Microsoft is a changed company under Nadella. We are catching a lot of stuff that we did not expect from once the big daddy of Silicon Valley who would not bend from their ways. One such odd occurrence has been the support for Apple’s Passbooks that is oddly working for Windows Phone 8.1. Microsoft had introduced Passbook back in iOS 6 as a one stop shop for all your travelling, eating or entertainment coupons. It is basically an aggregator of information of things like your boarding pass or reservation tickets that is picked from the web page being rendered on the device.
Microsoft has added Microsoft Wallet to Windows Phone 8.1, the developer preview of which was made available to download yesterday. The functionality of Microsoft Wallet is very similar to Apple’s Passbook, but the surprising bit is that WP 8.1 is able to take the Passbook file, read the data and add the card subsequently to Microsoft Wallet. It is not really clear how this is happening as Apple code signs its passbook. Whether Microsoft has reached some sort of agreement with Apple to use the service or is doing it by some other way is difficult to say. Tom Warren of The Verge said:
Windows Phone 8.1 supports Apple’s Passbook natively. I’ve been using it for flights. Works perfectly pic.twitter.com/MFScqvEVU7
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) April 14, 2014
Lots of confusion around Microsoft’s support of Passbook with Windows Phone 8.1. They’re just reading the files and displaying data. Simple.
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) April 15, 2014
It is also possible that this could be a temporary glitch which Microsoft might patch when the consumer version of Windows Phone 8.1 is released. Yet, it is a rather interesting thing to see, two giants to the industry in Apple and Microsoft operating so much differently than from the cold blooded days in the past and maybe a hand of friendship should not surprise us as much as it is.