Microsoft suggests small businesses buy an Xbox One for the workplace

Microsoft says its upcoming next-generation console would be excellent at servicing networking and conferencing needs in the workplace.

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Alongside gamers and families, Microsoft is now saying the Xbox One would be a perfect device for small businesses.

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In a public letter to small business owners, Microsoft director of consumer camp Marques Lyons has said many of the applications and features available to the upcoming next-generation console would be valuable to the networking and conferencing needs of offices.

"In fact, it's entirely justifiable to make the Xbox One a business expense," wrote Lyons. "The Xbox One, priced at $499, 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."

"What is being positioned as an excellent entertainment device can be just as enticing for you and your small business."

"Utilize Skype," continued Lyons, "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."

"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."

Lyons also suggested a workplace mix of SkyDrive, Office Web Apps, and Kinect. "The SkyDrive app can let you easily access both photos and videos for viewing. If you're hosting a meeting at your office, don't worry about attaching a PC to the TV or using a projector. Store your videos in SkyDrive and then use the app to open that video. Do you have photos from recent travels or images showing details and diagrams? Open them with SkyDrive, navigate them with Kinect voice or hand gestures, be free from tethering that PC around."

"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."

Lyons also said a mix of SmartGlass and Wi-Fi Direct would be useful in the workplace, allowing workers to beam presentations onto a large TV screen and control them with a tablet.

Future applications might also be released to assist businesses, added Lyons. "The app story of Xbox One has yet to be written, therefore it is entirely possible to find apps down the road that could be of benefit for you and your business. With the processing power, snap mode, and connection to a large screen, that the Xbox One has, this device is capable of going from the 'break room' to the 'board room'."

The Xbox One will be released this November for $499/€499/£425.

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