Windows 8 is going to be a very unusual operating system. The main crowd Microsoft seems to be targeting are the ones who fancy touch systems, over the traditional mouse-keyboard layout. And as we know, most computer users the world over prefer the mouse keyboard layout. Then how does Microsoft expect users to switch over to Windows 8, when Windows 7 is still already capable and popular? If the rumors are to be believed, Microsoft might have realized this potential flaw in the strategy, and might be trying to pack a bigger punch by integrating the Xbox 360 into Windows 8. But, is it a good idea?
If you’re a PC user, of course it is. There may be many instances where you might have wanted a particular exclusive on your PC, or the game might have been designed with the Consoles in mind, and must have been an abysmal port on the PC, of which there are many. Well, now you can enjoy all those games without having to buy a new Console. If the rumors are true, then there might be no reason for a PC gamer to buy a Microsoft Console, at least until the next Xbox comes out.
One thing really puzzles me; where does Microsoft benefit from all of this? It’s not like Microsoft suddenly woke up with an earth shattering epiphany to give back something to the society. That never happens. Epiphanies are the result of gradual behavioral change, and nothing Microsoft has done recently has been suggestive of the same. They obviously might be trying to lure people into switching over from Windows 7 by using the Xbox integration as a marketing tool. Even then, wouldn’t it be kicking yourself in the foot? The PS2 still sells a respectable amount of units worldwide, and there’s no reason not to believe that the Xbox 360 will keep selling even after the Xbox 720 arrives.
The only logical reason I can think of is the royalties that Microsoft will earn from each game sold – they’ll be pure profit. This money won’t go into making systems at a loss, which was the case with the Xbox 360. Here, people are basically getting a Console and a PC for the price of a PC. Many people who download pirated versions of Windows might be tempted to prefer an original copy, since Microsoft will obviously employ some sort of protection to ensure that pirates will not be able to use the Console. Still, leaving an entire brand as redundant doesn’t seem like a pragmatic decision, whatever the benefits might seem.
All this leads me to believe that this rumor will not see the light of reality. There may be some sort of compromise though, like many of the 360 games coming to the PC. But, I don’t see Microsoft giving away a free Xbox 360 with every copy of Windows 8 it sells.