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Microsoft is reportedly developing a new branch of Xbox Live, its popular gaming network for online play and media distribution. This new branch will act as a platform for extending the service into the mobile space, allowing more smartphones (and their games and users) to take advantage of all it has to offer.

This news comes from sources of The Verge, who are “familiar with Microsoft’s plans” for the project. These hinted plans were also specified in a recent, related job posting at Microsoft.

As far as those plans go, they’re considerably ambitious. As the listing states:

“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.”

Microsoft hopes to use the reach of Xbox Live to swoon mobile game developers into supporting Xbox Live as one of their backbone systems for functions like achievements and progress tracking.

And while that sounds like a great first-party plan for Microsoft’s Windows Phone lineup, the company wants to try and eat the lunch of Apple and Google, who already have their developed systems in Game Center and Google Play. Each of those already have systems that cater to the mobile audience in the way that Xbox Live does to the console audience.

But even though Xbox Live is semi-available on Android and iOS phones, Microsoft isn’t content with simple, walled-garden apps where users can check messages and view their avatar. No, Microsoft wants users more connected to their achievement score, their library, and their friends – they want even games that aren’t on Xbox Live to support Xbox Live as part of their overall experience.

That’s clearly an ambitious hope. Let’s see how they do it, and more importantly, how inclined mobile developers are to putting in the legwork to make it happen.

[Source: The Verge & Microsoft Careers]



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