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HTML5 games on Xbox One? Microsoft eyes cross-platform development

HTML5 games on Xbox One? Microsoft eyes cross-platform development

September 3, 2013 | By Mike Rose

September 3, 2013 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's mobile business today showed that the company is serious about aggressively taking on the mobile competition. But with other massive platforms already around, including iOS and Android, how does Microsoft plan to convince developers to jump on board?

The key, says Microsoft's EVP of operating systems Terry Myerson, is to provide developers with a way to build apps and games that can then be released across all Microsoft devices easily.

And this includes allowing for HTML5 and native applications across all the company's devices, including smartphones, tablets, and the upcoming Xbox One.

"We want to offer [developers] the opportunity to build either HTML5 applications, or native applications that span all of those devices, enabling them to reach segments of users on those devices, users on a gaming console, and provide them with very unique opportunities to monetize their application investments," he explained as part of today's Microsoft Nokia Transaction Conference Call.

He continued, "So we're pretty excited about the platforms that we're bringing to market. Developer reception in some areas is certainly better than others, but overall we're making progress, and we know we've got a lot more work to do."

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer added that driving consumers to Microsoft devices was the company's main goal, as this will eventually lead to a wider range of developers, apps and games on Microsoft systems.

"We think we have differentiated products, we can tell the story a little bit better, and we can get volume up," he said. "You know, we have over 160,000 applications on the [Windows] Store, and we know we have a long way to go. The key is really offering, with our own first-party applications and first-party hardware, enough reasons to drive volumes, and attract a broader developer ecosystem."

And discussing HTML5 development for Windows phones, tablets and Xbox One, Ballmer noted, "Obviously HTML5 would be kind of a neutral thing - I would expect all the major platforms to embrace it to some extent, and in some senses it takes away a little bit of the app barrier to entry which we know we need to work hard on right now."

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