There's speculation that Microsoft plans to launch Xbox Live-based games on enemy platforms like iOS and Android. They won't be loaded with malware or anything else equally as sinister, but instead will be straight-up titles that are cross-platform capable across all three mobile environments -- maybe even on Windows 8 and the Xbox 360 console.
The WP7/iOS/Android speculation stems from a recent Microsoft job posting for a software development engineer to work in Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business division, specifically for Xbox LIVE.
"[The] Xbox LIVE Mobile team is looking for a passionate and experienced developer to join us [in] bringing Xbox LIVE entertainment experiences to various mobile platforms," the job description reads. "As the team inside IEB (Interactive Entertainment Business) dedicated to mobile experiences, we work closely with console software team and Xbox LIVE services team to bring the latest and greatest gaming and entertainment experience to mobile platforms including Windows Phone, iOS and other mobile platforms."
Can't get any clearer than that, right?
Responsibilities of this role will include working with the PM and the test team to define, design and implement Xbox Live mobile experiences on Windows Phone, iOS and other platforms, providing technical assessment and feasibility analysis on product requirements. The candidate will also work with Microsoft internal teams to deliver customized Xbox Live experiences to mobile devices, and investigate and prototype on new mobile technologies.
After news of the job opening began to circulate, a developer familiar with Microsoft's plans confirmed the job listing and the direction Microsoft plans to take. "Xbox is a client of ours," the developer said. "There's no way they'll be ignoring those other mobile platforms."
Microsoft launched the My Xbox Live app for Apple's iOS devices last month. The company also released an Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone during the same time period. So far Microsoft hasn't officially made any announcements about developing games for iOS and Android, but there's a good chance we'll learn more next week during CES 2012, as Microsoft will reportedly be focused on Windows Phone and the Xbox Live platform.