Microsoft has always dominated the computer operating system game, with its Windows OS long holding a wide lead in market share pretty much since its inception. But the company’s history of supporting games on Windows is a different story. Microsoft has attempted to launch and support different gaming related Windows initiatives over the years like Games for Windows Live, but has preferred to spend most of its resources towards propping up its Xbox consoles. The world’s leader in PC operating systems has let other companies like Valve take the lead when it comes to the actual purchasing and distribution of digital titles on PC through platforms like Steam.
But it looks like Microsoft could be refocusing its efforts on PC gaming, depending on how much you want to read into a recent tweet from Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division. Spencer is one of several Microsoft executives who is scheduled to speak about the upcoming release of Windows 10 at a special event being held January 21 to preview Microsoft’s next major OS release.
Spencer responded to a fan on Twitter who asked if Microsoft planned on showing footage of the Windows 10 UI running on Xbox One at the event by stating that he’d be focusing more on Windows 10 itself. But he also added the following…
@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
Let the speculation begin.
Most industry watchers already expected Spencer to spend time discussing the capabilities of DirectX 12, which is supposed to provide a significant increase over DirectX 11.
But it may also be time for Microsoft to start making good on its promise made early this year to provide stronger support for PC gaming. Games for Windows Live has not had much success, but a new OS could provide an opportunity to revamp Microsoft’s distribution model on the platform should they be serious about actually supporting it this time around. Could we see Microsoft try to prop up its own PC games distribution service with a model similar to Steam? Having a game store launcher automatically installed on every copy of Windows 10 would go along way towards increasing Microsoft’s footprint.
It’s possible the company could also reveal details about that rumored Xbox One on PC cloud streaming service. Sony’s PlayStation Now has given Microsoft’s biggest competitor in the gaming space a bit of a head start when it comes to streaming games, but the ability to combine the power of Xbox One and the PC platforms together could be huge.
Lastly, don’t forget that Microsoft recently purchased Minecraft developer Mojang for a cool $2.5 billion dollars. Minecraft is available on multiple different platforms, but it’s a PC title at heart. With that amount of money on the line, it wouldn’t be surprising if Microsoft wants to move forward quickly with its first big Minecraft announcement since the purchase.
The Windows 10 preview event, “Windows 10: The Next Chapter” is scheduled for January 21 at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Microsoft plans to stream the event live.
Follow Jason Gallagher on Twitter @MuckrakerJG.
Source: Phil Spencer