Xbox One: Microsoft Unveils Next Generation Console
By: Robert Spence
On Tuesday at the company’s campus in Redmond, Wash., Microsoft unveiled the new Xbox One console, along with plenty of content plans, including a “Halo” live-action TV show from Steven Spielberg, and an exclusive deal with Activision for Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Xbox One is the first new gaming console in eight years from Microsoft, and its strongest push so far to dominate consumers’ living rooms with an array of exclusive media content. Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business, said the company wanted to design and build the “ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system.”
The third generation game console from Microsoft integrates an advanced technical architecture with an all-new design meant to give users a personalized experience that responds almost instantly to their voice and gesture commands. Xbox One is driven by a powerful combination of 5 billion transistors, 8GB of RAM, USB 3.0, Wi-Fi direct, a Blu-Ray drive, and a native 64-bit architecture. In addition, it has a 1080P HD RGB camera and an all-new game controller.
One of the most striking features from Xbox One is the ability to run multiple apps at once – and to split a TV screen into different tasks. That means Xbox One owners will be able to watch live TV, while taking part in a Skype video chat, or surfing the web.
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The console runs on three operating systems: Xbox OS, an OS based on the Windows kernel, and another OS that will allow the other two operating systems to communicate by virtualization.
The console also features a new Kinect sensor to better recognize users’ movements – including recognizing a shift in balance from one foot to the other or even a user’s heartbeat. Xbox One also has a built-in voice recognition system and allows users to turn on the device by simply saying, “Xbox On” without having to log in or wait for software updates.
Acclaimed movie maker Steven Spielberg will be executive-producing a television series based on Microsoft’s blockbuster sci-fi game “Halo”—one of the game industry’s largest franchises by revenue – for the Xbox One.
The new console will also offer exclusive National Football League content and eight new game franchises, executives said.
Although Microsoft has not provided information when the console will launch or how much it will cost, more information is expected next month.
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”