Microsoft intends to bring Xbox Live to iOS, Android games

Revealed in a job listing and later confirmed by Microsoft, the Xbox maker now wants to make its Live social gaming service the pre-eminent platform on mobile.

Microsoft

Microsoft's Xbox Live hub is one of the most robust, well-developed social gaming spheres out there, and it's about to go more mobile in a big way.

The company is looking into bringing Xbox Live to iOS and Android games, rounding out the cross-functionality of the service and extending it from Xbox consoles, Windows phones, and machines all the way to iPhones and Android handsets, according to a report from The Verge Monday.

The news was originally hinted at in a recent Microsoft job listing that read, "We will create a modern framework that is open-source, lightweight, extensible and scalable across various platforms including Windows Store, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android."

These plans were later confirmed to be part of a larger effort to use Xbox Live to reinvigorate social gaming on mobile, which is currently hampered by locked-in, platform-specific networks like Apple's Game Center.

Key to those efforts is the insistence on open source. Microsoft hopes to create a way for developers -- especially the lucrative mobile gaming subset -- to easily append Xbox Live functionality onto new apps, and is currently hiring to build out that initiative. Previous integration of Xbox Live on mobile is a process that requires intensive conversation with Microsoft. Easing that process, and not playing favorites with its own mobile OS, could make Xbox Live a far more appealing alternative to current social gaming options.

About the author

Nick Statt is a staff reporter for CNET News covering Microsoft, gaming, and technology you sometimes wear. He previously wrote for ReadWrite, was a news associate at the social-news app Flipboard, and his work has appeared in Popular Science and Newsweek. When not complaining about Bay Area bagel quality, he can be found spending a questionable amount of time contemplating his relationship with video games.

 

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