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Sony, Microsoft Team up on Cloud-based Gaming Services

Sony and Microsoft would also explore collaboration in the areas of semiconductors and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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Pedestrians walk past an exterior wall of Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles, California, Dec. 4, 2014. That year, Sony became the victim of a cyber hack by North Korean operatives from the Lazarus Group. VOA

In a move to thwart upcoming competition from giants like Google and Apple, two arch gaming rivals Sony Corporation and Microsoft have joined hands to explore development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services.

In addition, the two companies will explore the use of current Microsoft Azure data centre-based solutions for Sony’s game and content-streaming services, they said in a joint statement late Thursday.

The partnership is significant at a time when Google has announced its new Stadia game streaming service and Apple has announced Arcade — the world’s first game subscription service for mobile and desktop.

Not only this, the resurgence of Nintendo with its popular Switch and the growing PC and mobile gaming market has left Microsoft and Sony gaming consoles outdated.

According to Kenichiro Yoshida, President and CEO of Sony, PlayStation itself came about through the integration of creativity and technology.

“Our mission is to seamlessly evolve this platform as one that continues to deliver the best and most immersive entertainment experiences, together with a cloud environment that ensures the best possible experience, anytime, anywhere,” Yoshida said in a statement.

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People look through Sony PlayStation VR headsets after a Sony news conference at CES International in Las Vegas, Jan. 8, 2018. VOA

“I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content,” he added.

Sony and Microsoft would also explore collaboration in the areas of semiconductors and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

In terms of AI, the companies will explore incorporation of Microsoft’s advanced AI platform and tools in Sony consumer products, to provide highly intuitive and user-friendly AI experiences.

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“Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation,” said Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO.

“Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers,” he added. (IANS)

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Microsoft Extends Security Updates for Windows 7 for Free for Voting Systems

According to the company, this free support applies to both the US and ‘other democratic countries’, as defined by the EIU Democracy Index

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

Tech giant Microsoft has announced it will offer extended support for free for federally certified voting systems running Windows 7 operating system (OS) through the 2020 elections even as the OS meets its end of support deadline on January 14, 2020.

This announcement is a part of the company’s ‘Defending Democracy Program’.

“As we head into the 2020 elections, we know there is a relatively small but still significant number of certified voting machines in operation running on Windows 7.

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FILE – A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 18, 2017. VOA

“We also know that transitioning to machines running newer operating systems in time for the 2020 election may not be possible for a number of reasons, including the lengthy voting machine certification process — a process we are working with government officials to update and make more agile,” Tom Burt-Corporate Vice President, Customer Security and Trust, wrote in a blog post on Friday.

Also Read: Social Networking Giant Facebook Suspends Several Apps Post-Cambridge Analytica Probe

According to the company, this free support applies to both the US and ‘other democratic countries’, as defined by the EIU Democracy Index.

“We are also announcing today that, as part of the Defending Democracy Program, we are proactively identifying and engaging election authorities that are Microsoft Azure customers to provide guidance and technical assistance in using the most advanced security features in Azure. We provided this service ahead of the 2018 election cycle and will again ahead of the 2020 cycle,” added Burt. (IANS)