As they struggle to win back a still-alienated crowd of video game fans over their Xbox One console, Microsoft have seeked to tap into a new market for their expensive product, after it was revealed that they are now in the process of pitching the Xbox One as a product for small businesses to use.
Coming in the form of an open letter addressed towards the ‘small business community’, Marques Lyons, the ‘director of consumer camp’ at Microsoft, has highlighted the benefits of using the upcoming eighth-generation games console in an office environment.
Although this would probably best be done in a manipulating speech towards those that don’t know their DRMs from their RPGs or their other RPGs, fairly plausible features pointed out for ‘business use’ include the integration of Internet Explorer, Skype, Microsoft SkyDrive, and ‘Wi-Fi Direct’, along with a number of ‘Office Web Apps’, amongst other possible ‘benefits’.
Lyons summarised in the letter: “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 [£429], 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.
“Xbox One will allow people to not only use Skype on the console, but it will allow for multiperson 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. [Small businesses could] send their presentations to the TV, use SmartGlass to navigate through the PowerPoint presentation, and use a tablet to control Internet Explorer.”
He added of the strong possibility that select future apps will be developed with business customers in mind: “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’.”
While their attempts for the ‘home entertainment system’ to cover many different types of market ahead of its November release date is commendable in some senses, one can assume that trying to pander to a more ‘corporate’ crowd will not be warmly received by an already-disillusioned potential userbase. Not that businesses shouldn’t take them up on the offer, though, as along with being the only opportunity many protesting employees may have to use the technology of an Xbox One without any ‘consequence’ on themselves, it is also a significant business expense, just make sure that you are able to explain it away to the tax authorities…