Mike Delman, Microsoft's vice president of global marketing in the interactive entertainment business unit, was interviewed this week by The Seattle Times. The discussion encompassed various areas that the software giant dabbles in, and at one point Delman revealed that the company's Xbox Live service will be built into the next version of its desktop operating system, Windows 8.
Given that Microsoft has already brought Xbox Live integration to Windows Phone, its new mobile operating system, it only makes sense that there should be something similar, if not deeper, in Windows 8 as well. Delman didn't give too many details, but here are the three questions and answers that you'll probably find most interesting:
Q: Speaking of phone, I was surprised we didn't hear about connections between Xbox and Windows Phone here at E3.
A: Live has been successful on the Windows Phone. Live will be built into the PC. It will be the service where you get your entertainment. We were talking about it — you will not just see consoles and handhelds at this show next year, this show's going to morph into other devices.
Q: How will your services and content be part of Windows 8?
A: There will be a lot of similarities in design and service philosophy. Whether it's us or Apple or anybody else, people want to be able to navigate through multiple devices in a certain ecosystem very seamlessly so we're committed to that.
Q: Will Xbox Live be your cloud media service that works with your Windows PC as well as your phone and Xbox?
A: Xbox Live will the pervasive media service across devices.
Given that Microsoft is hoping to push Windows 8 to desktops, laptops, tablets, and other PC form factors, this will be huge exposure for Xbox Live. Still, it's too early to judge the impact this integration will have given that we still don't know exactly how it will work. Microsoft will have to make sure developers can easily take advantage of the service on PCs.
Although a rumor suggests that Windows 8 will arrive on January 7, 2013, we expect that the operating system will ship in time for the 2012 holiday season. In fact, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said Windows 8 is coming in 2012, but Microsoft quickly claimed this was a misstatement.