Microsoft's Windows 8 to have Xbox Live built in
Microsoft is building its Xbox Live online gaming and entertainment service into its upcoming Windows 8 operating system.
Mike Delman, vice president of global marketing for Microsoft's interactive entertainment unit, told the Seattle Times at E3 2011, that Xbox Live will become the central application through which consumers will buy media -- games, movies and music -- across a variety of devices.
What is surely not a coincidence, Microsoft also said during its E3 keynote that Xbox Live on the Xbox 360 is getting a new look -- one that incorporates the company's "live tile" design seen on Windows Phone 7 handsets and which it has said will be central to the look of Windows 8.
Xbox Live currently only runs on the Xbox 360 home console and Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 devices.
"Live has been successful on the Windows Phone," Delman said in the Seattle Times report. "Live will be built into the PC. 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."
Delman also said that the way Xbox Live will work across devices -- whether consoles, phones, or Windows 8 PCs and tablets -- will be similar in approach to some of its competitors for entertainment sales online.
"There will be a lot of similarities in design and service philosophy," he said in the report. "Whether it's us or Apple or anybody else, people want to be able to navigate through multiple devices in a certain ecosystem very seamlessly so we're committed to that."
But while Apple has a central entertainment storefront in iTunes, which sells iOS apps, movies, music and games, Microsoft's offering are spread across various online marketplaces, but that too will change, Delman said.
"Xbox Live will be the pervasive media service across devices," he said in the report, later adding that Microsoft has "a ton of assets" and that "unifying the assets will be good for us and good for consumers."
Photo: Microsoft demonstrates new user interface for its Xbox Live service during the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times