For years, Apple and Google have been dominating the mobile app distribution market with their app stores, with Google’s Android allowing alternative app stores but failing to pose a significant challenge to the Play Store. But now, Microsoft is ready to shake things up with its own mobile games store. In this blog post, we’ll explore Microsoft’s plans to break Apple and Google’s app store duopoly.
Microsoft Relies on Regulatory Support
Microsoft’s gaming division’s head, Phil Spencer, revealed in an interview with the Financial Times that the EU’s Digital Market Act (DMA), set to take effect in March 2024, will aid the company in achieving its ambition for a mobile app store. The DMA will allow companies to load their app stores onto iPhones and Android phones by requesting that Apple and Google open up their systems.
Microsoft’s Plans for a Mobile Games Store
Microsoft aims to offer Xbox and content from both Microsoft and its third-party partners across any screen where someone would want to play. However, they cannot do this on mobile devices, so they plan to build a world where those devices are opened up.
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Apple has caused Microsoft problems regarding its Cloud Gaming app, demanding that users download each game available through Microsoft’s cloud offering, including Fortnite. As a result, Microsoft has resorted to requesting that users sign in through the Safari browser and follow complex instructions, which are not as straightforward as downloading an app from the App Store.
Microsoft’s decision to construct its own games store is unsurprising, considering Apple’s limitations on downloads and in-app purchases. It remains to be seen how Apple and Google will respond to Microsoft’s plans to establish an alternative app store. Still, with regulatory support from the EU’s DMA, Microsoft may have a fighting chance at breaking the app store duopoly.