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Getting a Closer Look at Xbox Live, Music and Videos for Windows 8

Xbox Live Windows 8_Thumb.jpg 1The Verge’s Tom Warren previews the Xbox Live, Music and Video portions of Windows 8

Xbox Live, Music and Videos

Windows 8 represents a big step into how Microsoft is integrating Xbox Live into its newest operating system, beyond Games for Windows Live. In Windows 8, Xbox Live, Music and Videos are all integrated. Tom Warren from The Verge takes a look at these services in Windows 8.

Unsurprisingly, the Xbox Live hub – like the equivalent Windows Phone 7 application – allows Xbox Live users to get access to their friends list to see who’s online, along with comparing games and viewing their profile, recently played games and avatar (where they can presumably change the clothes and facial features found on the Xbox 360). Integrated games also allow access to achievements. There’s access to the Windows Games Marketplace, though its quite bare at the moment.

Windows 8 also includes an Xbox Live Companion App. Tying in to Windows 8 as a future tablet OS, the Companion App lets users launch Xbox 360 console games from a Windows 8 PC. The App also allows streaming video to an Xbox 360. As Warren says, “Microsoft is clearly starting to position Windows 8 and Xbox … to compete against Apple’s Air Play” (which allows streaming from iOS devices to Apple TV).

The Music and Videos apps within Windows 8 are both the default for each media, looking a lot like the newest Xbox 360 dashboard update, and includes the Spotlight section for highlighted media. There is also the Movies marketplace and TV marketplace.

Whether you launch music or video in Windows 8, from the Metro of desktop version of Windows 8, you will be listening to or watching the media from the Metro side of Windows 8. Also, as is the case throughout the Metro side of Windows 8, the apps are presented much like the Xbox Live app.

The apps also support snapping: “Snapping to the side allows you to continue playing a video while you work in another Metro or desktop application.” Warren says. Apps basically become a ‘mini player’, showing video content in a smaller form. Moving towards the bottom will show videos that are currently playing.

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Published: Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 Last Modified: March 3, 2012

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