Microsoft plans to launch a mobile app store that will compete with the App Store and Play Store, Developer reports.
“We want to be in a position to offer Xbox and content from both us and our third-party partners across any screen where somebody would want to play,”
Spencer told the FT.
According to Microsoft’s Xbox head Phil Spencer, Microsoft will take advantage of an upcoming EU law that will break the monopoly of the two major smartphone platform holders.
Apple and Google dominate the smartphone market. But the two companies have also been investigated for abusing their position by applying unfair and anti-competitive policies.
In March 2024, the EU is due to introduce a Digital Markets Act in a bid to tackle the problem. Under the legislation, Apple and Google will be obliged to open their app store platforms to third parties.
“The Digital Markets Act that’s coming – those are the kinds of things that we are planning for. I think it’s a huge opportunity”,
In a letter to lawmakers last year, cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier said Apple’s concerns about sideloading are “unfounded” and that it is “simply not true” that legislation like the EU’s puts consumer privacy and security at risk.
Microsoft ran afoul of Apple’s App Store rules after it was blocked from releasing its own app for its Xbox cloud gaming service. Microsoft has released such an app for Android, but for iOS it is forced to stream cloud games using the web browser.
Following the passage of the EU Digital Markets Act, Microsoft will finally be able to offer its own Xbox cloud gaming app on iOS – even if it has to be distributed through its own store on the platform.