Since the late 1970’s, Microsoft and Apple have been competing head to head on a large scale. The last decade or so we have seen Apple really take a strong foothold in the device market. A big breakthrough was the iPod, the first device to achieve large success, and then the iPhone, with the iPad being the latest device to drop. The number of households or individuals that have one or more of these Apple devices is a huge margin. The video game market however is an area where Microsoft took the first step with the release of their own gaming console in November 2001. Sources state that 59% of U.S. households now have gaming consoles, and 39% have iOS devices. This shows that the chances of someone owning an Xbox 360 and an iOS device are very high.
This year at E3 (Electronics Entertainment Expo), Microsoft announced a new software upgrade for the Xbox 360 called SmartGlass. The program itself is essentially an app that will turn your smart phone or tablet into another screen for your TV. The app will allow users to control their Xbox 360 using an iPhone or iPad if they choose. The announcement of what devices were compatible with SmartGlass came as a huge shock to many during Microsoft’s E3 presentation. The app is also compatible with other iOS touchscreen devices, Android devices, Windows phones and most tablets.
The fact is Microsoft realizes the impact Apple devices have had and the success they have reached. This has lead them to take a strategy of cohesiveness. The ability to use the already strong install base of iOS devices in homes to improve Microsoft’s video game console abilities is genius. The time when Microsoft and Apple devices were kept on separate sides of the room has come to an end.
SmartGlass In a Nutshell:
- SmartGlass can be used to watch T.V. and movies, which can then be moved from the television set to your smart phone or tablet with the swipe of a finger.
- While watching shows or movies, SmartGlass provides extras you can view on your smart phone or tablet, such as what actors are on screen or the set location of the show.
- SmartGlass allows you to surf the Internet using your Xbox with a smart phone or tablet acting as the keyboard and mouse.
- SmartGlass takes advantage of the Kinect Sensor which allows for voice commands.
- SmartGlass is a new tool for video game developers, such as Xbox 360 running Madden Football with the player using his tablet as a playbook for the game to implement the plays.
Now that you have a larger scale picture of what SmartGlass can do, it brings a really interesting question. How will Apple react to this move by Microsoft? The Xbox 360 was considered to be primarily a video game console and that just isn’t true anymore. The idea of it being the center of family’s living rooms has always been the vision of Microsoft. This puts Microsoft in the position to dominate a certain market that Apple has been trying to gain ground in for years with such products as Apple TV.
Photos Source: cnet.com