Microsoft launched a photo sharing app for Android, iOS and its own Windows Phone 8, which enables users to share images with people who do not have the software installed.

Microsoft Xim also allows users to share and view their photos simultaneously with contacts, synchronising any swipe, pan and zoom actions.

As Xim images can be viewed using a mobile browser, recipients don’t need to have the app installed on their device. Contacts are invited to view shared images via email or text message.

Although everybody can view shared photos, users need to download Xim to add photos or people to the conversation. Simple text messages can also be included.

Like the popular Snapchat and other ‘ephemeral messaging apps’, Xim deletes images after a certain, unspecified, timeframe, meaning there is little storage required to use the service. Images can be saved is users wish to do so, however.

Xim is initially launching in the US only but other countries will be added “shortly”, according to Microsoft.

While the Windows Phone maker has been trying to push uptake of its own mobile OS, it is clearly looking to address a wider range of users with Xim.