Apple's and Microsoft's rivalry had cooled down, but now it is back and getting 'testier' over gaming and more.
Apple and Microsoft have been in business long enough to understand how a competition works. They, too, understand what "competitive fun" entails, just as Intel does. However, it appears that the Apple-Microsoft rivalry is heating up once more.
That's according to a new study from Bloomberg published today, which examines the two companies in light of the ongoing Epic Games vs. Apple antitrust dispute.
There's no question that Microsoft isn't pleased with Apple right now, as the latter's actions on the App Store have stopped the former from releasing one of the most awaited features: Xbox Live. xCloud, or cloud gaming (a term used to describe a form of online gaming).
It isn't all about gaming, though. According to the paper, Apple's augmented reality ambitions, as well as a renewed competitive drive in the personal computer market, have caused both Apple and Microsoft to become "testier" against one another.
When it comes to augmented reality, Apple and Microsoft have taken different directions that, in the end, would most likely lead to the same destination. Microsoft has put a lot of emphasis on its Hololens physical unit, while Apple has put a lot of emphasis on apps with products like ARKit.
Apple has yet to release a piece of hardware, and Microsoft has yet to release its own software. When it comes to AR, though, both businesses see a bright light at the end of the tunnel, with significant improvements.
The war for the PC market isn't fresh, but things have heated up dramatically with Apple's foray into its own processors with the M1 series.
There's also Epic Games. Since it doesn't agree with how Apple runs the App Store, Microsoft has taken their hand. Particularly in the realm of cloud gaming.
Though Apple has made some improvements to its App Store policies to make cloud game services like xCloud, Amazon's Luna, and others technically feasible, it's not easy. And, as Microsoft has said, even with these updates, xCloud will not be available as a standalone app in the App Store.
As a result, Microsoft and other companies have had to rely on Safari and other mobile web browsers to support cloud gaming. It's not pitch-perfect, but it gets the job done. Microsoft, on the other hand, would like Apple to have to open things up a little more, and as a result, it is arguing on behalf of Epic Games, causing frustration between Microsoft and Apple.
According to the report:
"Apple's and Microsoft's rekindled rivalry began around a year ago. Microsoft also developed xCloud, a cloud gaming service for iPhones and iPads. Users will pay a monthly fee to Microsoft and be able to access hundreds of different gaming titles from the cloud from one app. The service was expected to do for gaming what Netflix did for music, satisfy gamers, and turn Apple devices into a more efficient gaming platform, backed by Xbox, one of the industry's hottest brands.
"However, after failing to convince Apple to relax App Store rules prohibiting all-in-one gaming services, Microsoft never released the service in its intended form. Microsoft was initially prohibited from releasing any cloud-based games.
"However, Apple changed the rules a few months after public outcry about the streaming app ban. Microsoft will now offer a cloud gaming service, but each game would have to be downloaded separately, undermining the intention of a one-stop-shop. Microsoft is now bringing the service to Apple devices through the site, which is a much less ideal experience than a native app."
It's well worth reading the entire piece over at Bloomberg, particularly given how long Apple and Microsoft have been at odds. It seems that things are only going to get crazier in the coming months and years.