Using Dynamics CRM on Xbox One

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I got an Xbox One for Christmas and originally this was going to be a blog reviewing it for the Xbox-curious but I also found you can run Dynamics CRM on it. How awesome is that? So now it is a review of the Xbox and how Dynamics CRM fares on it.

Xbox as a Media Unit

I already have a ChromeCast, which made working with Netflix a breeze but, sadly for ChromeCast, it has now been replaced by Xbox. Xbox is now my main media unit, allowing me to control:

  • Netflix via the free Xbox app
  • OneDrive MP4 streaming via Microsoft Edge
  • My old media unit via the HDMI in port (officially it is for a cable or satellite box but you can plug any HDMI device into it and it will appear through the Xbox)

In theory I could also plug my ChromeCast into the HDMI in port and run it through the Xbox but I have not found a use for that yet.

I have also noticed the ability to stream from my PC to the Xbox with an icon similar to the ChromeCast icon when in Edge on my Surface which, I assume is a result of either downloading the Xbox app or the Xbox One SmartGlass app.

There are also USB ports on the Xbox so if you have a USB 3 compatible drive with media on it, you can also use these.

Xbox as a Game Machine

It is fair to say I am a tourist gamer. Until the arrival of the Xbox,  I played free games on the Samsung; usually the ones my son played, like Star Wars Heroes and Jurassic World. With the Xbox One supporting backward compatibility with some of Xbox 360’s classics, I have started to play catch up on all those years of being productive. First cab off the rank is Mass Effect. Roaming the universe, shooting bad guys, negotiating hostage situations, good wholesome fun.

Going to my local game shop, I picked up a copy for a few bucks and as soon as I put it in the Xbox One, it started loading it to the Xbox hard drive. It also auto-loaded a module called “Bring Down the Sky”. All was well and good for a few days and then the game refused to load my save files asking for a ‘missing module’ specifically, “Bring Down the Sky”.

Putting on my Windows hat, I uninstalled but when I went to reinstall the additional module the Xbox store referred to it as “Bundle Only” with no download option. It took some figuring out but I had to go online with my Surface, go to the Xbox 360 store and purchase the module under my Xbox/Live ID. Then the module reloaded on the Xbox and all was good. My speculation is the previous owner of the game had purchased the module and the Xbox was slow to check whether I had rights to it, thus the error.

The Peripherals

The two peripherals (I assume the kids still call them peripherals. If not, replace with ‘accessories’) which came with my Xbox were the controller and the Kinect. The controller uses two AA batteries but can be powered by a micro-USB. I used one of the USBs on the Xbox to give it power. I will also try rechargeable batteries at some point to see how they go. I tried the Surface USB once but then it connected to the Surface and would no longer talk to the Xbox, like a Bluetooth connection. This was easy to fix though by hitting the broadcast button on the side of the Xbox DVD slot.

The Kinect I mainly use for voice commands. As anyone with an Xbox will tell you, the Xbox voice control is a little tricky but is reasonably reliable in a quiet room.

CRM on the Xbox

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Here it is via Xbox’s Microsoft Edge. In this case, the financial services demo dashboard. Drilling in to a graph works with a new tab popping up.

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Lists work, as do their filters.

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and records also display, as expected.

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The only things which did not work in my explorations were, unsurprisingly, email and adding attachments.

To navigate, you use the left joystick to move the cursor around and the ‘A’ button to select. You can zoom by pressing down on the joystick.

CRM and Kinect

I admit it, I put the heading in there to get you exited. It would be awesome and a reasonably inexpensive way for folks who have troubles with their hands to interact with Dynamics CRM but all the Kinect could do was interact with Microsoft Edge, not Dynamics CRM. Perhaps a goal for future versions of the Xbox.

Conclusions

For games and media management, Xbox is great and it does much more than I expected. I am very surprised that you can run Dynamics CRM on it to the extent you can but, at this stage, there is no obvious benefit in doing so. If I could control Dynamics CRM through voice commands or body movements, ‘Minority Report’ style, that would be interesting but that is not yet possible without some Kinect code hacking.

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