Here are all the Microsoft-related news and stories you need to know.
New Xbox games
Here are the new games coming to Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows, and Game Pass.
Guardian of Lore – April 11 (Xbox Play Anywhere)
Sherlock Holmes The Awakened – April 11 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
Hyper-5 – April 12 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
King of the Arcade – April 12 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
Murderous Muses – April 12 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
Ghostwire: Tokyo – April 12 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Game Pass)
Cannon Dancer – Osman – April 13 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story – April 13 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S)
Sokolor – April 13
Basketball Pinball – April 14 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
DE-Exit: Eternal Matters – April 14 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
Farm Slider – April 14 (Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery)
Split: Manipulate Time – April 14
Ultra Pixel Survive – April 14
Sony criticizes UK watchdog’s Microsoft-Activision deal view
After UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) dropped one of its main concerns regarding Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion Activision merger, Sony expressed its disapproval of the watchdog’s opinion. In its recently published response, Sony called CMA’s decision to reverse its initial findings “surprising, unprecedented, and irrational.” The Japanese company further claimed that some “errors” affected CMA’s assessment and later urged the competition regulator to “revisit its analysis.”
In conclusion, SIE respectfully submits that the Addendum does not justify the CMA’s U-turn on the consoles theory of harm. The revised LTV model is vitiated by errors that bias the model to finding no incentive to Microsoft to foreclose. The Addendum jettisons, without sound reason, the PFs’ thorough analysis of other evidence establishing Microsoft’s incentives. And the Addendum’s partial foreclosure discussion is based on pure speculation, rather than evidence. To reach a robust decision, the CMA should revisit its analysis of Microsoft’s incentives and partial foreclosure, correcting for the errors identified in this paper.
Windows 365 Frontline public preview and Cloud PC in LG TVs
Microsoft announced the public preview of Windows 365 Frontline, which will allow organizations to use only one license for three users.
“With Windows 365 Frontline, each license you purchase enables three people to access a Cloud PC during their work hours,” wrote Wangui McKelvey, Microsoft 365 General Manager, in a recent blog post. “This means that instead of purchasing a license for every shift worker, you can purchase only enough licenses for the number of active employees at a given time.”
Alongside this announcement, Microsoft confirmed the arrival of Windows 365 in LG’s new 2023 TVs. The company also shared that Lenovo ThinkPhone’s Windows 365 experience has been enhanced.
“This new built-in experience will allow people to use the ThinkPhone to plug-and-play Windows 365 connectivity that finds and automatically configures their Cloud PC for use on an external screen,” McKelvey detailed.
Auto-play video blocking in Edge is coming back
Microsoft is trying to bring back an old feature to allow Edge users to block videos from auto-playing. In a report, Neowin spotted the feature now available to Edge Insiders in the Canary Channel by going to Settings > Cookies and Site Permissions > Media Autoplay (or edge://settings/content/mediaAutoplay) and selecting the Block option from the three choices in the drop-down menu.
Microsoft pays fines for selling software to sanctioned buyers
Microsoft agreed to pay more than $3 million in fines to the US Department of the Treasury and Department of Commerce after selling software to different sanctioned individuals and companies in Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Russia. The issue happened from 2012 to 2019 and involved Microsoft, Microsoft Ireland, and Microsoft Russia, which all failed to check the buyers via their third-party partners.
“The majority of the apparent violations involved blocked Russian entities or persons located in the Crimea region of Ukraine, and occurred as a result of the Microsoft Entities’ failure to identify and prevent the use of its products by prohibited parties,” explained the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. “The settlement amount reflects OFAC’s determination that the conduct of the Microsoft Entities was non-egregious and voluntarily self-disclosed, and further reflects the significant remedial measures Microsoft undertook upon discovery of the apparent violations.”
The future of Xbox gaming
Microsoft’s fight to win the approval of different regulators for its proposed Activision megadeal has pushed it to divulge some important details about its business.
In its court filings for its battle against the lawsuit versus the FTC, the company shared something about “Microsoft’s next generation gaming ecosystem.” In the document, Microsoft mentioned a redacted code name for the said ecosystem, which it described as “part of Microsoft’s forward-looking strategy for its console, subscription, and cloud gaming businesses.”
There are still no other reports that will give clarity to these revelations, but it clearly means just one thing: there are big things to expect from Microsoft’s gaming business and offerings in the future.