All play and no work would make Microsoft’s forthcoming Xbox One console less profitable than it potentially could be, so the Redmond company are expanding their marketing horizons to attract small businesses. In an open letter from Microsoft’s director of Consumer Camp Marques Lyons, the company have been pitching the device’s potential as a workplace tool, as well as a home entertainment device, thanks to its cloud storage integration and video conferencing Skype application.
“What is being positioned as an excellent entertainment device can be just as enticing for you and your small business,” wrote Lyons.
“In fact, it’s entirely justifiable to make the Xbox One a business expense. The Xbox One, priced at $499 [£429], is an affordable option for small business owners, as there are many features built into the console that could help it rival even the most modest of video conferencing and networking platforms.”
Skype and the Xbox One’s mandatory Kinect camera sensor will be a great way for small businesses to simply introduce large-screen video conferencing to their work place too:
“Utilise Skype, and the power of group chatting, to have that collaborative exchange with clients and co-workers, no matter where in the world they happen to be,” Lyons encouraged.
“Utilize the size of that nice TV screen to see every smile and nod as your next great plan comes together. The Xbox One with Kinect, as a Skype provider, is just as capable as a PC with an attached/included microphone and webcam. The difference here is that Xbox One and Kinect gives you the open space to move, gesture, show examples, and see everyone more clearly.”
SkyDrive integration, Microsoft’s cloud-based storage service, combined with Kinect enabled voice and gesture controls, could be a great way to give presentations, pairing with the Internet Explorer application and associated web apps:
“With SkyDrive via Internet Explorer, you can use it with the Office Web Apps to open that Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint. Use the Kinect voice and hand gestures to navigate to websites. Now you’re free of clickers and light pens to use your hands to for more expressive gestures.”
Finally, second-screen SmartGlass tools will also aid making presentations with a tablet device, offering simplified screen-mirroring options.
Microsoft’s “one device” mantra continues then; even if Sony have won the earlier war for gamer’s hearts, Microsoft’s battle for the living room with entertainment features, alongside this new battlefront for the boardroom, shows Microsoft are laying the foundations for the long game in this generation’s console war.