Windows developers will be able to build Universal Windows Platform apps for the Xbox One this summer, Microsoft finally confirmed at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco today.
One way or another, Microsoft has been telling Windows developers to think about running apps on a TV screen using an Xbox for more than seven years now, first as part of the "three screens and a cloud" vision, and more recently as part of the Universal Windows Platform. Microsoft also said that the Windows Store and Xbox Store would be merged.
Developing for phones, desktops, and tablets has always been more or less open, with even the gatekept phone platform easy to access with no particular entry requirements. But the Xbox has always been treated differently. Building traditional Xbox games meant buying expensive Xbox development units (which aren't available on the open market), with Microsoft exercising tight control over the finished game and being deeply involved in things such as the delivery of patches.