iMessage on Windows: The iMessage chat platform is one of Apple’s best ways to make you think twice about buying another company’s devices. But if the iPhone maker ever changes its strategy, Microsoft’s CEO says his company will “welcome” it to Windows 11.
In a Wall Street Journal video interview, CEO Satya Nadella cited iMessage as one example of an Apple feature that Microsoft would love to welcome to the Windows platform.
“Anything Apple wants to do with Windows — whether it’s iTunes or iMessage or whatever — we would welcome,” the Microsoft CEO said.
The remark was part of Microsoft’s broader campaign to rebrand Windows as the most open of all digital platforms. Windows 11 will work with Android apps installed through the Amazon App Store. Moving the Start menu to the center of the taskbar could even be seen as a metaphor for Microsoft’s desire to make Windows a neutral middle ground between the competing ecosystems of Google and Apple.
“Overall, we want to make sure that our software works great on Apple devices,” Nadella continued. “Windows works well with any software, whether it’s Google, Apple, Adobe or anyone else.
While this could be good branding for the upcoming Windows 11, which will begin rolling out in 2021, Nadella should realize that the chances of Apple accepting his invitation are slim.
The popular iMessage offers beautiful blue chat bubbles, stickers and an increasingly deep set of chat features to help lock customers into its “vegetable garden.” It even has its own App Store.
But iMessage is only available on the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac. Other than complicated hacks that require using a Mac as a server, there’s no easy way to use iMessage on Windows or Android. Change the platform, and you become a scary green bubble on your Apple-owning friends’ devices.
In a 2016 email disclosed during Apple’s lawsuit against Epic Games, Apple executive Phil Schiller reiterated this strategy. In response to an Apple employee saying that “the No. 1 hardest reason [to] leave the Apple app is iMessage… iMessage is a serious lock,” Schiller responded as follows: “Moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than it will help us, and this letter shows why.”
While that letter was about Android, not Windows, it wouldn’t be a huge leap to assume that the same train of thought applies to Microsoft’s platform, which competes with Macs.
Unless there is a dramatic change in strategy – perhaps in response to antitrust threats from the government – don’t hold your breath expecting iMessage to come to Windows or Android anytime soon. But if Apple changes its mind, Microsoft obviously won’t hesitate to roll out the red carpet.