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access_time July 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM in News by Alex Co

Microsoft pitches Xbox One for small businesses, thinks it’s a “great investment”


While Microsoft might be pitching the Xbox One as an “all-in-one” entertainment device rather than just being a videogame console, they’re not stopping there.

Not only has the company acquired the domain names “OfficeXbox.com” and “OfficeXbox.net,” they even posted a message on the official Microsoft Support page why the “Xbox is taking care of business.”

What is being positioned as an excellent entertainment device can be just as enticing for you and your small business. In fact, it’s entirely justifiable to make the Xbox One a business expense. The Xbox One, priced at $499, 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.

So, just what could the $499 Xbox One bring to the business table? Microsoft lists it down:

Skype: Xbox One will allow people to not only use Skype on the console, but it will allow for multi-person chatting. Combine this with the wide-angle lens and 1080p view of the included Kinect and you have the means for collaborative meetings and presentations.

As an example, Skype is being used in educational settings, everywhere, to bring together classrooms, cultures and learning. This can also apply to your business. Utilize Skype, and the power of group chatting, to have that collaborative exchange with clients and co-workers, no matter where in the world they happen to be. Utilize the size of that nice TV screen to see every smile and nod as your next great plan comes together. The Xbox One with Kinect, as a Skype provider, is just as capable as a PC with an attached/included microphone and webcam. The difference here is that Xbox One and Kinect gives you the open space to move, gesture, show examples, and see everyone more clearly.

SkyDrive: Currently, on the Xbox 360, you have access to SkyDrive via the Internet Explorer web browser and the dedicated SkyDrive app. SkyDrive has become one of the leading cloud services for storing documents and having them available anywhere you need them. For the home business, SkyDrive, snapped with Skype (for example) can make accessing documents for presentation and discussion easy.

The SkyDrive app can let you easily access both photos and videos for viewing. If you’re hosting a meeting at your office, don’t worry about attaching a PC to the TV or using a projector. Store your videos in SkyDrive and then use the app to open that video. Do you have photos from recent travels or images showing details and diagrams? Open them with SkyDrive, navigate them with Kinect voice or hand gestures, be free from tethering that PC around.

With SkyDrive via Internet Explorer, you can use it with the Office Web Apps to open that Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint. Use the Kinect voice and hand gestures to navigate to websites. Now you’re free of clickers and light pens to use your hands to for more expressive gestures.

Wi-Fi Direct: I’m currently in awe of Wi-Fi Direct and it’s possibilities. For consumers, I put forth the idea, that Wi-Fi Direct, plus SmartGlass, would mean being able to beam live TV to any SmartGlass enabled device. For you — as the small business owner — you could imagine having a SmartGlass enabled device and beaming in the other direction: Send your presentation to the TV, use Smartglass to navigate through the PowerPoint presentation, use your tablet to control Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer and Office Web Apps: The current Xbox 360 and Xbox One will have Internet Explorer available. If you host clients at your home, use the power of IE and the size of your TV to showcase your new redesigned website, or snap IE to the side while using SkyDrive to present sketches you’re working on. Because Internet Explorer has access to the Office Web Apps, pair that with a Wi-Fi keyboard and mouse and you have the means to edit documents, when necessary, even if you aren’t near your PC.

Future Applications: 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’.

Of course, people can just, y’know, a PC to do all these things. But at least now people can put in an Xbox One in their expense reports and cite it as “for business.”

Do you think this is a good idea from Microsoft or should they just concentrate on games?

Thanks, NeoGAF!


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