While Minecraft players do now have the ability to log into Xbox Live on Switch, this new implementation will seemingly allow games to incorporate more features, like Achievements and Friend Lists. The listing said Xbox Live users are already engaged on Microsoft's Xbox and PC platforms and listed achievements, friends lists, and clubs among other features as the perks of having Xbox Live support on non-Windows devices.
Microsoft has been slowly opening up the Xbox platform's walled garden for years now.
Microsoft is releasing a software development kit (SDK) which will allow game developers to integrate Xbox Live into titles across multiple platforms, according to a presentation planned for this year's Game Developers Conference.
In a blurb for their upcoming appearance, Microsoft states that Xbox Live has grown to be one of the leading gaming social communities. Instead of coding up your own account structure and online presence, the argument goes, why not simply plug into the preexisting, millions-strong Xbox Live user base? That will expand the potential audience for Xbox Live from 400 million gaming devices to over 2 billion, by Microsoft's count-the service now has 68 million active players, Microsoft says. The company made it clear that it wants Xbox games to be available on all kinds of devices, from consoles to smartphones, when it announced Project xCloud in October 2018. Apple has even gone so far as to kill off the app for its Game Center service, and while Google's Play Games Services is still kicking, I find there aren't that many devs out there that actually take advantage of some of its more prominent features, such as cloud saving.
The announcement was teased from the conference schedule details for GDC 2019 - which has since been taken down - and will take place next month.