Remember the days of Nintendo vs. Sega?  Things were simple then.  If you hung around enough peers, you were likely granted access to both gaming systems.  Things got mighty complicated in later years…more buttons, manufacturers, attachments, etc.

The latest turn in gaming technology leads to “SmartGlass,” a revolution in entertainment.  The Microsoft software will combine the Xbox video console, Windows 8 tablets, and Windows phone devices.  SmartGlass will enable tablets or smart phones to stream media onto a television screen (controlled by the Xbox console).

So what’s the cost for the SmartGlass technology?  Microsoft reps state it will be free and operate with Windows phones, Windows 8, and other portable entities.  SmartGlass apps facilitate “communication with whatever glass surface you have.”

If you’ve been somewhat tracing the triumphs and tribulations of tech manufacturers, you may have noticed a bit of implemented strategy.  For instance, some devices only work with in-brand devices, some technologies cross paths with patents of other brands, etc.  However, after working on the project for over a year, Microsoft plans to have SmartGlass work with the devices of other manufacturers, such as Apple and Google.

Let’s not neglect Nintendo and the notion the brand plans to release its Wii U console later this year.  The console offers a tablet-like controller, which can manipulate the game screen via touch screen and onboard sensors.

The notion of allowing its technology to integrate with implements of other manufacturers is an interesting business strategy.  For instance, many consumers champion Apple products, yet do not like the inability to cross usage with implements of other manufacturers.

The in-brand only approach can lead to a faithful following, which Apple has; but, does it alienate a percentage of the market, those who want options?  Microsoft’s notion may make a lot of sense and cents for them by enabling wide-spread access.

If you have a great product or service, why not enable more people to embrace them?  Of course, it’s not always such an easy decision for competing brands.  When was the last time you saw Pepsi offered in a Coke vending machine?  Even if it meant more sales, would Coke host its long-time rival?  Can technology brands be mutually-benefitting frenemies?