When Microsoft made the announcement that their new console, the Xbox One, would be running not one, but three! operating systems, I was a little stunned to say the least. What on EARTH are they thinking (said my brain). Yet with a day to think about this one, it makes perfect sense and here is how it all works.
The first OS will be the familiar Xbox Live service, albeit a finely tuned edition with new clothes on and a distinct "windows 8" theme to it that we see on the current Xbox 360 dashboard. This will be your main control interface and generally the only actually operating system front end that you deal with, keeping things nice and simple for all.
Xbox Live will be used to launch your games, handle the Kinect interface options, launch things like Internet Explorer, watch movies, so on and so forth, it will also be the general run time environment for a lot of apps and games.
The 2nd OS is the Windows 8 Kernel, the core underlying structure and software that makes the latest Windows operating system tick and this is an interesting development as this will ensure cross platform compatibility with near anything Microsoft wants, that includes desktop apps, any software that works on the mobile platforms and of course the Windows tablets.
This opens up the possibility for full cross platform integration, something Microsoft have tinkered with by offering games with achievements on their mobile systems, but something I expect is about to be taken to a whole new level for games, as well as productivity and social apps.
The last engine is a management engine, one that works to only ensure that the right OS’ (Windows and Live) are doing the right job at the right time, but they both offer instant access to any features at any given time, such as instant switching between apps, games, video and Skype.
Image Source: Engadget