Up 'till now, Microsoft's kept the XBox Live system inside the family -- Xbox, Windows Phone and now Windows 8. With the release of a new Microsoft game for iOS though, all that's about to change -- you can now get your XBox Live groove on from your iPhone. What's next -- Halo 4 on the iPad? Oh I dearly wish.

The game they've released is Wordament, a word-play game designed initially as a side project by two Microsoft employees, and then wrapped up and sold to the world by Microsoft. It's been floating around on Windows Phone for a while now, but now it's been directly ported over to iOS.

This isn't a big deal -- they did the same thing with Kinectimals -- but what is significant is XBox Live integration. That means you can play with your Windows Phone-touting buddies around the globe, you lucky thing; it also means, though, that you can unlock XBox Live Achievement points in-game. This is a big step for Microsoft, who up until now have kept their lucrative gaming ecosystem quite strictly in-house.

It's an interesting precedent to set, and quite neatly lays the groundwork for future crossovers of Microsoft's games. This is a Good Thing -- Microsoft's got a good product in XBox Live, and crossing it over to the hugely popular iOS gaming market will hopefully lead to a slick and more integrated experience in the future. Good on ya, Microsoft. [MacRumors]