Microsoft Would Like to Bring iMessage Support to Windows

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One of Apple’s biggest strengths is it messaging platform, iMessage, a lynchpin to keeping a lot of users within the ecosystem.

And, up to this point, using iMessage means using an Apple product. There are benefits there, including rich content support, as well as full encryption, but it falls flat if an Apple device user doesn’t communicate with folks that are also within the walled garden. But maybe not for long, if Apple is willing to work out some deals.

Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore and Shilpa Ranganathan sat down with The Verge to talk about a variety of things related to Windows, and what it might look like as people connect their phones to their computers. Part of that is the new Your Phone app for Windows, which was recently unveiled. With the app, iOS (and Android) users will be able to connect their phone to their computer and get notifications on the larger machine, which should help them reduce the time they need to spend on their phone.

Unfortunately, considering the Apple ecosystem, the things that iOS can mirror to Windows are limited. There will be notification support, and Windows users will be able to look at photos, but the app can’t mirror as much as it could from an Android phone.

But that isn’t going to stop Microsoft from trying to work with Apple, which, as revealed in the interview, they are very open to do:

“Apple does make it a tad harder for messages, but we’re very willing to work with Apple.”

The vision here is full iMessage support on Windows. The way to do that is with the Your Phone app, but it’s not an easy process. But Microsoft’s goal is to have respect for Apple’s ecosystem, which means they will need to work directly with Apple to come up with a strategy and methodology to achieve that.

“I want to do this in a supported way with a respect for the ecosystem we’re building on and at the same time make it a delightful experience,” says Ranganathan. “Messages is one where we’re not currently where we need to be compared to Android, but we need to work with Apple.”

Our Take

So, that’s the plan. A pretty nice plan, to be sure, but it’s hard to imagine Apple actually going through with this. After all, iMessage is a strong reason for folks to use Apple products — including macOS.

What do you think? Should Apple bring iMessage to platforms outside of its own ecosystem?

[via The Verge]