Microsoft is currently working hard on Windows 10. It seems like it was just a short while ago that they released Windows 8, much to the critical ire of the PC community. Nevertheless, Windows 10 has been receiving a lot of buzz, especially after news surfaced that there's an Xbox app.
The Verge has a quick post on the recent Windows 10 consumer build, which conveniently leaked to the public. The post explains what some of the new features are in the build, including Cortana having a little place on the top of the screen during searches.
And, yes, Cortana does react to text and voice cues. So you can use the popular A.I., to find whatever it is you're looking for easily and conveniently either by typing it out or by speaking it out. I'm assuming this feature will be both headset and Kinect compatible, especially considering that Microsoft made the Kinect available to PC users looking to add some camera and voice commands to their desktop or gaming user experience.
But the real meat and potatoes of the article resides in the revelation of the Xbox app. As pictured in the main image above, the app enables users to gain access to information and social tools directly affiliated with the Xbox game consoles.
Just based on the screenshot alone, we can see that the app grants users direct access to view their Gamerscore, as well as their friends list and social activity. In fact, you can see exactly who is online and what game they are playing, as well as who is offline and what they were last doing while they were online.
It's a spiffy way of keeping track of people, especially seeing what they're doing or where they were last. I like that you can spot out when people are in Netflix or other movie/media apps because if they're busy watching a movie you know not to go budding in, sending them messages and interrupting their down time. Heck, for all you know it could be a hard-earned date night after a long week of work.
The app also lets you see recent communications with people, whether it's in the game or out of it. In addition to messages, the app lets you track your progress in the recently played games. You can also modify things like the settings or check out your achievements. One of the more useful features is being able to easily and conveniently make purchases for Microsoft's home console(s) without having to actually turn on your system.
The remote purchasing could be very useful when you're out and about but you want to pick up the latest game and you won't have time to do so from GameStop or other retailers. Having the ability to remotely purchase games with Windows 10 makes it pretty easy. Although, if I'm being completely honest, that's not really a new feature. You can also purchase and make changes to your catalog through the official Xbox website. In fact, it's no more inconvenient to use the Xbox store right now from the official website than to turn on the system and scour the store for digital goods.
I imagine the Windows 10 app bridging together digital storefront purchases with the social aspects of the Xbox Live experience is what most fans are looking forward to the most. More details are expected to arrive for Windows 10 come January, 2015.