Users running the latest preview software for the Xbox One are starting to see the first Universal Windows Platform apps on the console. Both Netflix and MSN Weather have been spotted by Insiders and are installable and functional on the Xbox One.
Microsoft has been discussing the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) for most of this year. The company plans to make Windows 10 an ecosystem that allows users to have the same experience on any device.
Plans for the Xbox One to be part of UWP stretch back as far as last year when Windows 10 was made available for the console. The Anniversary Update will close out that vision by making Windows 10 function across PC and Xbox (as well as mobile and HoloLens). Microsoft has already made it possible to buy Xbox One games from a Windows 10 PC through Windows Store.
The apps that are already working on preview builds will function just like the apps on Windows 10 PCs. As Netflix is a non-Microsoft app, it is encouraging because it suggests major third-party developers will embrace the UWP idea. Once the Windows 10 Anniversary Update lands on August 2, we expect to see more UWP apps arrive.
One of the key points of Universal Windows Platform for gamers is that they will be able to play anywhere. If they buy an Xbox One title, they will also be able to play it on Windows 10 PC with the Play Anywhere feature. This allows them to pick up where they left off without losing progress, achievements, and contacts.
This approach has been criticized by some, with critics suggesting that Microsoft is looking to monopolize the market. However, the company insists that UWP is all about giving users more flexibility and not actually tying them down.