Microsoft Corp. is reportedly planning to open its Xbox One to any software developer in the world. The software update facilitating the new Xbox One apps will be released alongside its latest operating system, Windows 10.
In October, International Business Times first reported that Windows 10’s “universal” apps would work on the Xbox One, but a new report from The Verge claims Microsoft plans to do more than offer new apps from a few select developers. Microsoft will open up the Xbox One so that anyone can develop for it, much like they currently can for operating systems like Apple’s OS X or Android.
One new trick that Microsoft plans to teach the Xbox One is the ability to play music in the background, allowing apps like Pandora or Xbox Music to stream while someone is playing a game. The Redmond, Washington-based company had previously allowed only a select group of companies to develop Xbox One apps, so it's now overhauling its approval process to deal with apps from a number of new developers, the report said.
Microsoft will announce the Xbox One’s new app development program at its annual Build conference this April, The Verge said. It will then release a preview version of the Software Development Kit (SDK), for developing and testing new apps later in May. Microsoft will also allow anyone to turn a standard retail Xbox One into a developer’s kit, which will make it easy for those creating universal Windows 10 apps to test them on the console.
Microsoft is planning to release an update to allow the new apps to appear on the Xbox One sometime in November, around the release of Windows 10 for PCs. The company previously said that Windows 10 would also bring major updates to the Xbox One’s main apps, support for its new DirectX 12 standard, as well as the ability to stream games from the console to a Windows tablet or PC.