In August 2016, Microsoft acquired Beam, an interactive livestreaming service. Big companies often buy smaller ones to incorporate their software into their own, but Microsoft has a cleverer idea it seems.
The company announced that it’d be bringing Beam to Windows 10 and Xbox One in January 2016, now Windows 10 Insiders, those who preview new features in the operating system, have reported the existence of the new streaming app!
The next group of targeted players – Xbox One gamers – can now, if they are Insider Preview members, stream their gameplay via Beam starting today. Everyone can watch their favourite Xbox or Windows streams on their own platform, including iOS and Android smartphone users. These apps already existed before Microsoft bought the firm.
The interface of this Twitch competitor looks familiar: there’s a chat window on the right-hand side, emotes and even an experience bar. You earn XP by watching streams, so everybody will know exactly how much of a no-lifer you are. Luckily there are some innovative features; streamers can add little gimmicks to their channel so that viewers can interact with them. A simple Windows key + G combination on your computer’s keyboard is enough to get started, or alternatively you can boot your Xbox One of course.
Perhaps this also means Microsoft will finally speed up the development of mouse and keyboard support?