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Microsoft Teams Up with the NFL

Your living room—and the sideline—will look a little different this year.

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Microsoft envisions Xbox One, which hits shelves Nov. 22, as the point around which living room entertainment pivots—especially on game day. In addition to serving as a one-stop shop for playing video games, Skyping with friends, listening to music, and watching live TV, the console will also enhance your football-viewing experience, thanks to Microsoft's recently announced mega-partnership with the NFL.

Fans will be able to use the Xbox One to keep tabs on their NFL.com fantasy teams while tracking the latest stats and scores from around the league. Xbox One will also offer access to a killer selection of personalized NFL content from NFL RedZone, NFL Network, and NFL.com. Switch into  "snap mode," which allows you to run two apps side by side on the same screen, and keep track of live scores and stats while you're gaming or watching live TV. The whole idea is to take an experience that was once confined to a laptop or tablet and port it to the best screen in your house: your television.

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The Microsoft-NFL partnership will also bring better technology to the field. The Microsoft Surface has been named the Official Tablet of the NFL, replacing the massive binders that serve as playbooks and allowing for easier review of in-game photos. Coaches and players will also have access to the X2 concussion application, which can assess potential head injuries in real-time as players leave the field. 

The decision to allow tablets on the field marks a major shift for the NFL, which had previously banned teams from using “any type of computer” that could capture video during (and before) a game. It marks a major step forward for the league. Interestingly, while the Surface will be the Official Tablet of the NFL, teams will also be permitted to use Apple (and presumably Google’s Android) products on the sidelines so long as they hide the logos while cameras are rolling.

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