Microsoft delivers Xbox Live app for iPhone, iPad

Microsoft delivers Xbox Live app for iPhone, iPad

Summary: Microsoft has delivered an Xbox live app for iPhones and iPads on the same day it rolled out its Xbox Companion app for Windows Phones.


Microsoft is continuing to deliver various apps for competing platforms -- a move which some of its loyal users (and some employees) aren't sure is the right one.

The latest decision: Microsoft made available on December 7 a free Xbox Live app that works on Apple's iOS-based iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad products.

The new iOS app allows users to track and compare achievements, send/receive messages with other Xbox Live friends, change their 3D avatars, edit Xbox Live profiles, access Xbox Spotlight feeds, and get game tips and tricks, according to the description on the iTunes store, from which the Version 1.2 app is downloadable.

The Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone -- which also went live today, December 7 -- allows users to search via Bing for movies, TV shows, music, games and apps on their Xboxes, as well as obtain additional information on that content, as well as friends' activities; play, pause and rewind content on the Xbox and navigate the console. (The Companion app was supposed to roll out December 6, but it was delayed slightly, as was the latest Xbox 360 dashboard update, which was subject to undisclosed "deployment issues.")

Microsoft's top brass needs to weigh carefully and regularly whether/when to make available Microsoft apps on non-Microsoft platforms.

As put so well by Charles Songhurst, Microsoft General Manager, Corporate Strategy, during a December 6 appearance at the NASDAQ OMX Investor Program event in London: "You've always got to be very strategic about decisions you make about whether you don't put your core applications on your platform or on other platforms. We'll continue to think strategically about that going forward."

Microsoft execs have had to make this evaluation with Office, for example. There are rumors that Microsoft is close to delivering Office for Apple's iPad and may do so in 2012. No doubt, that decision (if it has happened) was a difficult one, given Office is one of Microsoft's crown jewels. By keeping Office off the iPad, Microsoft could/may have given its own Windows-based tablet offering a leg up, so the reasoning goes.

Microsoft previously delivered OneNote for the iPhone and Bing for the iPhone and iPad.

Topics: Microsoft, Hardware, iPhone, iPad, Mobility


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • RE: Microsoft delivers Xbox Live app for iPhone, iPad

    This is an excellent move for MS. I'm more surprised that Apple allowed it. MS does not have a competing tablet device now. We cannot depend upon a ship date for a MS competing tablet device. So why not get the brand name (Microsoft) and certain functions from the killer gaming\entertainment platform (XBox Live) on the premier tablet device today?
    Besides, the iPad\iPhone app does not contain all the function of the Windows Phone app. If\When the Windows Tablet is released a native Metro XBox Live Companion can be released which matches the function of the Windows Phone app.
    • RE: Microsoft delivers Xbox Live app for iPhone, iPad

      MSFT doesn't need the ipad and benefits 0 from making anything with an apple logo more useful. this is a silly move. it is not as if they are having problems with the xbox's huge popularity.
      • RE: Microsoft delivers Xbox Live app for iPhone, iPad

        @neonspark "MSFT doesn't need the ipad and benefits 0 from making anything with an apple logo more useful"

        Tell that to the Macintosh Business Unit. I'd say they're benefiting very much from "making anything with an apple (sic) logo more useful".
        Third of Five
    • Why would Apple care?

      @marauder62@... Microsoft Office is on its way to the iPad, OneNote is already there. It is in the best interests of Microsoft and Apple to cross develop apps so that they can have revenue streams off of every available screen.
  • RE: Microsoft delivers Xbox Live app for iPhone, iPad

    Would be great if Microsoft actually released the companion app for WP7; still not showing up in the marketplace.
    • RE: Microsoft delivers Xbox Live app for iPhone, iPad

      @cowatson It's there. I downloaded it. Maybe you need to find somewhere to link to it, because I couldn't find it with search.
  • RE: Microsoft delivers Xbox Live app for iPhone, iPad

    meh, it looks like they are just trying to promote xbox live. But without the core functionality users want this is more of a "taste of what you're missing" to all the iOS users out there and should remain so. Delivering first class functionality would be as stupid as apple making itunes avaiable on android. Giving up strategic advantages just to please users that have no interest in using your platform (that pays the bill) is quite simply, suicide by being nice.
    • Of what core functionality do you speak?

      @neonspark... it allows users to view their profile, read and send messages, and view other aspects, obviously anyone who owns and Xbox 360 and has an iPhone will like this app. Just because they haven't whole heartily drank every drop of the Microsoft Koolaide, they shouldn't get anything?
  • As long as the apps MS comes out with ...

    ... do not undermine the company's platforms, I see no problem with what the company is doing. I believe MS should however always have the best implementations of their apps on Windows. Which means, among other things, Bing on Windows platforms should be starkly better than it is on the web, iOS, and Android.
    P. Douglas
    • Why?

      @P. Douglas... if you make a sh*tty access or apps for other platforms, that is going to lead people to have a negative view of your company and product. To be quite honest I prefer Microsoft Office 2011 on my Mac Book Pro over Office 2010 for Windows. Much of the Core functionality is there but also though I can have Publishing style creation of documents from right inside Word without the need for Publisher, There is a Notebook option similar to OneNote built in to Word, still would like OneNote for OSX though for the ability to sync across platforms.

      It really is becoming less about the OS and more about actual apps, which is a good thing.
      • I don't believe MS should make ...


        ... poorly implemented apps. I believe all the apps and services MS creates should be well implemented. I just believe it's MS' interest to do the best implementations on its own platforms. Do you think Apple software is implemented as well on Windows, as it is on Apple's own platforms? If you want to pull people into your own platform and have them stay there, that is what you do.
        P. Douglas
    • RE: Microsoft delivers Xbox Live app for iPhone, iPad

      @P. Douglas

      At this moment in time, I believe that the trend is towards multiplatformism, fewer and fewer people are committing themselves to one and only one company or platform.,,,

      Look at me, I own an iPod Touch, two Windows 7 laptops, an X Box 360,a Blackberry smartphone and a Motorola Xoom Android I have a finger in every major mobile platform, I didn't do that by intention, I never said to myself 'I'm going to go multiplatformist', I just buy the products that have value or utility to ME..regardless of platform or manufacturer....

      I think my somewhat schizophrenic habit is fairly normal for most consumers, they don't care about platforms, they care about utility....

      In a multiplatform world, it would be very shortsighted for Microsoft to brazenly favor their own platforms, I think there are probably tons of people out there who own an X Box 360 but will never own a Windows Phone....if Microsoft doesn't offer full functionality on non Windows devices, they may stop using the X Box before they buy a Windows Phone.
      Doctor Demento
  • RE: Microsoft delivers Xbox Live app for iPhone, iPad

    This is a good move by Microsoft. I think I understood why Microsoft released it and where this exactly is going. Lookout for future updates of the app. This indeed will give a taste of Metro UI to iOS consumers once they release the app with total Metro UI. Very good and strategic move by Microsoft.
    Ram U
  • RE: Microsoft delivers Xbox Live app for iPhone, iPad

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  • RE: Microsoft delivers Xbox Live app for iPhone, iPad

    Brilliant in a way and troubling the other way.

    Brilliant to expand the XBOX Live network on a platform they always supported with quality apps (which is not the case when considering Apple offerings on Windows).

    Troubling because the remove one key advantage of the Windows Phone platform that was the integrated XBOX Live Hub features. Now, you have one reason less to move to Windows Phone. It was a signature feature! Yes, the WP7 version still does more but the iOS version covers all the main features. I wonder who took this decision.

    Finally, Microsoft now has absolutely no reason not to ship a similar application on the upcoming Metro (WinRT) ecosystem. And it better be ready for launch, otherwise, it would make their strategy appear ridiculously disorganized.