An early consumer build of Windows 10 has been leaked onto the internet, and people have received their first taste of the operating system’s new Xbox app.
Microsoft’s latest operating system is seen by many as a response to the much-maligned Windows 7. The start menu returns – albeit with the same tile-based system seen on Windows phones – and many revisions to core features have been made underneath the hood, along with plenty of new ones.
For PC gamers, the most noteworthy addition is likely to be the new Xbox app – and thanks to the leaked build of the OS, you can see what it looks like in the screenshots below (taken from The Verge). Also discovered is that the new operating system will include Microsoft’s Cortana – the company’s answer to Siri on iOS.
Separately, over the weekend Xbox boss Phil Spencer took to twitter to renew the Redmond giant’s focus on PC gaming:
@RpLayy I'll be focusing more on what we are doing on Win10 in January, it's time for us to talk about gaming on Windows.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 12, 2014
What this means for gaming is currently anyone’s guess. Windows Vista launched with exclusive support for Direct X 10 and the now-discontinued – and much despised – Games for Windows Live. It looks like the new app could be a new take on the core concept of Games for Windows Live; in the screenshots below, you can clearly see a “store” button, while users will also be able to check their Xbox messages and friends, as well as browse their achievements.
In recent years, Microsoft has dipped its toes back in the world of PC gaming, with PC ports of Fable and Halo games, and remastered editions of classic Age of Empires games. Original games for the platform have been thin on the ground, however. A free-to-play version of Age of Empires closed down earlier this year, while a new version of Flight Simulator found itself criticized for an abundance of micro-transactions and a lack of content. Whether Microsoft’s plans for computer-based gaming involve more original titles, new versions of existing IP or simply more ports of existing Xbox One games is unknown. But, as Spencer says, we should find out more next month.