As you may or may not know, Microsoft has been busily working away on Windows 8. In the past few days we've learned some interesting bits of information, such as the fact it will boot in around two seconds on an optimal hardware set up, will be able to run on a mere 1GHz Atom processor and may feature an app store. However, all of these facts and rumours pale in comparison to an official announcement
which confirms that Xbox LIVE will
be included within the operating system as per the original rumour we covered
Major Nelson gave the following official statement with a screenshot of the Windows 8 native Xbox LIVE experience:
We are confirming that we will be bringing Xbox LIVE to the PC with Xbox LIVE on Windows. We are very excited about Xbox LIVE coming to Windows 8. Xbox LIVE brings your games, music, movies, and TV shows to your favorite Microsoft and Windows devices. Bringing Xbox LIVE to Windows 8 is part of our vision to bring you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy.
Windows 8 is shaping up to be a critical turning point in the design and UI of Windows products as we know it, as MS ship the metro-style interface of Windows Phone 7 to the desktop environment. The inclusion of Xbox LIVE on the desktop opens up a new world of possibilities for gaming and perhaps even cross platform ventures in the future. Of course this is pure speculation at this point, but it's also a highly logical train of thought. Take a look at that screen shot again and notice the 'social' tab at the top left.
Factor into this Microsoft's recent acquisition of Skype, and the ability of Kinect to video chat, and we could
be looking at cross platform party chat here at the very least. I stress this is just my interpretation of multi-million dollar strategic acquisitions by the boys at Redmond. Take it with a large grain of salt for now.
What we don't know at the moment is whether this is a Games For Windows Live rebrand, or whether GfWL will be killed off in the future for a more universal approach.
It's expected, through hints from Ballmer and co. that we'll see Windows 8 make it's début around Autumn 2012. We'll bring you more information on the future of Xbox LIVE on the PC as it trickles forth in the run down to the launch date. Let us know what you are expecting, or hoping for, in the Xbox LIVE enabled world of Windows 8.