Xbox One to get Universal Windows 10 apps, confirms Nadella

Microsoft‘s vision of Windows 10 everywhere seems to be really taking shape. Windows 10 Mobile brought the promise of Continuum to smartphones. Just recently we even saw the (un)popular Tile-based Start Menu running on the HoloLens AR headset. Now we’re hearing about something expected but still good to hear confirmed. At a .NET conference in Madrid, CEO Satya Nadella publicly confirmed that Windows 10 Universal apps are indeed coming to the Xbox One console, turning the already powerful gaming device into more than just a gaming and entertainment device.

That might not exactly come as a surprise but more of an expected and pleasant confirmation. Microsoft hasn’t spared marketing efforts to associate Windows 10 with the Xbox One and that isn’t only for the user interface. Indeed, we are still waiting for Cortana to make her formal appearance on the console. But it’s one thing to say all those and yet another thing to actually see Windows apps, at least the universal kind, running in your living room TV.

Nadella didn’t actually elaborate on his promise but the set of Universal Windows Apps is quite small at the moment. We can imagine at least some of the Office apps making their way eventually, though there will probably be more focus on more social apps like Skype and Twitter. That said, just because an app is technically a universal one doesn’t mean it’ll run on all Windows 10 hardware. It’s still up to the app developer to flip that switch.

This upcoming feature could give the Xbox One yet another edge over the PlayStation 4. Depending on who you ask, Sony’s console continues to dominate sales. Microsoft, however, has been heaping on features to close that gap, particularly the backwards compatibility launched late last year. With Universal Windows Apps support, Microsoft could turn the Xbox One into more than just a gaming and media box and into a multi-purpose, productivity-capable PC.