Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1 Update Supports Apple Passbook Passes

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The new Microsoft loves everyone equally, and supports all platforms – to the extreme in some cases, as with embedded support for Apple’s Passbook passes in Windows Phone 8.1, something noted by The Verge’s Tom Warren and explained in greater detail by Rene Ritchie at iMore. The gist of it is that Microsoft has reverse-engineered how to read Passbook files (.pkpass) and can turn them into cards that work with Micosoft Wallet, rendering them with the same data for Windows Phone users.

Hey, why not right? Apple has invented a standard that makes it easy for developers to build content for a mobile wallet, and Microsoft wants to populate its new mobile wallet with virtual cards and tickets easily, without having to convince devs to build entirely new, slightly different content for the same. Using Apple’s Passbook cards is a great shortcut, but it might be one that Apple doesn’t find too amusing.

This is a feature in a developer preview beta, so it’s more than likely that it gets omitted from a final release, but I think Microsoft’s testing the waters here to see how Apple reacts. There’s a slim possibility the two companies are playing nice and Apple has agreed to open up its Passbook standard, but I’m betting not. We’ve reached out to Apple to see if they have a response to this, and will update if they provide more information.