Microsoft says it is particularly keen to focus on avatar integration, social interactions and multiscreen experiences, suggesting that the community elements of Xbox Live will be at the forefront of the proposed new service.
Microsoft has been developing its Live Anywhere gaming initiative for a few years now. Live Anywhere so far allows gamers to keep their identities and friends lists across Xbox and Windows PC platforms. Live Anywhere also allows Microsoft Points - the company’s worldwide currency, used for purchasing games, videos and music - to be used across platforms.
Zune Social, an online service for owners of Microsoft’s Zune music players, also syncs with Live Anywhere, allowing users to combine their Zune IDs with the Xbox Live gamertag IDs. However, so far Windows Mobile has not been linked with other parts of the system.
There have been industry rumours for some time that Microsoft is planning a Zune phone to compete with Apple’s iPhone. While the job ads do suggest that Microsoft wants to compete with Apple, which has enjoyed great success with mobile games for both the iPhone and iPod Touch, there is nothing to suggest that a Zune phone is part of the plans.