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Microsoft packages a bunch of its apps and Azure services as Game Stack
As Microsoft continues its march toward delivering an Azure-powered streaming game service, the company simultaneously is targeting more third-party game developers with its apps and services. On March 14, Microsoft took the wraps off its "Microsoft Game Stack" -- a collection of cloud services like Azure, Power BI, PlayFab, Mixer and Xbox Live, plus various development tools -- which it will be marketing to game devs. Microsoft officials have been saying for months that Project xCloud will allow users to stream the games they want on the devices they want with acceptable levels of latency. The first Azure server rack supporting Project xCloud already is installed in Microsoft's Quincy, Wash.-based Azure datacenter, officials said earlier this year. Microsoft execs said they've already increased datacenter bandwith and are working on new ways of video coding and decoding for the coming service. Earlier this week, Microsoft publicly demonstrated xCloud during an Xbox Inside event. Public tests of the xCloud service are slated for later this year. Microsoft is touting Azure as the way that third-party game developers also could take advantage of its compute, storage, machine-learning, AI and mixed reality services. Today, March 14, Microsoft announced that it's ready to start selling PlayFab services as part of its Azure/Game Stack. Microsoft bought PlayFab, a tool vendor for cloud-connected games, in January last year.
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