Once again, Microsoft is pushing forward their domination by applying the successful techniques in the gaming industry to the PC world. What is it this time? Xbox Live. Microsoft has announced that they plan to make this service available for PCs, too.
This is exciting news, for several reasons. Microsoft's Xbox Live has proven quite successful over the years, and was one of the core reasons why the original Xbox remained popular over the years. So if it's popular in the console world, won't it be a hit with the PCs?
But this is a lot more than a quality online gaming service. I see here the beginning of the bridge between the console world and the PC gaming world. Microsoft has been doing lots to make this happen.
They've started out by making communications between the Xbox 360 and Windows easier. You can stream music, and all sorts of other things. Microsoft is trying to turn the Xbox 360 into an entertainment hub.
But now with Xbox Live on PCs, users who can't or don't want to buy an Xbox 360 can use a PC and still play with their buddies who do happen to own one. The lines between a game console and a gaming rig are beginning to blur, and I expect we'll soon get full versions of Vista running on the Xbox 360.
I'm also hoping that we'll see more games that run on both console and PC, which is done by making a more transparent DirectX interface for the developers between PC and Xbox. Microsoft realizes that they can profit from an in-between market, me included, who game at times, but simply do not want to fork out the money to buy a dedicated gaming machine.
So I congratulate Microsoft on a big step forward, and I hope to see more like it. (Heck, I might even consider buying the service once Vista stabilizes!)