Power

Microsoft hopes to leapfrog Google Stadia by taking xCloud to Android

More than 100 console-quality games streamed to Android users in 22 countries? Watch out, Stadia.

Microsoft xCloud on Android

Microsoft is wrapping cloud gaming within its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service, and it will allow people to play games such as Destiny 2, Forza Horizon 4 and Minecraft Dungeons on their Android devices.

Image: Microsoft

Step aside, Stadia. Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it would launch the world's most extensive cloud gaming service next month, delivering more than 100 console-quality games to Android users in 22 countries.

The announcement in some ways leapfrogs Microsoft's Project xCloud past Google's Stadia cloud gaming service, which debuted last year. While Stadia offers an optional subscription that includes about a dozen games, it mostly relies on a traditional sales model, with users paying full retail price (around $60) for top-end games that they can then play through a Chrome browser.

Microsoft, however, is wrapping cloud gaming within its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service, which offers a huge variety of games for about $15 a month across Windows, Xbox consoles and mobile Android devices. The company revealed about a third of the more than 100 games that will become playable on mobile Android devices next month, including hits such as Destiny 2, Forza Horizon 4 and Minecraft Dungeons.

Rather than download game software to a device and render graphics on local hardware, cloud gaming streams live interactive gameplay from data centers. The technology relies on both powerful cloud computing and robust high-speed connections to users. Microsoft's cloud gaming will require at least a 10-megabit wireless connection.

Helping players take their games on the go, Microsoft also announced partnerships with accessory makers including Razer and SteelSeries for mobile adapters that allow users to attach an Android device to a traditional game controller or add game controls to the outside of their phone.

As Microsoft readies to battle Sony with new game consoles this fall, Microsoft has been building a vision of gaming everywhere, powered by the company's Azure cloud platform, while Sony has been pushing a relatively traditional model of couch-based play. Microsoft said that almost any Android user in the United States, Canada, South Korea and much of Western Europe would have access to the new cloud gaming options. While Google competes in cloud gaming, Google has been relatively open in allowing others to offer gaming services via the Android operating system.

Apple, by contrast, has been far more restrictive. While Microsoft has tried xCloud on Apple systems, Apple has not allowed cloud gaming to reach the public on its devices yet. Microsoft also has not announced extensive plans for cloud gaming on desktops — a feature Stadia offers.

In addition to Microsoft and Google, Amazon and Nvidia are also working on or delivering cloud gaming services.

Fintech

Judge Zia Faruqui is trying to teach you crypto, one ‘SNL’ reference at a time

His decisions on major cryptocurrency cases have quoted "The Big Lebowski," "SNL," and "Dr. Strangelove." That’s because he wants you — yes, you — to read them.

The ways Zia Faruqui (right) has weighed on cases that have come before him can give lawyers clues as to what legal frameworks will pass muster.

Photo: Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

“Cryptocurrency and related software analytics tools are ‘The wave of the future, Dude. One hundred percent electronic.’”

That’s not a quote from "The Big Lebowski" — at least, not directly. It’s a quote from a Washington, D.C., district court memorandum opinion on the role cryptocurrency analytics tools can play in government investigations. The author is Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui.

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Veronica Irwin

Veronica Irwin (@vronirwin) is a San Francisco-based reporter at Protocol covering fintech. Previously she was at the San Francisco Examiner, covering tech from a hyper-local angle. Before that, her byline was featured in SF Weekly, The Nation, Techworker, Ms. Magazine and The Frisc.

The financial technology transformation is driving competition, creating consumer choice, and shaping the future of finance. Hear from seven fintech leaders who are reshaping the future of finance, and join the inaugural Financial Technology Association Fintech Summit to learn more.

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FTA
The Financial Technology Association (FTA) represents industry leaders shaping the future of finance. We champion the power of technology-centered financial services and advocate for the modernization of financial regulation to support inclusion and responsible innovation.
Enterprise

AWS CEO: The cloud isn’t just about technology

As AWS preps for its annual re:Invent conference, Adam Selipsky talks product strategy, support for hybrid environments, and the value of the cloud in uncertain economic times.

Photo: Noah Berger/Getty Images for Amazon Web Services

AWS is gearing up for re:Invent, its annual cloud computing conference where announcements this year are expected to focus on its end-to-end data strategy and delivering new industry-specific services.

It will be the second re:Invent with CEO Adam Selipsky as leader of the industry’s largest cloud provider after his return last year to AWS from data visualization company Tableau Software.

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Donna Goodison

Donna Goodison (@dgoodison) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers.

Image: Protocol

We launched Protocol in February 2020 to cover the evolving power center of tech. It is with deep sadness that just under three years later, we are winding down the publication.

As of today, we will not publish any more stories. All of our newsletters, apart from our flagship, Source Code, will no longer be sent. Source Code will be published and sent for the next few weeks, but it will also close down in December.

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Bennett Richardson

Bennett Richardson ( @bennettrich) is the president of Protocol. Prior to joining Protocol in 2019, Bennett was executive director of global strategic partnerships at POLITICO, where he led strategic growth efforts including POLITICO's European expansion in Brussels and POLITICO's creative agency POLITICO Focus during his six years with the company. Prior to POLITICO, Bennett was co-founder and CMO of Hinge, the mobile dating company recently acquired by Match Group. Bennett began his career in digital and social brand marketing working with major brands across tech, energy, and health care at leading marketing and communications agencies including Edelman and GMMB. Bennett is originally from Portland, Maine, and received his bachelor's degree from Colgate University.

Enterprise

Why large enterprises struggle to find suitable platforms for MLops

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, and as larger enterprises go from deploying hundreds of models to thousands and even millions of models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

Photo: artpartner-images via Getty Images

On any given day, Lily AI runs hundreds of machine learning models using computer vision and natural language processing that are customized for its retail and ecommerce clients to make website product recommendations, forecast demand, and plan merchandising. But this spring when the company was in the market for a machine learning operations platform to manage its expanding model roster, it wasn’t easy to find a suitable off-the-shelf system that could handle such a large number of models in deployment while also meeting other criteria.

Some MLops platforms are not well-suited for maintaining even more than 10 machine learning models when it comes to keeping track of data, navigating their user interfaces, or reporting capabilities, Matthew Nokleby, machine learning manager for Lily AI’s product intelligence team, told Protocol earlier this year. “The duct tape starts to show,” he said.

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Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye is an award-winning multimedia reporter digging deep and telling print, digital and audio stories. She covers AI and data for Protocol. Her reporting on AI and tech ethics issues has been published in OneZero, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, CityLab, Ad Age and Digiday and heard on NPR. Kate is the creator of RedTailMedia.org and is the author of "Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media," a book about how the 2008 presidential campaigns used digital media and data.

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