If you’ve paid attention to anything Microsoft has been saying for the better half of the past decade then you know they’ve been chasing this vision of a connected experience. The XBOX would play as the hub for media in the living room, the PC would become a part of that, and now with Windows Phone the circle is complete. The way that these experiences would be tied together in 2012, would be through the now familiar Metro UI — first introduced by Windows Phone 7, and now part of the latest XBOX 360 dashboard update.
Besides the Metro UI overhaul taking place this year, Windows Phone, which is currently at 7.5 or “mango”, will be receiving 2 major updates as well. First half of 2012 will introduce “tango”, an incremental update that will allow for devices with lower specs. And the second half of the year — in order to better line up with Microsoft’s PC and tablet software release — will bring forth Windows Phone 8 or “apollo” as it’s known internally. The latter version of Windows Phone will bring a slew of new features to the platform, especially for the more high-end and iconic devices with better specs.
In preparation for the big update to “apollo” later in the year, Windows Phone boss and Corporate Vice President, Joe Belfiore put together a video for their partners at Nokia to prepare for the update. Basically a video that says “we’re developing this, this, and this… make sure your hardware lines up with that” allowing Nokia to develop devices in anticipation for the release of the update later this year.
Among the details mentioned, which has since been corroborated by Microsoft insider Paul Thurrott, was support for Skydrive. Not just for the Windows Phone or the PC, but for all of Microsofts connected devices — this includes XBOX as well. Now how far down the rabbit hole this goes is yet to be determined because it can simply end with sharing media (music, photos, videos). However, could Skydrive be playing an even bigger part not just in Microsoft’s strategy but with the XBOX moving forward, not just the 360 but whatever comes after?
With cloud saves already in place, will the new functionality be as big as storing your entire game collection? Either way it will be interesting to see how important of a role that Skydrive will play on the XBOX platform.
We’re reaching out to Microsoft for comment and will update the story as soon as we get word back.