The leveled-up Windows 10 Game Bar could give Discord real competition

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With little fanfare, Microsoft allowed Insiders to test out the new Windows 10 Game Bar last week, and it's far better than I could have ever expected.
Microsoft's offering on PC is in a strange, transitionary place. I've been hearing for years at this point how internal politics between the upper echelons of Xbox and Windows actively prevented Microsoft from improving basic gaming features on PC, like the Windows 10 Microsoft Store. The internal push towards the immature Universal Windows Platform (UWP) ultimately led to an app store that wasn't ready for the prime time when it came to delivering big AAA games, although it is far better now, the catalogue and discoverability aspects leave a lot to be desired.
Beyond the Microsoft Store, the Xbox app for Windows 10 also managed to disappoint. Although Microsoft was early to the game when it comes to creating online gaming communities, even going as far back as MSN Game Zone in the late 90s, Redmond has been unable to stop the meteoric rise of Discord, despite owning Skype, and Xbox Live. The Xbox app for Windows 10 does support community creation, messaging, and voice, but it's all so slow and clunky, lacking basic features, that Discord's ascent was all but inevitable. The new Windows 10 Game Bar is a the first real sign that Microsoft is taking this aspect of its gaming network a little more seriously.
Related: How to join the Windows Gaming Insider flight ring

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