Microsoft is currently working on an Xbox-friendly version of its Chromium-based Edge browser. Still in the alpha state, it should arrive quickly on all consoles.
Microsoft has decided to provide a real web browser for its latest generation console. If it is only available for alpha testers, it brings new possibilities to the console and synchronization with your other devices.
Unlike the PlayStation 5 which skipped the browser, at least officially, because it is possible to access a hidden browser, the Xbox from the One will soon allow you to browse the net freely. Note that to date Edge on the console has many bugs and does not allow the use of the keyboard and mouse.
The usefulness of a console browser
At first glance, the usefulness of a browser on a console does not necessarily seem obvious. It is even for this reason that Sony decided not to put it on the PS5. Most VoD platforms offer applications on consoles, surfing is easily done with a smartphone. And if you want to follow a game guide, the console browser doesn’t seem like the right choice.
So why develop a specific version? The first reason that could be put forward is to allow Microsoft to artificially inflate the number of devices where the browser is installed. Showing a large market share can pique the curiosity of people looking to compare browsers and give them a try.
But a Chromium-based browser could also become a big business asset. Indeed, if it becomes fully functional, it would open up a whole bunch of possibilities in terms of console compatibility. Services like Skype and Discord would be easier to use. The same goes for the online browser-based games library. In theory, even the game streaming service Google Stadia would become compatible which would give the console an additional argument in its struggle with the competition.
What d’un PC
With the arrival of a browser on the console, the question of the usefulness of a PC arises. For people with a reduced budget and generic IT needs, the presence of Edge on the console could allow them to free themselves from a computer.
Many services are now available online. One need only look at the growing success of Chromebooks, especially among students, to understand that computing is evolving. The strength of these machines is to offer a smooth experience at a reduced cost. Certainly, some proprietary software does not yet have an online alternative, but for classic use, they are more than enough.
The downside of a Chromebook is in terms of entertainment. Admittedly, the addition of the PlayStore gives access to the catalog of Android games, but for “gamers”, AAA games are not accessible. With the addition of a real browser on Xbox, the world of office automation and that of video games can be joined without the need for another expensive platform.
Is this the real goal of Microsoft? We will have to wait for an official communication from the manufacturer to know the real reasons for this addition.
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Source : engadget
Romain "Nemrod" Vandevelde