Categories
Game

Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard will face ‘in-depth’ UK investigation

Microsoft might want to abandon the hope of a speedy merger with Activision Blizzard. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is referring the takeover for an “in-depth” (Phase 2, in CMA lingo) investigation. The regulator is still concerned the buyout could lead to a “substantial lessening” of competition in the country after launching a basic inquiry in July. 

The Authority signalled its intention to launch a deeper investigation on September 1st. It gave Microsoft until September 8th to propose acceptable concessions. Microsoft declined, and the CMA stepped up its scrutiny. In a statement to Engadget, Microsoft President Brad Smith said his company was “ready” to work with the CMA and that it wanted people to have “more access to games, not less.” You can read the full statement below.

The investigation won’t necessarily block the deal. It could significantly delay the proposed union, however, and might demand more compromises on Microsoft’s part. With that said, both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard previously said they’ll cooperate with regulators. Microsoft gaming lead Phil Spencer said his company would keep Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles, for example. Unless the CMA has strong objections, it may be more a question of when the merger completes than whether it happens at all.

“We’re ready to work with the CMA on next steps and address any of its concerns. Sony, as the industry leader, says it is worried about Call of Duty, but we’ve said we are committed to making the same game available on the same day on both Xbox and PlayStation. We want people to have more access to games, not less.”

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Sony’s Jim Ryan says Microsoft’s Call of Duty promise was ‘inadequate on many levels’

Sony PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan has revealed that Microsoft offered to keep Call of Duty available on PlayStation for three years beyond its current Activision deal. “After almost 20 years of Call of Duty on PlayStation, their proposal was inadequate on many levels and failed to take account of the impact on our gamers,” Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz

Last week, the UK’s competition authority said it was concerned that Microsoft’s $68.7 billion Activision Blizzard acquisition could “harm rivals” by shutting them out of popular games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. Xbox chief Phil Spencer essentially responded by saying the company made a deal with Sony to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for “several more years” in an offer “that goes well beyond typical gaming industry agreements.”

However, Sony is apparently concerned about the arrangement. “I hadn’t intended to comment on what I understood to be a private business discussion, but I feel the need to set the record straight because Phil Spencer brought this into the public forum,” Ryan said. “Microsoft has only offered for Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation for three years after the current agreement between Activision and Sony ends. We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality Call of Duty experience, and Microsoft’s proposal undermines this principle.”

Activision’s current deal with Sony is reported to cover the next three Call of Duty releases, including Modern Warfare II set to arrive on October 28th. Last month, Microsoft made an interesting argument about monopoly concerns around the Activision acquisition, saying that the company it wants to pay $68.7 billion to acquire makes no “must have” games. Sony, meanwhile, called Call of Duty an “essential” triple-A game “that has no rival.” As analyst Daniel Ahmad pointed out, Sony was Activision Blizzard’s biggest customer in 2020, while Microsoft was the fourth largest behind Google and Apple.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.



Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Microsoft’s Xbox Elite Series 2 wireless controller is now available in white

Microsoft Xbox has launched a new Elite Series 2 controller with a white cover plate, and it’s now available for pre-order. Like its black counterpart, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 – Core in white was designed with competitive gamers in mind, with its wrap-around rubberized grip, shorter hair trigger locks and 40 hours of battery life. It’s now available for pre-order from the Xbox website and select retailers for $130. That’s much cheaper than the black version that has a standard retail price of $180, because it doesn’t come with a case and other spare parts needed for customization. 

Instead, Xbox is selling a separate Complete Component Pack, which is also available for pre-order, for $60. The pack includes a carrying case, a thumbstick-adjustment tool, a charging dock, two classic thumbsticks, one tall thumbstick, one dome thumbstick, one cross-shaped D-pad, two medium and two mini paddles, as well as a USB-C cable. By selling the pack separately, that means those who already have all those components from the black Elite Series 2 will be able to buy the new controller on its own at a cheaper price. However, that’s $10 more than the black version for those who want to get both the white controller and the component pack.

In addition to announcing its new products, Xbox has also revealed that it’s adding the Elite Series 2 Controllers to the Xbox Design Lab this holiday season. That means players will be able purchase personalized controllers designed with various colors and patterns of their choosing, so they can go beyond these current black and white options. 

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Microsoft’s Game Pass Friend & Family tier goes live in two countries

Following a leak last week, Microsoft has unveiled the Game Pass Friends & Family in Ireland, offering the same benefits of Game Pass Ultimate for you and four others at €22 ($22) per month. That’s less than double the Game Pass Ultimate price for one person (€13), and works out to just €4.40 ($4.40) a month each. Better still, it’s not limited to family and the only restriction is that all four members have to be in the same country. 

So far, it’s come to just two countries, but that might change soon. “Currently we are piloting this plan in Colombia and the Republic of Ireland. Future countries / regions might be added in the next months,” Microsoft wrote in a FAQ.

Users in those countries with an existing Game Pass Ultimate plan will see their remaining days pro-rated, basically according to the price difference. That means for 30 days of Game Pass Ultimate you’ll get 18 days of Game Pass Friends & family, while 30 days of Xbox Game Pass or Live Gold gets you 12 days. 30 days of EA Play nets 6 days of Game Pass Friends & Family.

In the US, Xbox Game Pass or PC Game Pass costs $10 per month, while Game Pass Ultimate is $15 with multiplayer capabilities. The Game Pass Friends & Family is likely to cost around $25 stateside, according to The Verge, or $5 per month per person. On top of multiplayer, Ultimate users can also access Xbox Cloud Gaming, Xbox Live and more. 

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Security

Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge browser has tools to protect your privacy

One of the things that many people look for in a browser is how it protects their privacy against all the various trackers that are hidden in many of the sites out there. Microsoft Edge, the Chromium-based browser that is built into current versions of Windows, has its share of protections as well — it’s even adding its own VPN to the mix. Edge includes tools to block both first-party cookies (used to keep you logged in or remember the items in your shopping cart) and third-party tracking cookies (used to keep track of your browsing activity).

Here are instructions on how to change your settings, see what trackers are stored on your browser, and delete any cookies. We also address how Edge deals with fingerprinting, another method of tracking that identifies users by collecting details about their system configuration.

Deal with trackers

Edge blocks trackers by default using one of three different levels of protection. Balanced, which is active upon installation, blocks some third-party trackers along with any trackers designated as “malicious.” This mode takes into account sites you visit frequently and the fact that an organization may own several sites; it lowers tracking prevention for organizations you engage with regularly. Basic offers more relaxed control; it still blocks trackers but only those Microsoft describes as “malicious.” You can also switch to Strict, which blocks most third-party trackers across sites.

To change your level of protection:

  • Click on the three dots in the top-right corner of your browser window and go to Settings. Select Privacy, search, and services from the left-hand menu.
  • Make sure Tracking prevention is switched on, and then select which level you want.

Showing Edge’s three levels of privacy protection.

Edge blocks trackers by default using one of three different levels of protection.

Adjust your tracking settings

While Edge provides you with the three easy-to-choose tracking modes, you can also dive deeper to see which trackers are blocked and make exceptions for specific sites.

  • On the Privacy, search and services page, look for the Blocked trackers link just beneath the three tracking prevention modes. Click on that to see all of the trackers Edge has blocked.
  • Beneath the Blocked trackers link is the Exceptions link, where you can specify any sites where you want tracking prevention turned off.

The Blocked tracker page shows all of the trackers Edge has blocked. 

The Blocked tracker page shows all of the trackers Edge has blocked.

When you’re at a site, you can see how effective your tracking prevention is by clicking on the lock symbol on the left side of the top address field. The drop-down box allows you to view the associated cookies and site permissions, allow or disable pop-ups, tweak the tracking permissions for that site, and see what trackers have been blocked.

A drop down menu listing various privacy features.

Click on the lock symbol to see a count of your blocked trackers.

Clean up your cookies

Conveniently, Edge can delete several types of data each time you close it, including browsing history, passwords, and cookies.

  • Go back to Settings > Privacy, search, and services and scroll down to Clear browsing data.
  • Click the arrow next to Choose what to clear every time you close the browser.
  • Toggle on any of the data categories you’d like to be cleared each time you exit Edge. If you select Cookies and other site data, you can also choose any sites whose cookies you want to retain by clicking on the Add button.

Choose what data you want deleted when you close the browser.

Choose what data you want deleted when you close the browser.

You can also manually clear your cookies and other data at any point:

  • On the Privacy, search, and services page, look for Clear browsing data now, and click on the button labeled Choose what to clear. This will open up a smaller window with several options.
  • Select the type of data you want to delete.
  • You can also select a time range within which to delete that data: the last hour; the last 24 hours; the last seven days; the last four weeks; or all time.
  • There is also a link to clear your data if you’ve been using legacy websites in Internet Explorer mode. You are also warned that clearing your data will clear it across all synced devices. (But you can sign out of your Microsoft account to clear it only on that specific computer.)
  • Ready? Click Clear now.

Menu for manually deleting data.

You can also manually delete data.

There are other privacy features on the Privacy, search, and services page, including options to send “Do Not Track” requests. (Although the usefulness of such a request can be questionable.)

If you scroll down to the Security section of that page, you will see a number of features that you can turn on or off. They include Microsoft Defender SmartScreen, which can help protect from malicious sites and, if you turn it on, will block downloads of possibly dangerous apps. There is also a feature that will stop you from accidentally going to a problematic site due to a mistype.

Fingerprinting and ad blocking

According to Microsoft, the three tracking prevention modes will help protect against the type of personalization that leads to fingerprinting.

Edge does not block ads natively, but you can download ad-blocking extensions. Because the browser is now based on Chromium, many Chrome extensions (as well as extensions from the Microsoft Store) will work with this latest version of Edge, a distinct advantage.

Update May 10th, 2022, 10:30AM ET: This article was originally published on February 13th, 2020, and has been updated to reflect changes in the OS and the Edge app.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Engadget Podcast: Google I/O and hands-on with Microsoft’s Adaptive Mouse

This week, Engadget Deputy Editor Nathan Ingraham joins Cherlynn and Devindra to dive into everything announced at Google I/O. There were plenty of new devices, of course, but Google also showed off how its improved AI tech is making maps, translation and more features even smarter. Also, Cherlynn discusses her exclusive feature on Microsoft’s Adaptive Mouse, as well as the company’s new Inclusive Tech Lab. And in other news, we bid farewell to the iPod and reminisce about the early days of MP3 players.

Listen above, or subscribe on your podcast app of choice. If you’ve got suggestions or topics you’d like covered on the show, be sure to email us or drop a note in the comments! And be sure to check out our other podcasts, the Morning After and Engadget News!

Subscribe!

Topics

  • Google IO overview – 1:45

  • A return for Google Glass? – 13:24

  • Pixel 6a announcement – 29:11

  • Pixel Watch – 33:49

  • Pixel Buds Pro – 38:27

  • Notes from Microsoft’s Ability Summit – 43:43

  • Apple officially discontinues the iPod – 1:01:04

  • Sonos Ray is real and it’s $279 – 1:08:53

  • New info on Intel’s 12th Gen HX Chips – 1:20:45

  • Pop culture picks – 1:26:21

Video livestream

Credits
Hosts: Devindra Hardawar and Jessica Conditt
Guest: Nathan Ingraham
Producer: Ben Ellman
Music: Dale North and Terrence O’Brien
Livestream producers: Julio Barrientos
Graphic artists: Luke Brooks and Brian Oh

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Microsoft’s Xbox Elite Series 2 controller is just $135 for today only

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re an Xbox or PC gamer, there’s a pretty high probability that you’ve taken a peek at Microsoft’s Xbox Elite Series 2 controller. The customizable peripheral comes in its own case, offers interchangeable thumbsticks and paddles, and delivers up to 40 hours of gaming thanks to its integrated battery pack. 

The only problem is that the controller can often retail for $180 and rarely gets a significant price cut. With Black Friday gaming sales starting to ramp up, Woot is hoping to tempt those looking to upgrade their controller experience by offering the Elite Series 2 for just $135, one of the lowest prices we’ve seen.

Buy Xbox Elite Series 2 controller at Woot – $135

The Elite Series 2 comes complete with a USB-C port, Bluetooth connectivity and can charge inside its carrying case. It also supports programmable profiles, allowing you to select between three stored configurations using the Profiles button on its front. 

If you’re looking for a solid controller upgrade during the holidays, you may have just found it. However, you’ll need to move quickly as the Elite Series 2 will only remain at $135 for 24 hours or until it sells out, whichever comes first. 

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Microsoft’s virtual Xbox museum is a very detailed stroll down memory lane

If you haven’t heard by now, the Xbox brand turned 20 this year. With anniversary livestreams, controllers, and even a surprise Halo Infinite multiplayer release, we’re not sure how you could have missed the news, but that’s neither here nor there. The anniversary train hasn’t stopped rolling yet, as Microsoft has launched a new virtual museum that takes us through the history of Xbox.

From 1990s concept to present day

At first blush, a virtual museum celebrating 20 years of Xbox might sound a bit self-indulgent, but it’s well worth visiting for any Xbox fans out there. The browser-based museum starts you right at the beginning of the Xbox’s history, when Microsoft’s DirectX team began developing the Xbox as a competitor to the upcoming PlayStation 2.

From there, we’re taken through many of the significant events in Xbox history, looking at the development and reveal of the first console and the subsequent launches of other consoles that comprise the Xbox family. It isn’t just console releases that the museum covers, as big events like the launch of Kinect and Microsoft’s acquisition of Mojang are included in the museum. We also get a look at some of the stumbles in Xbox history, with the museum covering the Xbox 360’s “Red Ring of Death” problem, too.

Visitors to the museum get to use avatars to run through a digital track that takes them through the history of each console. There’s also a separate museum for Xbox’s biggest franchise, Halo, which shows all of the major happenings in that franchise alongside Xbox history. You might want to set aside some time over the upcoming holiday weekend to explore the museum, as seeing every exhibit and watching every video will take quite a while.

A quick note: we’ve tried visiting the Xbox museum in both Chrome and Edge, and for us, at least, the museum runs much more smoothly in Edge. Perhaps that’s not a coincidence, but, in any case, if you have Edge installed on your machine, you might want to start by using that browser.

The biggest exhibit is you

While the trip down Xbox memory lane is cool, the virtual museum also recaps the Xbox histories of the players visiting. Logging into your Microsoft account will show you statistics on your years with Xbox, dating all the way back to the original Xbox (assuming you actually connected a LAN cable to it and signed into the early iteration of Xbox Live).

For instance, even though I had an original Xbox back in the day, I never connected it to the internet, so as far as Microsoft is concerned, my first Xbox console was the Xbox 360. The first Xbox game Microsoft has a record of me playing is Halo 3, and my first sign-on to Xbox Live was on October 2nd, 2007.

These statistics go pretty deep, showing you the first time you logged in on each Xbox console throughout the years, the first game you played on each of those consoles, and even the first time you played your most-played Xbox game of all time (for me, that date is September 25th, 2010 and the game in question is Halo: Reach).

The virtual Xbox museum is a very fascinating trip, and it’s something that all Xbox users should check out, if for no other reason than to see their history with the consoles.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
AI

Microsoft’s Tutel optimizes AI model training

Hear from CIOs, CTOs, and other C-level and senior execs on data and AI strategies at the Future of Work Summit this January 12, 2022. Learn more


Let the OSS Enterprise newsletter guide your open source journey! Sign up here.

Microsoft this week announced Tutel, a library to support the development of mixture of experts (MoE) models — a particular type of large-scale AI model. Tutel, which is open source and has been integrated into fairseq, one of Facebook’s toolkits in PyTorch, is designed to enable developers across AI disciplines to “execute MoE more easily and efficiently,” a statement from Microsoft explained.

MoE are made up of small clusters of “neurons” that are only active under special, specific circumstances. Lower “layers” of the MoE model extract features and experts are called upon to evaluate those features. For example, MoEs can be used to create a translation system, with each expert cluster learning to handle a separate part of speech or special grammatical rule.

Compared with other model architectures, MoEs have distinct advantages. They can respond to circumstances with specialization, allowing the model to display a greater range of behaviors. The experts can receive a mix of data, and when the model is in operation, only a few experts are active — even a huge model needs only a small amount of processing power.

In fact, MoE is one of the few approaches demonstrated to scale to more than a trillion parameters, paving the way for models capable of powering computer vision, speech recognition, natural language processing, and machine translation systems, among others. In machine learning, parameters are the part of the model that’s learned from historical training data. Generally speaking, especially in the language domain, the correlation between the number of parameters and sophistication has held up well.

Tutel mainly focuses on the optimizations of MoE-specific computation. In particular, the library is optimized for Microsoft’s new Azure NDm A100 v4 series instances, which provide a sliding scale of Nvidia A100 GPUs. Tutel has a “concise” interface intended to make it easy to integrate into other MoE solutions, Microsoft says. Alternatively, developers can use the Tutel interface to incorporate standalone MoE layers into their own DNN models from scratch.

A line graph comparing the end-to-end performance of Meta’s MoE language model using Azure NDm A100 v4 nodes with and without Tutel. The x-axis is the number of A100 (80GB) GPUs, beginning at 8 and going up to 512, and the y-axis is the throughput (K tokens/s), beginning with 0 and going up to 1,000 in intervals of 100. Tutel always achieves higher throughput than fairseq.

Above: For a single MoE layer, Tutel achieves an 8.49 times speedup on an NDm A100 v4 node with 8 GPUs and a 2.75 times speedup on 64 NDm A100 v4 nodes with 512 A100 GPUs, Microsoft claims.

“Because of the lack of efficient implementations, MoE-based models rely on a naive combination of multiple off-the-shelf operators provided by deep learning frameworks such as PyTorch and TensorFlow to compose the MoE computation. Such a practice incurs significant performance overheads thanks to redundant computation,” Microsoft wrote in a blog post. (Operators provide a model with a known dataset that includes desired inputs and outputs). “Tutel designs and implements multiple highly optimized GPU kernels to provide operators for MoE-specific calculation.”

Tutel is available in open source on GitHub. Microsoft says that the Tutel development team will “be actively integrating” various emerging MoE algorithms from the community into future releases.

“MoE is a promising technology. It enables holistic training based on techniques from many areas, such as systematic routing and network balancing with massive nodes, and can even benefit from GPU-based acceleration. We demonstrate an efficient MoE implementation, Tutel, that resulted in significant gain over the fairseq framework. Tutel has been integrated [with our] DeepSpeed framework, as well, and we believe that Tutel and related integrations will benefit Azure services, especially for those who want to scale their large models efficiently,” Microsoft added.

VentureBeat

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact.

Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:

  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more

Become a member

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
AI

Mesh for Teams is Microsoft’s metaverse for meetings

Join gaming leaders online at GamesBeat Summit Next this upcoming November 9-10. Learn more about what comes next. 


A week after Facebook articulated its future in the metaverse, Microsoft offered its vision for augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) meetings in Microsoft Mesh for Teams at its November Ignite developer event. The service, the company says, combines the AR/VR capabilities of Microsoft Mesh — which allows people in different physical locations to join collaborative experiences through AR and VR — with the productivity tools of Teams.

Mesh builds on existing Teams features such as Together mode and Presenter view that make remote and hybrid meetings more immersive, according to Microsoft corporate VP Jeff Teper. Presenter view offers different views to, for example, show slides and notes while the audience only sees slides, while Together mode uses AI to place everyone on a call in a shared room-like environment, like a coffee shop.

“[These tools are all ways] to signal we’re in the same virtual space, we’re one team, we’re one group, and help take the formality down a peg and the engagement up a peg,” Teper wrote in a blog post. “We’ve seen that those tools have accomplished both goals of helping a team be more effective and also helping individuals be more engaged.”

Mesh for Teams

Mesh for Teams — which Microsoft says anyone will be able to access from smartphones, PCs, and AR/VR headsets when it launches in preview in the first half of 2022 — is ostensibly designed to make meetings more “personal” and “engaging.” Users join a standard Teams meeting as a customized avatar of themselves, and organizations can build spaces — “metaverses” — within Teams. Mesh for Teams users can then take their avatars (or, alternatively, video, static picture, or bubble with initials) into these spaces to mingle.

Mesh for Teams will roll out with a set of prebuilt immersive spaces, and over time, organizations will be able to build custom immersive spaces and deploy them to Teams. Avatars will follow users from the Teams meeting to other Mesh-enabled experiences, including immersive spaces within Teams.

“To start, we will take audio cues so as you talk your face will animate,” Katie Kelly, a principal project manager at Microsoft working on Mesh for Teams, said in a statement. “You’ll also have animations that bring additional expressivity to the avatars. Your hands will move. There will be a feeling of presence even though it’s as simple as being able to take your audio and manifest that as facial expressions. That’s the first release. The ambition is to closely follow that with Microsoft’s plethora of AI technologies so that we can use the camera to insinuate where your mouth is and mimic your head and facial movements.”

Metaverse ambitions

Tech giants including Microsoft and Facebook are chasing after the metaverse, a speculative, virtual universe of interconnected communities where people meet, work, play, and live their lives online. Bloomberg Intelligence estimates that the market size for metaverse could reach $800 billion by 2024 if the current trend holds.

In Microsoft’s view, one aspect of the metaverse is “the culmination of the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge” working in harmony. “[The enterprise metaverse] brings together internet of things, digital twins, mixed reality,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during a keynote at Microsoft Inspire this summer. “With our metaverse stack, you can start with the digital twin, building a rich digital model of anything physical or logical — whether it’s assets, products, a complex environment spanning people, places, things, and their interactions. The digital twin is bound to the physical world in real time so you can monitor the environment and collaborate within it using mixed reality. You can run simulations. You can apply AI to analyze and predict future states.”

Definitions of the metaverse — and what it encompasses — vary from stakeholder to stakeholder. But the competition is becoming fiercer. Last week, Facebook rebranded as Meta in a new focus on the metaverse and unveiled a host of updates to Horizon Worlds, Horizon Homes, Horizon Workrooms, Messenger VR, and fitness VR, its platforms where users can create virtual worlds, conference rooms, and home spaces of their own designs

“I think digital goods and creators are just going to be huge … in terms of people expressing themselves through their avatars, through digital clothing, through digital goods, the apps that they have, that they bring with them from place to place,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during Facebook’s Q2 earnings call in response to a question about revenue opportunities in the metaverse. “Commerce is going to be a big part of the metaverse. You’re going to be able to sell both physical and digital products.”

Beyond its envisioned enterprise use cases, a consumption-based model is potentially Microsoft’s play for the metaverse, too. Teams has nearly 250 million monthly active users, and if only a fraction paid for premium Mesh for Teams services — e.g., Azure development tools —  it’d be worth the company’s while.

Underlining the investment it’ll take to achieve that ambition, however, Facebook told shareholders that it expects spending on metaverse-related technologies will top $10 billion in 2021. Reaching the point where a return on the metaverse can be realized clearly won’t happen overnight — and it won’t be cheap.

VentureBeat

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact.

Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:

  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more

Become a member

Repost: Original Source and Author Link