Over 1/2 of all game consoles are XBox machines (an installed base of about 70 million). There are about 114 million households in the US.
Their primary owners/users are young adults* (the exact same market base that is more likely to use a smart phone).
When these people go to purchase their next smart phone, will the sales pitch “this will interface seamlessly with your XBox” appeal to them? For a lot of them it will.
The fact that YOU don’t own one, doesn’t mean it still isn’t going to be an advantage for MS.
Oh, I get that. I was celebrating the fact that Microsoft had not sucked me into its empire, not that the empire didn't benefit Microsoft.
The ultimate benefit for the consumer is to allow the consumer to be able to move from one machine to another and keep doing whatever it is they are doing, whether it be productivity or leisure.
The reason for those colourful tiles, which I do agree that they can be off-putting to those not used to them, is to allow the user to check for updates on whichever programs he has on his computer without having to actually open any programs to check. So, for example, you could check for stock market updates or news updates without having to click on the apps responsible for these two functions.