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Microsoft @ CES 2012

Craig Cincotta, director of PR, Xbox, Microsoft, talked a little about the Kinect for Windows program, which allows developers and businesses to develop commercial applications using Kinect. "You'll see Kinect in the sense of manufacturing, operations utility, and pretty much anything you can imagine using your voice and gesture. Some of our partners include Toyota, Mattel, American Express. And we talked about in the keynote that Microsoft's approach on the design. And if you're using a WIndows Phone, the Metro-style design that people will get to see and experience in Windows 8, is also similar to what we've been doing with Xbox. So the Metro-style design create familiar experiences with people; whether you're playing a game or using any type of entertainment application."

Cincotta also mentions in the Xbox perspective, how it is becoming an entertainment hub in the living room. The Xbox has been around for a decade and the company still works with and create amazing games, and the game console is a lot more than that now. The ability to move left and right, the same way that people are going to use Windows 9 PC, and it really comes down to the natural user interface and creating layers for people to interact, with technology that are really effortless. In terms of voice recognition feature, the director says that the company is looking into making it seamless for various countries, especially users with the different accents, and more so if Microsoft is going to do more with voice; for people to interact with their content. Cincotta also admits that users are moving into a place where voice is more immersive, natural and that technology is catching up to the point whereby people want and expect to see that, and show up in more places. While there's no specific news or details, Microsoft has announced months back that users can experience Xbox Live in an integrated way with Windows 8.

Jose Pinero, senior director, Public Relations, Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft shared that the company has seen they are not just doing well with games, but also the non-gaming entertainment part which has gotten very good momentum. "From our data, year over year, media consumption on Xbox grew 140 percent. When we look at Gold members in United States, more than 60 percent in last December were using the console for doing more than gaming; they were watching videos, or using entertainment applications for an average of an hour a day".

People are discovering that they can use the Xbox, not just for gaming but also for other applications. With the vision to make the Xbox the prefered entertainment device in the living room, the company needs to bring in all sorts of web content. Pinero says that they are focusing to add in more TV content, more sports as well as entertainment applications including movies, live or on-demand. On top of that, from the keynote, Microsoft is also looking into two-way TV as there's an opportunity for users to not only deliver on differentiated content, but also to create something that is dramatically different. "A lot of companies can deliver content, and we want to not only deliver content but also create a layer of interactivity whereby you can interact with the content. There's actions where you can take, keep scores and even compete with some of your friends. We also want to give you social component so that you can watch a movie with all the people. This would be the next chapter for us in this case, as we work with content creators to make special form of content whereby you can do something that will have an impact with what's happening on the actual show. You can sit back and watch it as a video, or in some parts you can step up and become part of the actions".


A user interacting with Sesame Street Kinect app on the Xbox.

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