Microsoft recently showed a new Xbox Live dashboard that is very similar to the user interface of Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8. Add that to their confirmation that Windows 8 will feature “deep Xbox Live integration”.
The intention is to use Xbox Live as the center of entertainment where PCs, Notebooks, Tablets, Phones, Xboxes connect to. Users will be able to enjoy that same games, same content, same app services across different platforms, different devices. Sounds like a cloud to me!
Xbox Live + Windows 8 + Windows Phone 7 + Xbox360 = Cloud Ecosystem?
What’s going for Microsoft in this strategic move to use Xbox Live as the center of gravity is that Xbox Live already has a 35m userbase. The significance is that these are not just casual register-and-forget subscribers, but actually subscription-money paying users focused on consuming games and entertainment. That is a strong powerbase uniquely different from that of Google and Apple. Furthermore, Microsoft’s Xbox360 already has a place in the living room putting that TV screen in its ecosystem, while both Google’s GoogleTV and Apple’s Apple TV has flopped and not (yet) been able to gain any foothold on the TV.
In the war of ecosystem, the headlines have mainly been peppered with Apple vs Google. But do watch out for Microsoft, it´s moves with Bing + Social Media, this Xbox Live integration, shows Microsoft is hardly asleep. With it’s artillery room full of product weapons, all it needs is that right synergy and marketing to center itself again as the dominating cloud ecosystem.