Earlier this month we reported that a job listing on Microsoft's website pointed towards a possible Xbox Live app for Android devices. That's looking more and more likely: a Microsoft spokesperson recently indicated that the company was looking to expand the social and remote features of the Xbox 360 with more mobile platforms. That would be a major boon to those who use a combination of Microsoft hardware on the console gaming side of things and Android (or iOS) on mobile - and given the high sales of both, that's a large section of that particular Venn diagram.
Here are Microsoft's words, exactly:
While the Xbox Live experiences and games always work best on the Windows platform, we understand that some Xbox fans may be using other types of devices. To satisfy that need, we are working to extend a few of our Xbox experiences and titles to other platforms.
Xbox Live integration is a pretty big selling point5 for Microsoft's own Windows Phone 7 operating system - but apparently not big enough. The latest revision to Windows Mobile has spent over a year in the retail market without any real impact, even as Nokia begins to release its first WP7 hardware. Never one to let pride get in the way of profit, Microsoft is probably looking to solidify the Xbox's position in the gaming world by letting users connect to the cloud side of things however they'd like.
This doesn't mean that Microsoft isn't behind its own mobile platform - they're still pushing hard to regain the market share they've lost in the last few years. But the reality is that the Xbox division makes a whole lot more money than Windows Phone, and with Sony making its own impressive moves towards mobile gaming, now's not the time to play favorites. With new hires and indications from PR, expect Android and iOS integration for Xbox Live sometime late this year.