Microsoft pitches Xbox One to small businesses

"Going from the 'break room' to the 'board room'."

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Lord Sugar will see you now.

Microsoft is pitching the Xbox One to small businesses.

In an open letter to the small business community (via Neowin), Microsoft's director of Consumer Camp Marques Lyons said Skype, SkyDrive and other applications available on the console could be of benefit to offices that use video conferencing and networking.

"What is being positioned as an excellent entertainment device can be just as enticing for you and your small business," he wrote.

"In fact, it's entirely justifiable to make the Xbox One a business expense. The Xbox One, priced at $499 [429], is an affordable option for small business owners, as there are many features built into the console that could help it rival even the most modest of video conferencing and networking platforms."

Lyons pointed to Skype on Xbox One, which comes with the new Kinect sensor, as of particular interest to small businesses.

"Utilise Skype, and the power of group chatting, to have that collaborative exchange with clients and co-workers, no matter where in the world they happen to be," Lyons said.

"Utilize the size of that nice TV screen to see every smile and nod as your next great plan comes together. The Xbox One with Kinect, as a Skype provider, is just as capable as a PC with an attached/included microphone and webcam. The difference here is that Xbox One and Kinect gives you the open space to move, gesture, show examples, and see everyone more clearly."

Lyons also mentioned Microsoft's cloud-based document storing platform SkyDrive, which on Xbox One works with Kinect-enabled voice and hand gestures.

"With SkyDrive via Internet Explorer, you can use it with the Office Web Apps to open that Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint," he said. "Use the Kinect voice and hand gestures to navigate to websites. Now you're free of clickers and light pens to use your hands to for more expressive gestures."

Lyons noted how SmartGlass can be used to send presentations to the TV and navigate PowerPoint presentations with a tablet. There's also Internet Explorer available on Xbox One, as it is on Xbox 360.

"If you host clients at your home, use the power of IE and the size of your TV to showcase your new redesigned website, or snap IE to the side while using SkyDrive to present sketches you're working on. Because Internet Explorer has access to the Office Web Apps, pair that with a Wi-Fi keyboard and mouse and you have the means to edit documents, when necessary, even if you aren't near your PC."

Xbox One isn't out until November, but Lyons suggested future applications will be added to the console that may benefit small businesses.

"The app story of Xbox One has yet to be written, therefore it is entirely possible to find apps down the road that could be of benefit for you and your business. With the processing power, snap mode, and connection to a large screen, that the Xbox One has, this device is capable of going from the 'break room' to the 'board room'."

Microsoft chose to focus on Xbox One's TV-related features during its console reveal event in May, leaving its E3 press conference in June to announce games.

The Xbox One is pitched as an all-in-one device that offers games alongside other forms of entertainment, as well as the quick and easy switching between applications, such as going from Skype to a movie to a game and live television.

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