhere.’ Making things portable will be a big focus of ours,” Delman says.

PC integration of Xbox Live may happen with the release of Windows 8, Delman hinted. He stated that the company is working toward a seamless navigation in design and services across their lineup. The “Live Tile” user interface which was previewed as part of Windows 8, and is the current UI design on Windows Phone 7 devices, will also be coming to Xbox 360, the company announced at E3.

I believe this type of integration and a simple UI will be a must for Microsoft to regain some of their market share from Apple, which has done a fantastic job with iPhone and iPad usability. With Xbox Live, Microsoft has a strong gaming and entertainment component that Apple lacks. If done right, this could be a new era of success for the corporation.

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