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Microsoft May Create All-in-One 'Super App' to Compete With Apple, Google

A Microsoft "super app" could help the company expand further into consumer services and boost its ad business. So what would make it super?

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Microsoft has considered creating a "super app" that would offer services like search, shopping, messaging and news, according to a report.

In addition to boosting the tech giant's ad business, Microsoft executives hope such an app could help bolster its Bing search engine and drive more people to Microsoft tools like Teams, according to a report by The Information, which cited individuals with direct knowledge of the discussions. 

Microsoft didn't immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.

An all-in-one app that drives more users to Bing and other Microsoft services could help the company better compete with Apple and Google in the consumer services market as well as in mobile search.    

There's no official indication from Microsoft that such an app is forthcoming, but the report suggests executives at the company have ambitions to create what Tencent's WeChat app has in place in China and what Elon Musk hinted at prior to closing on his deal to buy Twitter. In October, Musk said purchasing Twitter was an "accelerant" to buidling "X, the everything app." 

Musk suggested on the All-In podcast in May that he has a vision for an app that would emulate WeChat's model.

"WeChat is actually a good model. If you're in China, you kind of live on WeChat. It does everything. It's sort of like Twitter plus PayPal plus a whole bunch of other things all rolled into one with actually a great interface," Musk said on the podcast. "And we don't have anything like that outside of China. So I think such an app would be really useful."