Who needs gamers? Microsoft targets small businesses with the Xbox One

When Microsoft revealed the Xbox One two months ago it pushed the next generation console’s entertainment features, playing down the device’s gaming prowess. The message was clear. The Xbox One is an entertainment hub that can do games, not a games console in the traditional sense.

Microsoft is pursuing an audience outside its (once) loyal gaming community, and having targeted non gamers with talk of TV shows and music, the obvious next step is to pitch the Xbox One as a full blown business system, right? Wait, what?

In an official blog post, Microsoft claims, "it's entirely justifiable to make the Xbox One a business expense", explaining the $499 device is "an affordable option for small business owners, as there are many features built into the console that could help it rival even the most modest of video conferencing and networking platforms".


The features that make the Xbox One such a must-have for the modern office include Skype, SkyDrive, Wi-Fi Direct, Internet Explorer and Office Web Apps, as well as the rather speculative sounding "Future Applications".

Skype on the Xbox One, Microsoft explains, not only allows for "multi-person chatting" but combined with the wide-angle lens and 1080p view of the included Kinect "you have the means for collaborative meetings and presentations".

SkyDrive makes the Xbox One ideal for displaying photos and videos, accessing documents, and again giving presentations.

As for those "Future Applications?" Microsoft explains, "The app story of Xbox One has yet to be written, therefore it is entirely possible to find apps down the road that could be of benefit for you and your business. With the processing power, snap mode, and connection to a large screen, that the Xbox One has, this device is capable of going from the 'break room' to the 'board room'".

22 Responses to Who needs gamers? Microsoft targets small businesses with the Xbox One

  1. MSFTmanJosh says:

    what's wrong with saying business can use the Xbox One as well? You have the gamers in the forefront, and others which can include businesses, in the other buyers. They clearly explained why it is possible.

    • barely_normal says:

      Yes, the NSA will love it!

      • MSFTmanJosh says:

        Really? Another NSA joke. Get over it already. Damn

      • barely_normal says:

        That's exactly what the NSA wants, for people to go about their business, pushing the fact that they are being watched [not all the time, but exactly when never known] to the very furthest recesses of their brains.

  2. C64 says:

    Ah yes the true masters of confusing markets, Microsoft are masters of confusing any market they enter. Innovative? My arse! They copy, scramble to right wrongs then end up with a media full of contradicting managers saying things that aren't true. Once Microsoft is out the better for us all

    • ToeKneeC67 says:

      " Once Microsoft is out the better for us all"
      And replaced with what?
      And speak for yourself, as I'm happy with Microsoft, Apple and Google around - forces some good innovation and competition.

    • TroyGates says:

      Please point to the consumer product that allows video conferencing out of the box at $500 per node. I'd love to know because our Lifesize system cost over $100k to connect all of our offices. If we could have put in Xbox Ones at $500 a pop, we'd be under $10k.

      I think your hate for Microsoft makes you say things that are 100% untrue. Microsoft copied no one by integrating Skype and Kinect into Xbox that enables it to be a video conferencing system at a very low entry point.

      • C64 says:

        I'm sure companies can buy cheap laptops way less than an xbox and have the IT support to install Skype and lo and behold a cheaper alternative

      • TroyGates says:

        Haha that's really funny. You must not have any experience with a business setting that uses video conferencing a lot. IT would be fired if they tried to use a cheap laptop in place of a dedicated video conferencing system.

      • David King says:

        Yeah use Skype for your corporate environment. On the cheap I guess???

        Some of that traffic would have to go out of your network and back in bringing down reliability big time. We all know how reliable Skype is as it is.....NOT. Then it would NOT be tied into your voice system either.

        I guess for a cheap solution sure, but Google + could be used...or FaceTime via Apple TV etc.

        For a real system that integrates with voice/video/presence you need Cisco or Lync.

        Annnnnnddd that is angle here that Microsoft is pushing. Get them hooked on Skype over the xbox...up sell them on Lync, which is anything but cheap.

  3. Isaac Fields says:

    I think its a great idea its worth the money purely for the video conferencing.

  4. barely_normal says:

    It must target a new audience, having ruined the main one with the various stupidities already announced. Every person I know, combined with many twenty-somethings my son knows, will not be buying an Xbox One, but instead switch to a better graphics card for their PC, or the purchase of a PS4.

    • TroyGates says:

      And I hear the opposite. Everyone I know plus my 20 yr son's and my teenage son's group of friends all can't wait for the Xbox One. Different circles run with different products. I think they will both sell well.

    • David King says:

      PS4 is sold out via Gamestop. I read the PS4 had 3 million allotted for launch day...Xbone 1 million.

  5. ToeKneeC67 says:

    We all saw this coming with Microsoft buying Skype. It just needed some great hardware to go against Polycom (at least for small conference rooms). But at a fraction of the cost. However, while I'm sure it will work, seems a bit odd having an Xbox at work :)

  6. bourgeoisdude says:

    To win businesses, all MS needs to do, in my humble opinion, is announce support for VHD boot/installs on Xbox One. Why not?

  7. swattz101 says:

    Sounds like an interesting idea, at least for a small VTC conference room. I expect the ability to use power point slide shows through the Office Web Apps. "Kinect, Next Slide Please"

    My only concern is the usual hosting of business on Microsoft's servers. Give businesses the ability to host their own or set up Point to Point or integrate Lync.

    A plugin for Google Hangouts would be cool also, but I don't know if Microsoft would go for that. Do Hangouts work in the current Xbox browser?

  8. dugan6415 says:

    Corporate espionage for the iPhone generation! Integrates your correspondence records with the Cloud while automatically mapping your customers to federated identities with zero configuration!

  9. MightyThorazine says:

    Mighty - "Hey Boss! Can we order an Xbox One for the conference room for video chat?"

    Boss - "MightThorazine, you are fired!!!"

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