Microsoft Readies New Mobile Store to Compete with Apple and Google

What you should know

  • Microsoft is reportedly planning to enter the mobile gaming market, potentially posing a challenge to Apple‘s App Store and Google’s Play Store.
  • The company’s recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard, known for popular mobile games like Candy Crush and Call of Duty Mobile, is seen as a strategic move to strengthen Microsoft’s position in the mobile gaming industry.
  • The mobile gaming market has seen a decline in growth, with players spending 5% less in 2022 compared to the previous year, according to research from
  • Microsoft’s proposed mobile store would face regulatory challenges, as seen in the ongoing legal battles between Epic Games and both Apple and Google over alleged restrictive practices in their respective app stores.
  • Microsoft’s cloud gaming technology could provide a unique selling point for its store, allowing users to stream games directly to their mobile devices.

Full Story

Microsoft’s got its eyes on the mobile gaming arena, it seems. Bloomberg’s got the scoop, hinting that Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store might have a new kid on the block to deal with.

The big reveal came from Phil Spencer, the big cheese of Xbox’s video game division. He spilled the beans that Microsoft’s been chatting with partners about launching their own mobile gaming store. The goal? To shake up the apple cart and challenge the reign of Apple and Google in the biz.

Spencer was at the CCXP comics and entertainment convention in Sao Paulo when he let slip about Microsoft’s plans. He played coy about an exact launch date for the online store, but he did drop a hint. It’s not a project for the distant future, and it might be ready to roll sooner than we think.

Microsoft’s just put the finishing touches on its whopping $69 billion acquisition of gaming titan Activision Blizzard. Spencer was quick to point out that Activision’s strong footing in mobile gaming was a big reason for the move. With heavy hitters like Candy Crush and Call of Duty Mobile under its belt, Activision was a juicy target.

This strategic deal, Spencer argued, was a must to boost Microsoft’s somewhat humble standing in the $90 billion mobile gaming market. The deal took its sweet time, wrapping up in October, nearly two years after the initial announcement. That delay threw a wrench in Microsoft’s plans to go full steam ahead with its app-store agenda.

And let’s be real, the business landscape’s shifted since Microsoft first let the cat out of the bag about the merger. The mobile gaming scene’s hit a bit of a rough patch after a good run of steady growth. According to research from, gamers were a bit stingy in 2022, spending 5% less than the previous year. And the grapevine says this trend might stick around this year, too.

Microsoft’s mobile store isn’t just stepping into a competitive market. It’s also stepping into a regulatory minefield, especially when it comes to smartphone-based digital marketplaces. Epic Games, the brains behind Fortnite, has been throwing punches at both Apple and Google. It’s filed lawsuits against what it claims are overly restrictive and unfair practices in their iOS and Android stores.

Epic hit a roadblock in its fight with Apple, but it managed to get the issue in front of the US Supreme Court. The legal tussle with Google is still ongoing, although Google does allow third-party app stores on its devices.

But here’s the kicker: the European Union’s Digital Markets Act might force Apple to open up its app store ecosystem. Apple’s not taking that lying down, of course. Microsoft could use this dissatisfaction with the market leaders to drum up support for its own store offering.

Xbox’s cloud gaming technology is already a player, letting users stream big-name games straight to their mobile phones. Spencer also mentioned that the company has “talked about choice, and today on your mobile phones, you don’t have a choice.” For Xbox to stay in the game, not just today but for the next 10 to 20 years, it needs to make a name for itself across “a variety of screens.”

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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