Microsoft is looking to make the user interface on its Windows Phones, Windows 8 PCs/tablets and Xbox console more similar in appearance. But, Microsoft’s entertainment strategy doesn’t stop with the Xbox 360 or the Windows Phone.
Speaking to The Seattle Times’ Brier Dudley this week at the E3 conference, Microsoft Vice President of Global Marketing for the Interactive Entertainment Business group, Mike Delman, explained Microsoft’s evolving strategy this way:
Xbox LIVE has been successful on the Windows Phone. LIVE will be built into the PC. It will be the service where you get your entertainment. We were talking about it — you will not just see consoles and handhelds at [E3] next year, this show’s going to morph into other devices.
We think there’s a lot of potential on the Windows Phones. With the Nokia relationship, we’re going to have a lot more distribution of phones and LIVE will be the primary entertainment service. I think that’s going to be a good play for us.
If we have that and the PCs to leverage, that will be a big LIVE base. It’s our job to make "buy a movie in one place and play it everywhere, buy a game in one place and play it everywhere." Making things portable will be a big focus of ours.
Here’s Mike’s response, when specifically asked about how Microsoft’s entertainment contents and services will be part of Windows 8, :
There will be a lot of similarities in design and service philosophy. Whether it’s us or Apple or anybody else, people want to be able to navigate through multiple devices in a certain ecosystem very seamlessly so we’re committed to that.
Xbox LIVE will the pervasive media service across devices.
Mike also mentioned that unifying various Microsoft cloud assets for media, such as Xbox LIVE, SkyDrive, and others (i.e. Zune??) "will be good for us and good for consumers." While Zune wasn’t specifically mentioned in the interview, it’s pretty clear that Microsoft’s long-term strategy with bringing media and entertainment to devices across the "three screens" will be via Xbox LIVE.
Microsoft is known to be working on some new entertainment media services that are codenamed “Ventura,” and which may end up superseding the Zune music/video service that Microsoft currently offers.
Microsoft also is planning to deliver this fall via cable and satellite providers the Xbox Live TV service, codenamed “Orapa.” Orapa is Microsoft’s Mediaroom IPTV infrastructure and capabilities delivered via Xbox Live.