Ok lets file this under massive rumor, there is no confirmation, release, leak, or any real information of any sort to support the idea that Microsoft is in the process of bringing Xbox Live Services to Android and iOS. The internet is buzzing about this idea due to a recent job posting from Microsoft, looking for a software development engineer to work with the Xbox LIVE team and contains the following:
“to bring the latest and greatest gaming and entertainment experience to mobile platforms including Windows Phone, iOS and other mobile platforms… Experience of Windows Phone, iOS or Android development is a big plus.”
Now don’t get all excited about this at all. Microsoft release its companion app for Xbox Live when Windows Phone 7 launched, and has subsequently released the app for iPhone. The app allows you to manage different aspects of your Xbox Live account, friends, status, and features. For Windows Phone it also allows you to play certain specific games on your mobile device. At this point only Android (and Blackberry) do not have Xbox Live companion apps, so this job posting could very well be to aid in the development and support of the companion app, and even possibly bring the companion app to Android. This is the most likely scenario and purpose of this job posting so do not,repeat DO NOT get excited about this.
That said it is very possible that Microsoft would want to bring its Xbox Live services to more connected devices than just the Windows Phone platform. With the market penetration of both iOS and Android, Microsoft certainly can not ignore their place in the mobile ecosystem. Microsoft has also been looking at ways to enhance its Live platform by integrating more features and functionality, so bringing one if it’s corner-stone services to more users is a very good business strategy. We certainly want to see this happen, and it could possibly happen with iOS devices in the near future. Android devices however would be a bit farther off, I can’t see Microsoft spending the amount of time and resources required to develop an Android app / platform that would be cross compliant with the different hardware and software configurations that are abound in the Android ecosystem. This is Android’s greatest feature and weakness and this is another example of where it could certainly hinder development for the platform.
As always we’ll keep our eyes and ears open for more information, but again, it’s just a rumor.