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Windows 10 hits Xbox One in November with a UI overhaul in store

Don't love the chunky tiles of the current console interface? Some relief is coming

Windows 10 isn’t just for the PC: it’s for tablets, smartphones, and even augmented reality headsets. And surprisingly, it’s also for game consoles, as the wide-ranging operating system will power the Xbox One beginning this autumn.

Today at Gamescom, Microsoft clarified the release window a bit, pegging November as the month in which we’ll all be downloading the surely massive patch and overhauling our console experiences. And the company provided a good look at what to expect from the refreshed interface.

And so far, so good. The current Xbox One interface is a bit divisive, thanks to its big tiles and somewhat cumbersome navigation, but the new approach looks like it’s a lot easier to get around and scroll through. Also intriguing? All the informational tidbits available in the trending bar, which shows precisely how many people are playing hit games or watching popular Twitch streams.

Xbox One will also pick up Cortana support in the update, with voice commands available for those who have a Kinect sensor. The previously announced backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games is also coming in November, and between the two of those, it sounds like our consoles are about to become a lot more useful in addition to looking better on the screen.

And if you use your Xbox One to soak in media as much as (or perhaps more than) play games, you may be happy to hear that Microsoft has a new Watch section planned, which pulls together recommendations from both live TV and services like Netflix, HBO Go, and Hulu Plus.

In other words, however you use the console, Windows 10 aims to make it much easier to get around and get to what you want in a hurry – so you can use it even more. The preview version will hit testers in September, a couple months before everyone else starts up in November.

[Sources: Xbox Wire, The Verge]