The Xbox One Interface Is About To Get More Like Windows 8

The Xbox One interface is… let’s be charitable and say that it’s a work in progress. Either way, it’s not what you call “universally loved.” Microsoft’s solution? Windows 8!

Or, at least, incorporating elements of Windows 8 into the Xbox One interface. That’s the plan according to leaked internal memos about Threshold, Microsoft’s plan to more closely “integrate” Windows 8, Windows Phone, and the Xbox One. And it’s ambitious, to say the least:

Threshold will add another level of commonality across Microsoft’s various Windows-based platforms, sources said. With the Threshold wave, Microsoft plans to support the same core set of “high value activities” across platforms. These high-value activities include expression/documents; decision making/task completion; IT management and “serious fun.”

Also, apparently the Xbox One operation system is based on Windows NT, which explains a lot. What, you couldn’t get an emulator for 3.1 going, guys?

Joking aside, there are some good ideas here, like buying an app on Windows Phone and being able to use it on the Xbox One. That’s a pretty smart way to make the Xbox One more useful in subtle ways, since the ultimate goal is to make this the “brain” of the household. Although that also means that at some point, you’ll be able to use your Xbox One to buy games from Steam for your Windows laptop.

That said, it took a service pack update before people stopped storming Redmond with torches and pitchforks over Windows 8. And there’s a lot people hate about the Xbox One interface, not least the fact that everything is an app and half those apps don’t work, or at least aren’t very intuitive. While I was at my local game shop a few days ago, I actually overheard the clerk fielding two phone calls explaining that yes, your achievement had popped, you just weren’t online so you have to dig through to find it.

Threshold isn’t coming until 2015, though, so Microsoft will have time to fix it. One hopes.