It's telling that when mentioned in our work chat this afternoon, some of the PCG team had forgotten the Xbox app for Windows 10 existed. Designed to bridge the gap between consoles and desktops—by way of Xbox party chat, streaming features, and game management among other things—the application leaves something to be desired.
As reported by The Verge (opens in new tab), Phil Spencer has now admitted this, and says Microsoft is "reworking" how it thinks about its PC audience.
In response to an audience member during his Gaming For Everyone panel at E3, Spencer said: "I'd say our early work in [our] Xbox Live stuff for Windows was well intentioned, but anybody that’s a PC gamer (I play a lot of PC games myself) saw this kind of imposter console work coming over.
"You could see that some of the people making decisions there and some of our early efforts were really more console-to-PC than respecting the PC audience and the things that they were looking for. You’ve probably seen us slow down on some of the progress we’ve made on some of our apps, and some other things because we’re reworking how we’re thinking about the PC audience to try to be more reflective of the PC community that’s out there instead of trying to pull people into the things that come from the console space."
Spencer then spoke about bringing Discord and Xbox Live integration to the app, and ultimately "recognising infrastructure that exists on the PC side, apps that exist and services that exist and try to be inclusive of the things PC gamers are about."
Spencer admitted Microsoft is slowing down its changes to the Xbox app at the moment, but that its long-term goal is to be "much more native in the PC gaming environment" as opposed to "this thing that feels slightly different to what PC gamers are looking for."
Skip to the 25 minute mark below for Spencer on all of the above: