"[Head of Microsoft’s Windows Graphics and Gaming division Dean] Lester also said [Longhorn] would include a special "My Games" view that would centralize all the matchmaking, control panel settings, patching tools, and game lists and make such tasks much simpler. Microsoft is working on streamlining a number of current technical trouble areas, like the installation process and display drivers, and will centralize game updates through a Windows Update-like patch server. It’s also looking into making it possible to run Windows games directly from the CD without installation. Somewhat more straightforward features include adding sophisticated matchmaking into Microsoft Messenger and parental controls over which users can play certain games."
Microsoft isn’t putting all its gaming eggs into the Xbox basket, and there are still some types of games that play more naturally on PCs (FPSs, RTSs, some RPGs, …) PC gaming is still too complex, and I hope they can really turn it into a seamless experience. The PC’s challenge more generally speaking is to deliver its power and versatility in an easy and non admin-heavy way. We’ve come a long way, but I still need to tinker with my PCs a lot more than I’d wish to.
Microsoft’s big PC plans