Microsoft representatives are confirming that the company has no plans to charge Windows 10 users for access to Xbox Live. That’s despite Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners paying for the service today.
Microsoft didn’t announce free Xbox Live for Windows 10 users in its press release during this week’s Games Developer Conference. Instead, Larry Hyrb, Xbox’s Director of Programming, shared the detail recently on Twitter. Hyrb declares in no uncertain terms that “Xbox Live Gold will not be required for online multiplayer gaming using our service on Windows 10 PCs and Phones.”
For Microsoft and Windows 10, it’s the smart move to make. There are already thousands of PC games that don’t require a monthly subscription to play online. Adding that to the mix would have killed Xbox on Windows before it even had a chance to establish itself. On the other hand, the decision opens Microsoft up to criticism for the way it handles online play on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One today. Right now, Xbox Live Gold is required to play online on both consoles.
Microsoft plans to release Windows 10 with built-in support for Xbox Live as a free update for Windows 8 and Windows 7 PCs later this year.