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Wordament iOS
337

Wordament heads to iOS with Achievements - what that means for Windows Phone

Alright, so Nokia has a good grasp on what the word exclusive means. But Microsoft takes a more liberal stance towards supporting other platforms. We’ve seen the big MS publish previously Xbox Windows Phone exclusive games to iOS before, such as Kinectimals and Tentacles. It always hurt, but we sucked it up and complained only in small doses.

Yesterday, another exclusive turned coat and migrated to iOS: Microsoft’s own Wordament. I had previously speculated that Wordament could function as a killer app, attracting gamers to Windows Phone with its highly addictive gameplay and smart design. That will no longer happen, but here’s the really bad news: Wordament on iOS is an Xbox Live title complete with real Achievements!

Migrating Achievements

Wordament iOS Xbox Live loginYes, Wordament has become the first game on a non-Microsoft platform with Xbox Live Achievements. Sure, it only offers 50 GamerScore worth of Achievements as opposed to the Windows Phone and Windows 8 versions’ 200 GamerScore, but it’s only a matter of time until that 50 GS limit rises to 200 GS.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised by this move. After all, during the Wordament presentation at Casual Connect Seattle, Microsoft’s Alex Navarro basically hinted at this future when answering the following questions from an audience member:

Q: “When integrating a mobile game with Xbox Live, is that a Windows-only solution?”

  • A: “It is right now, but it won’t be for very long.”

Q: “You’re bringing functionality [from] the Xbox to mobile?”

  • A: “Absolutely. The same people who engage on the console are the same users who have the Live account who engage on the mobile titles. We find there’s a great deal of migration between the separate screens.”

At the time, I hoped that he was just stringing along the attendant iOS and Android developers with deliberately vague answers. But the iOS version of Wordament was likely already in development. Knowing that Xbox Live Achievements would spread to competing mobile platforms, Navarro’s encouragement was subtle but honest.

Cross-platform boggling

Wordament iOS screens
iOS screenshots from Wordament.com.

Wordament is also the first Xbox Live game with cross-platform multiplayer. iOS players compete against Windows Phone and Windows 8 players in real-time, trying to find as many words as possible during each round. Existing Wordament players who sign in on an iPhone or iPad will see all of their existing Xbox Live Friends and frenemies. Presumably, stats and rankings carry over as well.

Now, I can’t rally against this feature because if you’re going to port Wordament, of course you want everyone to play against each other. The ability to play the same game simultaneously with non-WP friends is alluring. A fair chunk of Wordament’s appeal is seeing so many other players sharing the same experience and comparing your own results against theirs.

On the Xbox 360, Microsoft has long opposed cross-platform multiplayer of any kind, even when developers wanted it. That’s why Playstation 3 and PC players can enjoy Portal 2 together, but Xbox 360 players cannot. Hopefully Wordament is proof of a new stance on that well-liked feature from Microsoft.

Why WP needs exclusives

Wordament photo
Wordament, we used to be proud of ya!

Now, every time we complain about the loss of an exclusive, somebody hops in and responds that they hate exclusivity and that Windows Phone doesn’t need exclusive apps and games. And let’s face it; Windows Phone exclusivity is bad for some people: iPhone and Android users who have no plans to switch to WP and don’t want to be incentivized to make that switch. For them, every little thing that makes Windows Phone look better is a curse instead of a blessing.

But let’s remember that Windows Phone continues to be an underdog platform. Android and iPhone have a huge lead, both in market share and the public mindset, which makes it hard for Windows Phone to compete on even ground. For Microsoft’s scrappy little mobile OS to win over new users, it needs features, apps, and games that those users can’t get anywhere else. Why else would an average Joe give up the iPhone he already owns hundreds of games on and throw in with Microsoft?

MS, I find your lack of faith disturbing

Wordament iOS screens
The offending Achievements

Make no mistake; Wordament popping up on iOS with Xbox Live Achievements is a vote of no confidence in the Windows Phone platform from someone at Microsoft. In case you didn’t know, Microsoft is comprised of multiple teams housed in separate buildings, each one responsible for its own little niche in the company’s business. These teams have little incentive to cooperate with each other when they’re not forced to do so by senior management. In fact, even within a team employees actually compete with each other in various ways, but that’s a story for another day.

So the situation is that many portions of Microsoft simply don’t care whether Windows Phone lives or dies. They’re just concerned with turning a profit for their divisions rather than helping out a floundering mobile division.

That’s exactly why:

  • We still don’t have a mobile (and exclusive) Halo or Forza game (two of Microsoft’s strongest console game brands).
  • Microsoft doesn’t just throw money at big developers to get them to bring big name games to WP even though they could afford it a thousand times over.
  • We got no new Xbox games for two weeks within the last two months.
  • There are exactly two Xbox Windows Phone 8 games after two months of the new OS’s availability.

Appearances matter

Don’t think this is the end of days for Windows Phone or that I’m ready to jump ship over Microsoft’s mixed signals. But you know, not everyone understands Microsoft’s divisive nature. They look at the big MS publishing games and bringing Xbox Live to iOS and they see a company that doesn’t believe in its own mobile platform.

You will never catch Apple releasing one of their hot products for Windows Phone, nor Sony bringing their games to the Xbox 360. They’re focused on making their own products succeed, not competing against themselves. If only Microsoft would show the same solidarity and commitment to their brilliant Windows Phone platform.

Play it anyway

Wordament for Windows 8
Windows 8/RT version

All implication aside, let’s not forget that Wordament is simply a fantastic word game. It did make our list of 5 Must Have Xbox Games, after all. And just look at our review!

Wordament, much like Boggle, involves trying to find as many words as possible from a field of 16 letters, all within a time limit. The hook? You’re competing against hundreds of others in real-time over the internet. Rounds last for a couple of minutes. Once they end, you get to see how you compared against everyone else, and then the next round starts a few seconds later.

Some rounds have hidden themed words and digrams (words that use a specific combination of two letters) to find as well. You can also add specific players to your Frenemies list and keep track of how you stack up against them. It’s all incredibly addictive.

Wordament is free and supported by ads on all platforms. Seeing as how each version counts as a separate game Achievement-wise, GamerScore fiends might as well play every version they can. I'd certainly be tempted to if I had an iDevice!

Get each version of Wordament with the following store links:

Update: Check out sister site iMore's impressions of the iOS port. It sounds a little rough compared to our version, but those kinks will surely be smoothed out over time.

Update 2: As it turns out, the iOS version was developed by Babaroga, makers of Zombies!!!, Shuffle Party, and several other Windows Phone games.

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Reader comments

Wordament heads to iOS with Achievements - what that means for Windows Phone

337 Comments

It feels that way.  My immediate reaction to this is "these guys really don't know what they're doing".  Where the benefit is of releasing on other platforms Microsoft content boggles my mind.  They gave everyone OneNote, they're in the process of giving everyone Office, and now Wordament on other mobile platforms!  This is disgusting.  Exclusives give reasons to jump to a platform.  Offering them as multiplatform lets people keep comfortable on their current platform.  Microsoft hasn't learned how to do mobile well, yet.  If they were smart, they'd pull the plug on Office and Wordament.  If not, at least make them pay $4.99 for Wordament and $14.99 for Office on mobile to get extra cash to throw into other projects.

Add to it that iPhone users probably won't have to pay XBOX Gold membership and you'll understand why I feel ripped off by Microsoft as a XBOX user.

Personally I think they should put it on Android aswell... Have it the only game on iOS and android to have achevments and i can garenty that people that own an xbox and an iphone or android, and are achevment hogs, have to add that, will go out and get a windows phone... I know a few people who make it their mission to get 100% or as close as in xbox achevments for all their games... come to think of it all those people used to be nintendo heads who stopped argueing when the Wii came out and will still tell you they are waiting on a good nintendo console to show everyone else how its done as they stare into a game of gears of war on the 19th hour of straight play... Some of you might be here now.......... How many achevments u got on ur WP device?
If you know anyone like this that does not own a windows phone.... tell them your going to catch up on their gamer score at work 100 and 200 at a time straight off your phone..... they will not be able to resist......

I have a friend who has a android phone and tab, but will be buying my Lumia 900($100) when my 920 arrive, just for Xbox Live

WTF is going on.... 1st zombie run now this... It's a dark day for WP and MS is not helping WP needs new management ASAP!

What? You don't need an Xbox LIVE Gold account to get achievement on ANY Microsoft platform. My sister never had a LIVE account at all, but made a Silver one for her Lumia 822. I'm not sure what wacko planet you're on.

Xbox games and Xbox music pass are the reasons I have a Windows Phone 8 device right now and have moved over from iOS and Android. It would be a shame for people like me to loose our incentives.

I know its a free game. The question is will this expand to paid games? Will people who have jailbroken iPhones be able to get games and achievements free???

Yea that article was a pretty poor pice of speculation. It claims that Nokia is "clearly" going to make an android tablet and the only reasons it gives are Windows RT sucks and Nokia hired a linux engineer (Which they already confirmed was for mapping software).

Sad but true. If you didn't get that from reading this, maybe you should read it again. Microsoft has indeed lost faith in windows phone. And frankly, so have I.

That sucks. 3 of my friends loved this game so much that they were planning to get a windows phone replacing their iPhones. Now I guess they won't.

I kind of think that line of thinking is a hyperbole.....ms should try to put their software everywhere.... I would personally want Xbox music all over android and ios... Best way to grow... And much better service....they can play with pricing a bit though to finance other projects...

Sadly it's soon going to be time for me to say goodbye to win phone... This doesn't matter to me, but it points to the bigger issue and problems WP will never overcome.

I too stay for these reason, however I would like a notification hub, NOT like andriod with a drop down menu how about we slide our right right, and the notifications are on the left of our live tiles, in a list like our apps are on the right?
 
This was Toast noficiation missed with Apps with no tile count would never been over seen. - I WOULD LOVE to see the Peoples hub have Toast noficiation as well as tile count.
 
Games - WP was never about games for me.

I don't stay for games wither, in fact I don't even have this game. As I said...bigger problem...

Microsoft makes the other platforms happier first, their own last. I love the UI and I love Office on my phone, but apps are jumping ship, cross platform apps are better elsewhere...

I'm with you. Already switched. Not enough apps and cool games(like dead trigger and shadowgun for eg.)
And with MS giving away their"exclusives" to other platforms why stay?(unless you're obsessed with the metro UI).

I'm still here too, and I've also already jumped ship.  I'm still here daily hoping for good news but in the end I moved to Android as I await the apps I need.   I've considered moving back, but the best solution I can personally see for me is a 920 and a Nexus 7 tablet to give me access to the apps I need.
 
I still root for WP, but it sure looks gloomy.

This gloom and doom is unfounded. WP is strong on all fronts after only 7 weeks on the market. You guys who jumped ship (Android? Really) don't care about the experience and you "root for WP"?  what on earth is that? I want to burn iOS and Andriod with fire. If you have jumped ship you're a turncoat. Join Android Central or TheVerge. We really don't want or need those who have lost faith here spreading FUD.

Fanboys period anywhere are...im going to go where I feel I will have the best experience. I came to WP thinking that. I think I was wrong so I may move on.

i agree but not all fans of the platform are zealots. i just honestly like windows phone. its a shame to see microsoft outsourcing all of the things that make their platform unique to other platforms. But its like the article said most of the divisions at microsoft work independantly from eachother. So while it hurts to watch exclusives go it wasnt really microsoft as one entire entity that made such a decision. for those in this comment thread called turncoats its understandable why you left as one of my friends left for the same reason, just ask that we arent all categorized as zealots. thanks

hey @The_All_Blacks bro i understand your defending wp and by all means do so but how can we convince people of the good qualities of wp when theres constant arguing amongst ourselves. this is a bad thing and people are reacting accordingly. lets just get along :) everyone apologizes and we forget about this argument. and btw wp is not for grandmothers lol, as difficult as this may be for some people to absorb not everyone feels the need to have a gazillion apps. :P

I fueled the troll and that's my mistake, but we aren't arguing amongst 'ourselves'. I hate that I stay away from Android and iPhone sites because I have nothing to say about them and they are of no interest to me, but the shills don't have the common decency to do the same. 

Wow, gangbanger mentality rears its head in the mobile os world again. I've been with WP since day one, but I'm also thinking of jumping ship now too. These type of moves do indeed point to a much larger problem within Microsoft. I may abandon their products all together. Why support them when we're obviously an afterthought, not a priority.

You've got to see the bigger picture rather than just focusing on WP. MS doesn't have a problem and to think that you'd abandon the platform all together  shows that you don't understand and I'm not saying that attack or bait you, but MS is shifting everything to the cloud and that involves integrated services and device agnostic services. MS upgraded it's entire portfolio of products in 2012, all 12of it's billion dollar divisions have gone through major transformations and it's going to transition into 2013 with Office.  there's plenty more to look out for and it's a great time to be invested in the MS ecosystem which is arguably the strongest in the world) and still working hard to improve  and allowing the end user experience to be that much more meaningful. We  all want to see more weight behind WP, but there are priorities that, in the grand scheme, are more important than WP at the moment. Have some faith.
 

I don't think you get it. If Microsoft is putting all it's services on other platforms then what's the reason to buy a Windows Phone? If someone can have the ecosystem of IOS and Android AND Microsoft's services then why not go there instead of staying with WP?

UX, differentiation, hardware and inegration. The First Class experience. These are the reasons that will drive WP ahead and of course new apps, not rehashes of what other OSes already have. 

creating all new ways to interact with ones content is where MS is headed. The number of apps is gotten to the point where it doesn't matter and way overblown.

Why do you say apps don't matter when it obviously does as it's a indicator of how healthy an ecosystem is. If this market was all about look then ya WP should be on top but they're not.

As for first class experience i have a WP7 as well as an Android phone and Xbox and smartglass apps are about the same. The SkyDrive apps isn't noticeably better on WP so the the experience is pretty consistent across all platforms. If all they're looking for is to sell their services then they don't need a phone and can just provide the service to the top two platforms.

They've rebooted Windows Mobile and now Windows Phone so bow many cracks do they need to do things right? There's still issues with WP hardware and mine got bricked doing a factory reset so it's not like they've learned their lessons.

Also, MS is putting all of its services on it's OWN cloud Service which is Azure and these apps allow any device to access the information. 

Apple did it with the iPod and iTunes and then people started buying Mac's. It's the Halo effect and I guess we'll find out if it works with software too.

I like how Microsoft is trying disseminate content to all phone users regardless of "loyalty" or this entitlement belief that because you use a certain device you should be rewarded with certain perks and they are somehow the bad guys.  I don't agree that this has anything to do with Microsoft feeling that Windows Phone isn't a priority, I feel it has more to do with grabbing as much market share as possible for their products regardless of platform!  If you don't like the Windows experience and the phone as a whole then use a different device, imo Windows Phone is enough of a carrot on its own, unique hardware, great features, simple and beautiful UI, it is just a great device.  Who cares if iPhone and Android users can have some of their apps, I would like some of theirs and wouldn't expect them to complain at Google or Apple for letting us have content.

Then they don't really need their own device to do all that do they if they're just going to be a service provider. What incentive is there to stay with WP besides the UX? I'm sorry but that may be ok for some people but not the masses which is why they're struggling. Google and Apple are not putting apps on WP and that's the problem while MS is giving them everything.

Exactly Welve. I would like to say that maybe, just maybe if Live takes off on other platforms that means more development for WP users. Think about it. Wouldn't this get other developers to want to make live games for ios and then of course be easily ported or put on WP first?

That's a good idea because I have a 920 and I use my galaxy 4.0 player for any apps I may want.

Really?... What exclusives does android have that ios doesn't or comparables and vice versa that make a people choose one over the other????.......its a mood point...WP8 needs to succeed on its own as a better OS, and more app support......

all i was saying was and i agree with the_all_blacks on this point. the selling points for microsofts mobile os is its unique approach to the mobile game. i feel if devs gave the people the apps wanted on windows phone you would see a huge leap from android and ios to windows phone, because i feel that the unique nature of windows phone the aesthetically pleasing sight of the live tiles, emphasism on information as opposed to polish and absolute integration with the products are what make the windows phone platform a viable solution.

Let me explain. Microsoft divisions don't care about each other. Office doesn't give shit to WP, neither Xbox. It's like they're different companies.

which they have always been. microsoft has always been a software company first and foremost.
office is already on macs right? 

Then why have their own platform if they can just develop for iPhone and Android? What's the point of fighting a losing battle?

what losing battle? As long as WP continues to gain market share, which it has compared to this point last year, it's always a win. They don't have drive iOS and Android to the brink for WP to be successful.

If you think for a second that Microsoft thought that their current market share is all they were going to get when they first launched WP then you're delusional. Even getting up to 10% is a failure as I'm sure they thought they could be competitive in this space and they're not even close.

What are you guys talking about , so that means good doesn't have faith on android, no is business, ppl will switch to wp8 cuz is different, cuz is unique and better looking and to me easier to used , Microsoft need to focus more in bringing the apps we missing so we can be even with that , and ppm make their choices base on what they like more . But that being said if I don't get all the apps I need , temple run , instagram , flipboar , auto trader, and few more , this Lumia 920 will be the last piece of my money ,Microsoft will see with windows phone .

A plataform can't survive w/o all social network these days, phones are about people moreover. The lack of Instagram killed Windows Phone for many of my friends. If BB10 launches with it that will show how incompetent MSFT was.

And don't forget dead trigger, shadowgun, walking dead, NOVA etc... There are tons and tons of AAA games absent on WP. Only crappy indie games. No matter how much die hard WP zealots argue that it isn't about apps, they need to realize that it IS ABOUT APPS AND GAMES. Apps is what propels a platform. How do you think iOS has such a cult following(which many people despise but face the truth)? Its was all because of the apps. I'm glad I switched to iPhone.

it is, but when? after no one gives a shit about it anymore?
 
i still like my 920 a lot, but lately i've been using my n4 more just because i feel like msft is screwing things up more than ever lately from a management standpoint.
 
xbox music is a mess, and why can't i even transfer movies from their service to my phone when i can DOWNLOAD them to the device on other platforms.
 
honestly the only thing keeping me with wp right now is the 1 yr of xbox music i got with my surface and the hardware in the 920. micrsoft needs to get its ass in gear.

They are already talking, BB10 With instagram at launch. Who knows, I might be able to jump ship to BBM, since I hate ios, and Android.

Wait... how does lack of an app make MS incompetant? How is it not an issue with the developers, and/or owners of the companys? Did MS tell instagram to stay away from their OS, or is it the other way around? 
If Instagram wants the largest membership they can get they will offer their app on all platforms. They are the ones who are holding it up.
 
If things like that matter most to people then please, by all means leave and get another phone.

i'm sorry, if BB (a brand that has worse mindshare than windows phone at the moment) actually pulls off getting instagram at launch with BB10, then it is clearly microsoft's fault for not making whatever deal they needed to to get them to develop or allow msft to develop the app for their platform.

That's true. There's no app availability problem that throwing money at the developer won't solve. If Microsoft wants Instagram bad enough, they'll work a deal out.

Talk to the Fandroid and Applehead developers and not Microsoft on these issues. Yell at them over and over demanding your apps. Keep the blame where it belongs.

Like ppl say I'm my country, Dominican republic, issues and problems are solve,with blood or money in this case blood is not and option, so I tell u what ,you might no like WP platform and that's why you don't build the app for it , but if I call u and offer you lets say for and app like flipboard that the developer is most likely no a millionaire and tell u , imma give u a million dollar, I bet next day he will be working on it , so the should spend money cuz they have plenty.

That's like a 1" tall person in a crowd of normal people yelling at them... They won't even hear it.

Game selection is the last piece of the pie for my platform selection. Super happy windows phone 8 here..

Reminds me of Zune players, when they were on the cusp of actually being successful Microsoft abandoned it. It was the only device that had a chance of competing with the iPod properly.

Reminds me of the XBox when it first came out, and everyone was saying it can't compete with Playstation, and definitely not with anything from Nintendo. They couldn't sell in Japan and then... wait... nevermind.

Just stay tuned and STFU already. 

Its not about being able to compete, its about Microsoft having faith in the platform and ensuring its successful. The Xbox would not have been as successful if they allowed Halo to be ported to other consoles.

Seriously, Microsoft's leadership needs to reign on and get the company together, literally and pun intended.
 
A strategic analyst would clearly see potential latent in having Windows 8, RT, Phone and Xbox synchronized on the same page. This could take Microsoft to a whole new level of success and growth, yet something is clearly blocking them. I can't speak of the internals in the company, but I want to know, what is stopping them from releasing a Windows Phone (and RT) game under the Halo and Forza titles? Why not leverage Xbox console and incentivize current game developers to roll out WP/RT games under those titles?

I can't imagine a Forza game on a mobile being any good. No amount of money could make a racing simulator work on a phone.

True, but it would still be a exclusive with a big following. Halo would be fantastic, They should just release a Halo 1 port. The phone could easily run it, and that alone would generate a lot of talk/desire for windows phone.

It's much easier to create an arcade spin-off in the GTA "world" than in the niche Forza Motorsport franchise.
Forza Horizon on the other hand..

That's not true at all. Forza has always allowed players to turn off the sim elements if they wanted. It would be easy to strike a balance between playability on a phone (which lots of racers do great already) and having lots of cars and options to mess with.

Without the sim elements Forza Motorsport is just boring. What options would you mess with on a phone? Performance tuning would seem totally silly, while swag and pimping is an NFS thing.
Oh, and another key element of Forza, the attention to detail in reproducing the cars - now that also won't make it to the phone. So what's left of it to go on the phone would be just generic racing with the Forza logo slapped on it, and a high price to cover the car licensing.
Thats said, while I'd rather see Forza Motorsport stay on the big consoles, I'd be fine with her litte sister Forza Horizon going mobile.

I agree that Forza Horizon would work well on a phone, but they could call the mobile game Forza Whatever and it'd still do fine. As long as it's a solid racing game, it'd be a good way to extend the brand.

They dont need to make real big games for the phones. What they should do is make the phone/RT games as add-ons. A perfect example is the Fable game. You win money on your Windows Phone and submit it to your Xbox 360 game. Racing games could be played for credits in the game as well. FPS could unlock new contect for the story mode or even unique guns for online, or enable smart glass to be used. A lot can be done, but it would have to stay in the Microsoft eco system.
 

Not really. How many Wii owners know of Halo?

How many iOS or Android owners have even heard of Wordament?

News has spread fairly quickly. the average game I played has jumped from 900-1k users to over 1600 per round. Not bad for 1 day.

BTW...aren't Xbox and Windows Phone in the same division? Entertainment and Devices Division?
To be honest, Wordament is not my worry per se... It's the lack of drive and initiative in WP itself.

 

They do have drive and initiative
..... It's to get all their services on other platforms instead of concentrating on their own and making it better.

As I understand it, there are separate teams within that division. There is some cooperation, but not to the extent that we might want or expect from one division under the same company.

Fanboys is mad. I'm happy. Now I can destroy my girlfriend in wordament when I play on my 920 and her on her iPhone.

^ This. It's odd to see MS dump exclusive features like XBL integration, but the result to the user is that now you have more people to play with, and people can actually play with Windows phone users. It's annoying being left out of most of the cross-platform stuff.
People love to bemoan the "lack of apps" on windows phone, but as a non-gamer, I've got solid (and often excellent) 3rd party apps for the services I use (Pandora, Google Chat, Google Voice, etc.). The last real bridge is getting cross-platform support for the apps people are obsessed with on iOS and Android. For games like Wordament, more players is better - having them WP only is useless, because few people will ever hear about them. A few stray people may jump ship to WP over these kinds of exclusives, but honestly, cross-platform with no deficiencies is the best solution for everyone, since it will help to dispel the feeling of apps missing from Windows phone.
The only thing that really strikes me as odd is the ability to earn XBL points cross platform. That's rather stupid, but it'll get players on Wordament, for sure... gateway app, anyone?

I think Microsoft is promoting "XBOX" first. iOS and android already have smartglass and some others. Microsoft is looking at alot more than just windows phone. They're trying to make a,stronger all around ecosystem, that caters to everyone. They need to make money by other means. Everyone sees that they are being cut off in some shape or form, from others.

It's only a game maybe it's an exclusive but is only a game is not gonna change everything what is most important is OS not the apps the apps can be awesome but the most important thing is the full experience not just game and i think is what is windows phone doing right giving to the costumer a good experience in all the aspects.

It's literally only a matter of time until they do get BETTER experiences with the games and services we have. Windows Phone will be left behind, even by its own division within Microsoft.

This is a great idea. Give outsiders a little taste of the Microsoft ecosystem. Sure, not all will take the hook. But it's a great way to advertise your platform without spending a dime. Exclusive crap is for Apple. Microsoft sees the bigger picture.

Makes me realize how much smarter, more successful, and richer apple has gotten taking that approach. So maybe Microsoft's big picture is the wrong picture.

Umm, the iPod is its own platform (iOS). If you mean iTunes, that is indeed multiplatform, but it's primarily a way to use and sell content for iDevices. Almost nobody would use iTunes who didn't also own an iPhone, iPod, or iPad. That's a lot different than publishing apps or games for a competing platform, because an iOS Wordament user (for instance) doesn't need or have any reason to own a Windows Phone in order to enjoy the game.

Wow. What the heck. I mean I know revenue from Xbox has to be good to keep WP going for the time being, but no. This is bad. Bad move, MS.

Well said, Paul. When Office, Xbox, Sharepoint, along with all the other MS services are on ios we will see how long WP survives.

I love Windows Phone, but have the clear cut understanding that no matter what version of it we use, we are the beta testers. Microsoft is out to rule the living room through the Xbox setup and expansion and if catering to the more popular mobile platforms achieve that goal, we will be sold down the river sign sealed and delivered. If Windows Phone can overtake one of the two major platforms they will adjust the game plan. If not they will slowly build on Windows Phone as a interconnected subsidiary of Windows with a lower priority than all the other platforms. While the exclusive games are a great example I would suggest looking at the extreme beta stage of syncing on WP8. why else take out the best part of experience when connecting to the home computer?

I actually think this is good, creating apps in other platforms will ease switching to WP, just like google did everywhere, created apps that promoted its software abilities . More apps should be ported to ios so when any one makes a switch those apps will create familiarity.

I totally agree!  I was so pissed when I heard about this fiasco, but now I realize that it's the exact thing that needs to happen.  Give iOS users a taste.  Let them know what they are missing on WP, and they'll start coming over.  This moves has a great potential to make the WP platform much stronger.  

How is this move supposed to make the platform stronger? This just means it's one less reason to buy a WP when the games and services are on other platforms. What would make the platform stronger, getting someone to buy a WP and hook them into the MS ecosystem or create services and games for other platforms?

Why would you switch when those live games are already on WP? Why not just stick with WP? If it's because the other platforms offer more, then why get a WP to begin with? They need to do this. It opens WP for more development.

People used iTunes so much during iPod start that they started buying other apples products and osx wad more familiar.... Same with chrome

Actually your answers your question, how do you get people hooked onto the MS ecosystem?????... By limiting use of the services that make up the ecosystem?...no...you want more. People to sample them

I don't really think this will harm WP in the scheme of things - a little annoying, but not harmful. In fact, I think this comes down to something much larger - the battle of eco-systems. The eco-system that has the most chance of winning is the one that is cross platform. In fact, in a roundabout way i think this type if decision will help WP, the more people that end up buying into the eco-system will eventually mean that more people will consider WP as it is native to the eco-system

Personally I just think that this shows how divided the divisions within Microsoft still are. The fact that each division appears to be more interested in the growth of their own division as compared to helping the growth of the other parts of Microsoft’s business is a fundamentally floored idea. Smartglass should be a Win 8 / WP exclusive, no Xbox stuff should end up on iOS and Android, and who knows what will happen if they port Office over to iOS, because they will in effect might as well not make RT or WP at that point. Microsoft needs to choose to become either a services company, and stop trying to push into marketshares where it’s weak, or to remove all support for other platforms and promote exclusives on its own platforms.
Trying to do both just alienates those who invest into Microsoft's own platforms.

So why would you need to buy the Microsoft product if you could just have the same experience on an i device?

It may get Microsoft subscribers and help their bottom line but how does that help their ecosystem and get people to buy more WP/W8 tablets? So instead of tempting people to buy W8 tablets and phones to get people into their ecosystem they sell $7.99 monthly office subscriptions. Who do you think loses and wins?

You would only have that service experience... The full experience comes on a native ms OS...plus your software gets everywhere!

Exclusives help to turn eyes to a platform but I think it is a bit overrated about how this makes people turn to a specific platform.
 
Case in point: A few weeks ago I was playing Wordament at a table with some friends and they looked at it on my 8X and asked to play it. I pass them the phone to try the game and they were hooked right away to the game. I told them it was only available on Windows Phone but they still fired up their App Store and Google Play to search for it. They didn't find it but I also received no comment about any of them migrating because of the then-exclusive Wordament game.
 
App ubiquity is another thing. After two years, there are people who are not aware that Windows Phone exists. When developers/companies start releasing their apps for iOS, Android and WP at the same time, people can then be aware that there are currently 3 platforms to choose from, not just two.
 
However, this is like the chicken and egg question because as there will only be more apps for WP when it gains more market share, but it won't take more unless there are more apps or people becaming aware of it and choosing because its the best OS out there.

Of course, no one exclusive will lure people to a different platform. But if WP was dripping with exclusives they wanted, it'd be a different story. Also, shame on your friends for not believing you!

This concerns me. It shows me they aren't totally confident in their own platform's future....and heck lets face it, wordament is arguably the best word game out there. What's next, .NET on mac?

What's going to kill win phone is how buggy it is and the lack of apps. People want apps. Win phone has nothing to offer people on android or IOS that they don't already have. Exclusives is what sets you apart and as we learned with the Xbox Microsoft doesn't care about exclusives. I'm don't with WP. I'm on my 3rd Nokia L920 and after the last patch they turned my phone to trash. If I find a way to get rid of this thing and switch to another os I am. There's no way WP can compete

Oh fantastic. Microsoft,why don't you give all your Xbox titles in one go instead of torturing us bit by bit. Sarcasm over.

Windows need to upgrade their Facebook app some more. I don't get notification when I receive inbox messages or friend request; maybe its just my phone...there is absolutely no reason to switch to a windows phone; I embarrass my everytime I try to convince people, and now this!

That's what I am saying. No one cares specifically about wordament, but where does it stop and why do cross platform apps work better on other platforms...

Phil Spencer, the VP in charge of Microsoft Studios, should be called in for special meeting with Steve Ballmer over the holiday break. The topic: how fast he can pack up his stuff. As a game publisher, Microsoft Studios has been on a slide since Shane Kim retired.

This is the tweet I sent him (feel free to let him know what you think too): @PeeeThree Allowing Wordament to earn Xbox Live achievements on iOS. Just step down from Microsoft Studios.

Guys, we need to put things in perspective. WP is a priority, but in the grand scheme of mobile W8 and MS services are the real priorities. WP users represent less than 1% of the MS user base and even less when it comes to monetization.  Xbox has priority over WP(sucks, but true) and MS wants users of any device to be using MS services.  

agreed but windows phone could be a contender if given the proper attention it deserves as a platform.

If MS was porting over a bunch of games to iOS, I would understand the nerd rage going on here. But, as other people above have suggested, this can act as a teaser. Think about it, you have ONE game with achs, on iOS. People will be drawn to the mobile OS that has ALL of the Xbox games with achs, and also the Xbox itself. While MS is working on coordinating divisions more, and I agree they need to, moves like this are calculated.

It won't be just this one game. There are already other games; this is just the first with Achievements. More will surely follow.

It would be a teaser with a popup notice like "Want archivements? Play this game on Windows Phone!" ...

The fact that WP lost its last exclusive feature, Xbox Achievements, is outrageous. We need Steve Ballmer to go around to all the Microsoft divisions to kick their butts and tell them to stop hurting Microsoft's most struggling product.

Wordament is a bit passe on WP already, having been exclusively available for so long already. So really no big deal. We need more NEW exclusive killer aps, not clinging on to the very few we have.

Really, we need both. You don't want just a handful of exclusives at any given time. You want a full arsenal of apps and games that inspire people to consider WP over other platforms. For that to work, the lineup has to grow as time goes on - not dwindle.

There's nothing new to this... Hardware and services...ballmer said that long time ago.. People dont switch just because of game..and most people own Xbox 360 its all good...ios and WINDOWSPHONE are totally different... So buy me a ham sandwich because I am hungry.

 
As long as in the near future they don't release a multitude of games like this I think we"ll be alright.  Listen, I was so pissed when I heard about this ordeal, but now I realize that it's the exact thing that needs to happen.  Give iOS users a taste.  Let them know what they are missing on WP, and they'll start coming over.  This moves has a great potential to make the WP platform much stronger.  
 
And think about this too.  The more apps that all the mobile OS's share the easier it will be to switch between them.  Like a lot of people keep saying, if Instagram were on WP8 there may have been a mass exodus from iOS to WP8.  I think this will get people from iOS hooked and might actually make them take the jump.

I think it's a strategy to get people on all platforms to use Microsoft Games/Apps...The more the people use MS apps/games the easier it's to convince these people to shift to the WP/Surface paltform....Right now there are exclusives on iOS/Android like Flipboard/Instagram....Lot of people use these apps and are hesistant to move to the WP.....It's a high risk strategy but it's a risk work taking as WP 8 is not taking off as rapidly as people expected

I think the point in the article about MS being divided is spot on. 
Looking at Games for windows Live. I tried to be a loyalist for that and if ever there was a toss up between a game with xbox live on xbox or PC I always made sure I got the PC version. The choice was so limited...  MS really doesn't focus on another other gaming platform properly other than the main console, then they wonder why it failed when they never really gave it the big push it needed.  
MS office and xbox games are probably the biggest pull for the WP ecosystem (business users and achievement hunters).
Some more investment in games and QA testing (MS accounts setup with personal domains need work for syncing tasks and calendars) is where it should be at. 
I do think Wordament on iOS with LIMITED achievement points is a good move. My tablet is still a iOS device while my phone is a lumia 920. 

When you think about it, Wordament is also available on Windows 8; just because someone owns an iPhone doesn't mean that they use a Mac! These iPhone users are also Windows 8 users and if they are playing Wordament on their PC, having the game on their iPhone is a good convenience and allows them to play on the go.

But you get achievements on the Windows 8 version, at least I do (I have a seperate Live account that I use for Windows 8, and I've unlocked achievements with that profile). 
 
If an iPhone/iPod user creates a Windows Live account for Windows 8, then I don't see an issue with the achievements following them when they sign in using their iPhone/iPhone.

Doubtful. These days (when it comes to iOS and Android) specs are what make a platform more attractive. People are talking about (and buying) the galaxy III, Note II, and iPhone 5 cause of the hardware, specs, and OS not cause of the exclusives. For them, apps are a given. They are in abundance. That's where WP falls way short. If they had the same quality of apps, regardless of if they have them as exclusives, then the conversation turns to the OS. As we know, WP OS is something worth switching for. They just need to keep pushing boundaries with specs, hardware, and of course (quality) apps, apps, apps.

I would assume having a game cross platform would make it much more enjoyable to play having a much larger user base. Also IOS users probably have windows pc too so why not make it available to everyone, the ranting going on here right now over this game is completly pointless. Windows Phone is much bigger than the apps on it. IOS developers and Android developers should take a hint on how MS does things and make more apps that work across all platforms.I reallly couldnt care less if all apps that are on WP are available on other mobile platforms,n I didnt buy my phone for that reason, I buy my phone because of the way the OS looks and feels and how smooth and fluid it all runs.

WP8 is the best mobile OS on the market now; I think if MS shows great products on other platforms people may want to try WP. Once someone really tries WP8 they will never go back. So I think this is good idea. The exclusive thing is ok when that is only thing going on for you, but WP8 is just to good. :)

The best mobile OS...no.  They are gradually becoming competitive, but are a long way off matching eiter iOS or Android in features or functionality.

I have a bb, android nexus, iphon5, and wp7, and now Ativ S. With the latest version on TELUS even update was pushed to phone. For me this OS works the best. I have not found use case where I prefer the others.

WP8 OS is by far the best OS available, we are not talking about apps here. The OS itself simply is miles ahead of IOS or Android.

Uhm, I've known people that have tried WP and gone back. More like ran back when they saw the app selection and the battery issues on the Lumia 920.

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