Microsoft Releases the November 2018 Xbox Update

Posted on November 14, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox One with 11 Comments

Microsoft announced today that its November 2018 Xbox Update is now available, adding mouse and keyboard support, improvements to the Xbox Skill for Cortana and Alexa, and much more to the Xbox One family of video game consoles.

“The November 2018 Xbox Update adds new ways to play some of your favorite games with mouse and keyboard support, more console interaction with Xbox Skill updates, listen to your favorite songs with the new Amazon Music app, and the ability to find your games faster than ever via improved Search,” Microsoft’s Jason Ronald explains.

Here’s a list of the improvements.

Mouse and keyboard support. As revealed at X018 this past weekend, the November update finally brings mouse and keyboard support to Xbox One. This includes games such as Fortnite, amazingly, as well as Bomber CrewDeep Rock Galactic, Strange Brigade, Vermintide 2, Warframe, War Thunder, and X-Morph Defense. And more titles will come on board in the coming months.

Xbox Skill for Cortana and Alexa improvements. Released in the U.S. in October, the Xbox Skill for Cortana and Alexa is improving with Beta support in the UK, simpler Cortana interactions, and new commands.

Amazon Music. The official Amazon Music app is now available on Xbox One in the U.S., and more countries are coming soon.

Search improvements. Search results are expanding to include results from Xbox Assist and games you have “Ready to Install” or currently own as part of your memberships, including Xbox Game Pass, EA Access, and more.


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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Microsoft Releases the November 2018 Xbox Update”

  1. ggolcher

    Paul, I'd love to get your insightful analysis on a question that's arisen for me:

    What specifically makes XBox One and the Xbox Insider program work well, when the Windows release cadence and Windows Insider program work so poorly?

    • ChristopherCollins

      In reply to ggolcher:x

      A couple of reasons in my opinion...

      They have full control of the hardware. Not very many variables in Xbox One, One S, & One X. So it is more like updating a couple of verified configs instead of tons of machines with relocated files, registry tweaks, etc.. XBox is an appliance.

      Secondly, the XBox Insider program is much more selective. They only let you into certain rings based on activity. A side effect of that being that they get feedback from the most relevant users.

      In Windows, many bugs get buried in a program dominated by enthusiasts which are more likely to want visual tweaks and eye candy, so those things get upvoted easier. In the Windows scenario, the feedback isn't weighted properly based on severity, so you see high importance on something like updating the look of the file explorer as opposed to data loss in certain upgrade scenarios.

  2. Brazbit

    GGolchur asks in the premium comments:

    What specifically makes XBox One and the Xbox Insider program work well, when the Windows release cadence and Windows Insider program work so poorly?


    My first thought would be that the Xbox One is limited to three potential configurations with a well-defined and limited set of inputs whereas Windows 10 has to try and account for a literally infinite combination of equipment spanning decades of hardware and software with users interacting with it using a limitless number of input devices from a bog standard keyboard and mouse to bananas wired to a watermelon powered by a potato and "thought control." That makes one of these trivially easy to test all configurations against and one impossible to test every configuration against no matter how large the test base.

    That being said, even the Xbox team has had bad patches, it is just a lot easier for them to quickly and quietly correct their mistake than for the Windows team. Plus most of the critical info on Xbox is in a Microsoft controlled cloud storage with who knows how deep a level of redundancy so even a data loss issue like hit the PC would be trivially easy to correct for them and would barely be a blip on the user's end beyond a save file missing for a few seconds or however long it takes the team to respond if it isn't automatically restored.

    • MikeGalos

      In reply to Brazbit:

      Essentially true but realize that even a tightly controlled ecosystem like the Xbox has a lot more than three potential configurations. Even beyond the various models sold and various production runs with slightly different versions of chips they have to deal with systems that haven't been updated in months or years either from being unplugged or not connected or just for old inventory being sold. Now add to that all the possible 1st party and 3rd party peripherals like hard drives and controllers and while you don't have the massive configuration matrix that you have with an open system like Windows 10 you still have hundreds if not thousands of configurations.

    • nbplopes

      In reply to Brazbit:

      How many Surface configurations are out there?

      MS Windows team can't even get Surface updates right ... Heck two weeks after the launch if not less there are already update to correct new bugs that did not existed before or of to try again to correct bugs that were supposed to be corrected.

  3. glenn8878

    With Keyboard and Mouse support, the only remaining thing is Windows 10 support. Just do it.

  4. DaveGerding

    I can't find this info anywhere... but will the new Mouse support be enabled for the Xbox Browser? They've had keyboard support for it for a long time. Fingers crossed.

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