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Microsoft will let anyone be an Xbox One app developer

We know that Windows 10's universal apps are coming to Xbox One, but there hasn't been much said about when or how this will happen, until now. The Verge reports that Microsoft will open up Xbox One app development in a big way over the coming months. A new app development program will apparently be detailed at Microsoft's Build conference this April, after which the company will release an SDK preview and allow anyone to turn their retail Xbox Ones into developer kits to start making apps. The move will make it easy for devs already making universal Windows apps to port them over to Xbox One, as they'll be able to beta test the apps on any retail console at minimal cost.

In addition to allowing anyone to become a developer, Microsoft is also revamping its app approval process to make sure it can deal with an expected influx of submissions. It's not entirely clear what sort of functionality Microsoft wants developers to add to Xbox One by opening up app development in this way, but the report says the new apps will be able to run in the background, meaning a music app like Spotify or Rdio can output music even when you're playing a game. There are also question marks over whether the Xbox One SDK will provide access to Kinect, or if the accessory's many cameras and microphones will be off-limits to developers.

It's expected that gamers will be able to reap the benefits of these new, more full-featured applications later this year -- the report suggests November, roughly timed with the planned update to Windows 10. The Windows 10 update will bring a whole lot more than universal apps to Xbox One, including DirectX 12 support, revamped core apps and the ability to stream games from your console to a tablet or PC.