These three gaming features just changed Windows forever

Three announcements were made by Microsoft over the past several months that, together, made Windows a much more user-friendly place. One of these was announced all the way back in October of 2018, and only went live (in part) earlier this week. That was Android screen mirroring for Windows, at long last. The rest has to do with gaming, and the ways it'll be possible in the very near future.

Android Screen Mirroring

In the most recent update to the test, Microsoft released a very small sample of what the Android mirroring environment will one day be. We've had apps and applications that've done similar things in the past, but here with Microsoft onboard, we can open up a whole new door.

The ability to use mobile apps on a desktop machine might well be the biggest feature door ever – especially if the glimpses we've had so far are just the beginning. Those long pathways from high-end editing of social media posts, saved, and transferred to mobile devices just to share – they'll no longer be needed!

What apps might you find useful in a desktop environment? What'll you do differently when you're able to use your phone inside your desktop's display?

Xbox One PC streaming

What better way to increase usage of Windows than to allow all other environments to be mirrored inside? It's finally time to get Xbox One on-PC streaming going, and the pathway with which it's being launched couldn't be easier. To make your Xbox One appear on your PC, all you'll need to do is the following.

Xbox One mirrored on your Windows 10 PC:

1. Winkey + P

2. Enter Project menu, tap "Connect to a wireless display"

3. Select "Xbox One"

You'll need to have both devices connected to the same wireless network, for now. Maybe now that the Steam Link functionality is getting off the ground, Microsoft will have to run up to this next-level feature quicker than they might've otherwise.

Why has this taken so long to be a feature? I mean, really, NVIDIA GameStream had this working all the way back in 2014. It was working just fine all the way back then – I played full-tilt Titanfall on a smartphone more than once. Now we're just going the other direction.

Game Stack + Xbox Live on Android, iOS

This last set of features has to do with your desktop Windows experience in a sort of roundabout way. Now that Microsoft's willing to bring Xbox Live and their development suite to multiple platforms, we can all live in harmony! Or so we can hope, and pray. Imagine an environment in which games aren't relegated to a single environment – what will become of the apps previously trapped on a single sort of device?

The expansion of game development beyond a single platform isn't new. But with the move of Xbox Live to mobile platforms and the launch of Game Stack, developer expansion beyond their once-necessary single-platform bounds will be a thing of the past. Imagine all the achievements!

Now we'll see if these moves are enough to send a shock through the game-sphere and keep momentum long enough to hold the attention of a generation. Now that everyone has a smartphone, things might just be moving too fast for any desktop OS to keep a foothold for long.