Xbox One runs Windows and two other operating systems

Xbox One Windows 8-like dashboard

Microsoft has already revealed Xbox One and with it a new improved controller, and the new Kinect sensor. In the event the software giant talked about the design and revealed many details on the new architecture that makes the console ticks.

One particular detail that stood out is the fact that Xbox One runs three separate operating systems and one of them is Windows. Also Microsoft showed how the console’s dashboard matches the Windows 8 and Windows Phone user interface. This clearly shows how the company is unifying all experiences into one interface (Windows 8).

SEE ALSO: A closer look of Xbox One, controller and Kinect 2 (Photos)

The break down

Xbox One runs Windows

Now, let’s talk for a second about the three OSes deal, because it can be confusing, so let me explain. The first is the Xbox operating system, which is an updated version for modern games from the original Xbox 360 OS, and the console supports 3D and can also scale up to 4K resolution. Then you have the application’s OS based on the Windows kernel and it will offer web-powered apps and other experiences. And finally, there is the manager, which is a modified version of Hyper-V (Microsoft’s virtualization technology that it’s also part of Windows), in charge of booting the console and instantly switch (or snap) and multitask between the experiences. In other words, Xbox One has two virtual machines running at all time (one for games and one for apps, Skype and TV), and then a manager that controls them.

This new technique allows the new Xbox to do more than one thing at a time very quickly such as, moving back and forth between live TV and a game. Also with Windows on board will make it easier for developers to port their current Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone apps or create new ones for the “all-in-one entertainment system”, which will run in parallel of the Xbox gaming environment.

The future

What we don’t know yet is what kind of apps developers will be able to craft and run on Xbox One and if the company will harvest these apps in a separate store. Microsoft big plan is conquer the living room space and that includes dominate the game console market, continue to grow Xbox Live and now its biggest bet, take over TV set. It seems that the software giant is heading in the right direction with Xbox One, but there are other companies already trying to reinvent the TV, so it’ll be interesting to see who will come on top. Surely everything about the new game console has not been said, we’re weeks away from E3 and Microsoft has promised more details then.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].