[Update: To clarify, while he's a mouthpiece of Microsoft and his post is published by the company on its official site, "Xbox MVP" Marques Lyons is not an official employee of Microsoft. A slight edit's been made to reflect this.]
When Microsoft claimed Xbox One was going to be the new water cooler, it may have been more literal than we thought. The company is currently pitching its console to small businesses as a tax-deductible mainstay in the work environment. Not sure if that's genius or desperate.
"What is being positioned as an excellent entertainment device can be just as enticing for you and your small business," boasts a blog post. "In fact, it’s entirely justifiable to make the Xbox One a business expense.
"The Xbox One, priced at $499, is an affordable option for small business owners, as there are many features built into the console that could help it rival even the most modest of video conferencing and networking platforms."
Applications like Skype, SkyDrive, and Internet Explorer (hahahahaha) are lauded by "Xbox MVP" Marques Lyons in deliciously patronizing terms as elegant business solutions.
"The app story of Xbox One has yet to be written, therefore it is entirely possible to find apps down the road that could be of benefit for you and your business," says Lyons, smarmily. "With the processing power, snap mode, and connection to a large screen, that the Xbox One has, this device is capable of going from the 'break room' to the 'board room'."
That last sentence. Ugh.
Considering the Xbox One's original incarnation seemed fully designed for the benefit of multinational corporations who sought to maintain total control of their so-called intellectual property, it makes sense that the now DRM-free system would go after small businesses too. Anything to avoid having to pitch the thing to people who like videogames, I guess.
It'll be interesting to see how many companies take Microsoft up on its offer. I'm imagining it'll appeal to the kind of business that has a miniature basketball hoop in the office, spends a ton of money importing increasingly pretentious varieties of coffee, and gives all its employees Segways to get around the (tiny) building.