Xbox Live coming to Windows 8

Microsoft taking a second shot at bringing its console online service to PCs with launch of upcoming operating system.

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Microsoft today confirmed that it is bringing Xbox Live to Windows. Again. However, unlike the Games for Windows Live service that promised cross-platform play and originally carried an annual subscription fee, this time the initiative is being called Xbox Live on Windows and will roll out with the launch of the Windows 8 operating system.

Windows 8 is being designed for touch screens as well as mouse-and-keyboard interfaces.
Windows 8 is being designed for touch screens as well as mouse-and-keyboard interfaces.

In confirming the program, Xbox Live director of programming Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb today gave fleeting details about what the service will entail. "Xbox Live brings your games, music, movies, and TV shows to your favorite Microsoft and Windows devices," Hryb said. "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."

The integration is not entirely surprising, given how much the Windows 8 dashboard resembles that of the Xbox's Kinect interface. Earlier this year, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed that the Kinect motion-sensing camera peripheral would be coming to the PC, saying, "We'll support that in a formal way in the right time, and when we have an announcement to make, we'll make it." (The company has since released the Kinect software development kit for the PC.)

For more on the upcoming operating system, check out Microsoft's keynote address to Windows 8 developers at the Build conference.

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