Microsoft recently considered building a “super app” that could include shopping, messaging, news and web search services among others, The Information reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The Windows-maker mulled building the app to loosen the hold of Alphabet’s Google and Apple on the mobile search space, according to the report.
Microsoft executives wanted the app to also boost the company’s multibillion-dollar advertising business and Bing search, as well as draw more users to Teams messaging and other mobile services, The Information reported
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The report added that it isn’t clear whether the company would launch such an app, but Chief Executive Satya Nadella has pushed for the Bing search service to perform better with the Teams and Outlook.
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, who also owns Twitter, has shown interest in building a super app named “X” that would combine a multitude of services.
A super app, made popular in Asia by Tencent Holdings’ WeChat and South East Asia’s Grab Holdings, has been described as the Swiss army knife of mobile apps, offering a suite of services for users such as messaging, social networking, peer-to-peer payments and e-commerce shopping.
These mega apps are widely used in Asia because mobile is the main form of access to the internet for many people in the region, wrote Scott Galloway, a New York University professor of marketing and co-host of tech podcast “Pivot,” last year.
Chinese super app WeChat has more than 1 billion monthly users, according to one estimate, and is a ubiquitous part of daily life in China. Users can hail a car or taxi, send money to friends and family or make payments at stores.
In 2018, some Chinese cities began testing WeChat for an electronic identification system that would be tied to users’ accounts, according to the South China Morning Post.
© Thomson Reuters 2022