Late Friday controversial CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed 90 per cent of Microsoft resources would soon be dedicated to the Cloud and now company senior VP of technical strategy Eric Rudder has given us a brief, but impressive glimpse of just how cool such technology can be.
During a TechEd keynote in Dubai, Rudder played the same platform game on Windows Phone Series 7, a Windows 7 PC and an Xbox 360. The cool part: it uses the Cloud to save the exact state of progress in that particular session so it could be picked up at the very latest point regardless of which platform you are using.
How was this done? The game was compiled using Visual Studio and, critically, had 90 per cent shared code on all three platforms. Naturally enough, this means the game wasn't exactly Crysis Warhead in the graphics department - though it does show how the future should pan out as development matures.
Furthermore, the potential for each platform to interact - say using your phone for a touchscreen puzzle as part of a full blown FPS on the Xbox - is obvious for all and likely represents just the first step of the exciting Xbox Live functionality integrated into Windows Phone Series 7. Furthermore, Microsoft is the only company on the market with mainstream desktop, handset and games console OSes which gives it a key advantage. Perhaps that's why Apple is suddenly pushing game development and embracing distribution platforms such as Valve's Steam.
Is the Redmond giant getting back on its game? Like my deliberate puns, it certainly seems that way...
In related news Apple CEO Steve Jobs has rather emphatically ruled out the possibility of the iPad being able to tether with the iPhone. I'm not going to get into the mudslinging that has come out of this development - or Job's rather terse email response to this seemingly politely asked question (that info can be found on 9to5Mac linked below). I will say two things though: 1. Shame. 2. While reasonable and even a logical and sensible idea, I never expected Apple to decide anything different.
That's just how Apple is: you're either with us, or get the hell out of our way....