Microsoft creating ‘open source’ framework for gaming, formed a new team for iOS, Windows Phone and Android

Microsoft may finally be hearing your complaints about the lack of Xbox Live support, though it may not be what you envisioned. While many have been calling for Microsoft to differentiate themselves by doubling down on Xbox Live exclusive games, their recent strategy of openness and cross-platform support suggests otherwise.

Now, a new job posting for a newly formed team at Microsoft, dubbed initially as "New Devices and Gaming", gives some clues as to where Redmond is looking next for dominance. While Xbox 360, Xbox One and Live games are exclusive to Microsoft products, there appears to be a new strategy materializing.

A key line in the description for the Software Development Engineer II level job is revealing about the emphasis of this new team.

“We will create a modern framework that is open source, light-weight, extensible and scalable across various platforms including Windows Store, Windows Phone, iOS and Android.”

The goal of this project is even clearer:

“…win back our game developers from our competitors”

Finally, the job description finishes with the scope of the project:

“Working on the gaming technologies, you will collaborate with both internal partner teams across the company and external ecosystem partners to enable end-to-end gaming scenarios.”

That is a radical departure from the current locked-in mentality of Xbox and strongly suggests that Microsoft is going big in their vision. Indeed, from Office to OneDrive to Bing to Nokia X and so forth, Microsoft seems eager to get their products on everything – and everywhere – without discrimination.

Seeing as new CEO Satya Nadella is a ‘services guy’, we can see this being an extension of his vision for the company. Could we see Xbox Live going cross-platform? Where services – and not devices – are the corner stone of Microsoft’s strategy? We’ll have to wait and find out, but that’s our bet.

Source: Microsoft Careers; Thanks, Toni A., for the tip!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.