Dell says Xbox One will run and sync Windows 8 apps: Don't get too excited
Updated 10-22-13 with comments from Microsoft. This article originally published the morning of 10-21-13.
The march towards One Microsoft continues: Dell's webpage for Microsoft's Xbox One console suggests that it can run and sync data from Windows 8 modern UI apps. “With all your favorite Windows 8 apps able to be run on and synced to your Xbox One, now your phone, desktop, tablet and TV can all give you a unified web and entertainment experience," a promotional page on Dell's site reads.
The only problem: Microsoft hasn't said anything about the Windows Store coming to the Xbox One. More to the point, previous reports have said that while the Xbox One has some underpinnings from Windows, they aren't perfectly cross compatible. In other words, developers would need to tweak their Windows 8 apps to run on the Xbox One as far as we know.
So while tantalizing, it's not very practical to surprise everyone on Xbox launch day with an announcement like this—unless, of course, Microsoft has lined up some mainstream apps to be Xbox One-ready for the console's November 22 launch.
Assuming Dell hasn't let the cat out of the bag, the company could simply be under a misunderstanding about what the Xbox One can do. Given Microsoft's close relationship with Dell, however, that seems unlikely.
Dell has yet to respond to our request for comment, but a Microsoft spokesperson told us late Monday "the suggestion that all Windows 8 apps run on Xbox One is not accurate."
Despite Microsoft's denial, Dell had not changed the copy on its promotional site as of Tuesday at 4:45 a.m. ET.
SmartGlass and Play to Xbox
Perhaps Microsoft plans on expanding the capabilities of SmartGlass and Play to Xbox. Right now, these features let you turn your Windows 8 device into an Xbox One remote control, supply so-called second screen experiences, or send streaming media to an Xbox. So maybe that functionality will expand to include Windows 8 modern UI apps. Just fire up Facebook for Windows 8, tap Play to Xbox and you're checking out your news feed on your TV.
More likely, this could just be Microsoft-influenced marketing speak that really means the Xbox One has some apps in common with Windows 8. Dell's line says “all your favorite Windows 8 apps” can run on the Xbox One. Not every app in the app store, but “your favorite Windows 8 apps”—i.e. Microsoft-produced apps like Internet Explorer, Skype, and Xbox Music.
This can also be inferred from Microsoft's claim that not "all" Windows 8 apps can run on Xbox one.
With Windows 8 and 8.1 you can already sync a ton of data to your Microsoft account via SkyDrive, including Web browsing favorites, open tabs, and history, installed apps, and other app data. Skype also backs up and syncs your contact data and communications history across devices, and Xbox Music is another cloud-based service. The line could simply be a reference to Microsoft's cloud-synced capabilities and cross-platform apps.
It would certainly be interesting if the full-blown Windows Store landed on Xbox One. But don't hold your breath for it to be there at the console's launch, no matter what Dell's words vaguely imply.