A report about the New Xbox Experience in IGN says that the Xbox 360 will be connecting to Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Cloud OS (which may or may not be called Windows Strata). Huh?

The New Xbox Experience has a slick design, is easier to navigate, and utilizes Microsoft's Cloud Operating System. That last bit really doesn't matter to the average gamer, but what it means is that it will now be very easy for Microsoft to makes updates and swap out elements of the dashboard without having to do a huge production. So if something is broken or if MS decides to add a blade, it will be easier to do. Hopefully that means an ever-evolving dashboard that gets better every few months.

That seems like a lot of wishful thinking at the end of that paragraph or, at the very least, a rewording of what a Microsoft representative said to the author of the article. But it’s pretty clear the author has little to no understanding of the ramifications of this statement, regardless, and no mention of it is made again.

In any event, let’s take it at face value and try to figure out what it means: Windows Strata will be the underlying layer, platform, API, whatever for everything Microsoft is doing online. So something like the Xbox Marketplace, or the Zune Marketplace, would run on top of this thing, perhaps not directly, but at a higher level. So would infrastructure services like Live Mesh/Live Framework, which I take to be Microsoft’s Sync platform. I suppose Windows Live, and Office Live, in their entireties, would run on top of it.

So it does make some sense. But I’m curious someone from Microsoft would simply let that slip out. I’m not surprised that IGN didn’t follow up on it: They’re clearly more concerned with avatars and whatnot, given their audience. But what a weird slip.

Thanks to Chris H. for tipping me off to this.