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Microsoft working to bring Xbox Live service to iOS, taking on Apple's Game Center

Microsoft's Xbox Live social gaming service is set to go cross-platform, reaching beyond the Xbox consoles and Windows devices to Apple's iOS, and also Google's Android.

The expansion of Xbox Live to Apple's iPhone and iPad would put Microsoft's platform in direct competition with Apple's own Game Center for iOS. Both services allow users to track their achievements in titles and add friends to see what others are playing.

Microsoft's apparent interest in brining Xbox Live to both IOS and Android is reportedly set to become a reality in a "big way" in the near future, according to The Verge. Citing unnamed sources, the publication reported on Monday that Xbox Live functionality is set to come to iOS and Android games, in an effort to "win back" game developers.

The hope from Microsoft is that developers who may have been previously put off by the company's strict certification requirements for titles may give the company another shot. Microsoft is working on reducing those restrictions in an effort to court smaller and independent developers, which in recent years have embraced platforms like iOS and Android, and also to some extent have switched development to rival Sony's PlayStation line of consoles.

Microsoft reportedly views Xbox Live as a service that could apply across "every platform," serving as an alternative and more universal way for gamers to track achievements, connect with friends, and potentially even compete with friends in cross-platform titles.

Apple has offered Game Center as a social gaming solution for iOS developers since 2010. And in 2012, Game Center made its way to the Mac, making it a true cross-platform service for Apple's hardware ecosystem.

Microsoft already offers a SmartGlass app for iOS that allows iPhone or iPad users to control and integrate their device with the company's Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles. That application allows users to log in to their Xbox Live account to view their friends and recently played titles.