There are a number of likely reasons why Microsoft is buying Minecraft, and some analysts believe the move could boost Windows Phone’s prospects. Minecraft has been a popular app on iOS and Android, but the game isn’t currently available on Windows Phone. It’s hard to imagine a version not existing on Windows Phone in future after today’s deal, but Microsoft may also choose to add additional features and benefits to its own Windows version to entice Android and iOS users.
Minecraft was originally released in test form five years ago as an indie game that allows players to shape an environment by crafting and building constructions out of blocks. Minecraft is one of the most popular video games of all time, with more than 100 million downloads, on PC alone, from players since its launch in 2009. Microsoft's relationship with Mojang began when they initially talked to the team about bringing Minecraft to the console. Minecraft quickly became the top online game on Xbox Live, with over two billion hours played on Xbox 360 in the last two years.
If Microsoft can tap into that culture without upsetting the millions of devoted fans, then it could serve to open up Minecraft to even bigger audiences as a tool for building, education, and development.