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Microsoft bringing new apps and OS versatility to the Xbox One

Microsoft hasn’t yet officially confirmed the exact details of the Universal apps ecosystem that they have been intending to create between all their platforms, but a report by The Verge suggests that a grander app library will be coming to the Xbox One — at least by the end of this year.

The tech juggernaut’s next developer conference, Build, is coming in April and that’s when more third-party developers will be able to get started making new apps. Microsoft is expected to allow the devs to utilize their own retail consoles as a development kit.

Working in conjunction with an SDK preview, the new development system will allow devs to create Beta apps to test their software’s functionality and help expand the functionality of background apps — gamers will finally be able to run their own custom background music.

The switch to universal apps is expected to begin November of this year along with an improved Xbox One OS — one rooting from the upcoming Windows 10.

The only question mark that remains is the kinect. Since the announcement that the camera peripheral would be sold as independently from the console, expectations for it have greatly diminished. Now with devs being granted access to more robust development tools, the future of the kinect is even more hazy. It’s likely that most apps will support voice command functionality, but anything beyond that is unlikely as many developers may not find the effort to develop for it worth the workload.