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  ‘Xbox Live’ To Encompass ‘Windows’  
Posted 2006-05-10 by Tony Walsh
Microsoft plans to bring its Xbox Live online gaming service to its Windows operating system and to mobile phones, the company announced yesterday at E3. The company's "Live Anywhere" program is planned for launch on the Windows Vista operating system this winter with the release of the game Shadowrun. The game will ship simultaneously on Windows Vista and Xbox 360, allowing computer and console gamers to play in the same space. This is made possible by the fact that there's very little difference between the hardware of an XBox 360 and an average Windows-compatible PC. A new line of cross-platform wireless accessories was also announced, including a racing-wheel controller, wireless gaming receiver for Windows, and "Live Vision" camera.

Xbox Live enjoys the patronage of over 3 million gamers, representing 60% of all Xbox owners. Over 90% of Xbox Live users download content from the service's "Marketplace" distribution and micropayment system. In the Marketplace's first 6 months, 18 million downloads were requested. There's no doubt in my mind that a cross-platform Xbox Live, with its strong personalization, communication, networking, commerce and performance-feedback features, will be the dominant online gaming service henceforth (if it isn't already dominating).
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