'Xbox One' Taking Care of Business Alongside Entertainment

"As the owner of a small business, you find great value in your computer and your phone…However, believe it or not, 'Xbox One' is taking care of business too.

Microsoft is touting its Xbox One entertainment console as a device that not only benefits your entertainment needs but also benefits businesses. Marques Lyons, a Microsoft Xbox MVP, said "along with a computer and a phone, small-business owners may find value in one additional device "The Xbox One"."

"What is being positioned as an excellent entertainment device can be just as enticing for you and your small business," Lyons writes. "In fact, it's entirely justifiable to make the Xbox One a business expense."

Xbox OneThe Xbox One, has many features built into the console such as Skype and Kinect that help it rival other video conferencing and networking platforms. In addition, Xbox One users have access to SkyDrive via Internet Explorer and the dedicated SkyDrive app so they have access to documents anywhere.

Here is full text from the Lyons post describing a few of the Xbox One features:

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: 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," he said. For 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," added.

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'," he said.

Updte 07/12: Microsoft plans to transition from Microsoft Points to real-world currency when its new Xbox 360 dashboard rolls out to all users.

In place of Microsoft Point rewards, a new system will provide users with "even better" prizes, effective September 1.

"With all these changes, it's become necessary for us to evolve the way we reward you. Starting August 1, 2013, you will not be able to earn Microsoft Points through Xbox Live Rewards any longer. Not to worry, though! Since this currency change is impacting the structure of the program, we're taking the opportunity to make Xbox Live Rewards even better. You'll continue to get rewarded for doing the things you love on Xbox Live - just not with Microsoft Points. So come back to rewards.xbox.com on September 1, 2013 for the full scoop. You can also follow us at @XboxLiveRewards on Twitter for the latest updates," said Microsoft describing the transition.

Update 07/17: A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that the Xbox One can stream games whilst they are downloaded over Xbox LIVE, "this will allow gamers who prefer to purchase the digital version of a game to start playing it almost instantly after it has been purchased."

Recently, Microsoft confirmed that the Xbox One would be able to play games from the disk while the game was installed to the hard drive, and today the company has confirmed the same ability with digital downloads.

"With digital downloads, Xbox One will stream game files whilst downloading them, and will play from the hard drive once the game has downloaded and installed."