Coming Soon: GET:IT Endpoint Management 1-Day Conference on September 28th at 9:30 AM ET Coming Soon: GET:IT Endpoint Management 1-Day Conference on September 28th at 9:30 AM ET
Windows Client OS

Microsoft's Hiding its Productivity Future Behind A Game Streaming Service

This week, Microsoft unveiled a few more details about their upcoming cloud game service called xCloud. The new platform will allow the company to stream consoles games to nearly any hardware using its Azure infrastructure and public trials will start next year.

Microsoft has been working on this technology for several years and announced their intentions to enter this space at E3, 2018. While this platform will be immensely important to the future of Microsoft’s gaming ambitions, they are hiding other intentions right in front of us.

If Microsoft can perfect this technology and reduce latency to a tolerable degree, the company will be able to radically transform how it sells services and productivity software going forward.

Sponsored Content

Say Goodbye to Traditional PC Lifecycle Management

Traditional IT tools, including Microsoft SCCM, Ghost Solution Suite, and KACE, often require considerable custom configurations by T3 technicians (an expensive and often elusive IT resource) to enable management of a hybrid onsite + remote workforce. In many cases, even with the best resources, organizations are finding that these on-premise tools simply cannot support remote endpoints consistently and reliably due to infrastructure limitations.

Last month at Ignite, Microsoft took the wraps off of a new managed desktop service along with Windows Virtual Desktops which is a multi-user VDI in the Azure Cloud. While these services are independently important, when you couple them with the idea that Microsoft is moving towards a software-streamed future, they make significantly more sense in the direction of the company.

While Microsoft is building out xCloud, the company is also working on new Windows APIs to help developers build streaming apps. One app that has been explored internally is AutoCAD; you can run the interface locally on a thin client but the heavy-lifting needed for rendering would take place in the cloud and streamed to your local device.

Imagine running Adobe Premier on a Surface Go and having it rendered in Azure and then streamed back to your hardware; this is the future Microsoft envisions.

If you start thinking about how Microsoft can offload compute to its cloud service, this opens the door significantly to the workloads that can be accomplished. But, this is all based around low-latency interactions which are being pioneered on the gaming side with xCloud.

Microsoft’s shift to a streaming-based future will not happen for several years but I expect that it will start with gaming, move to a more broad consumer approach with Windows 10 and other consumer applications and then finally as an enterprise service. The deployment of 5G will also help deliver this type of future as well; Microsoft may be building a mobile-like device with a large screen that delivers this functionality in a first-class experience.

I don’t expect this evolution of Microsoft to take place overnight, it will take years to fully manifest itself but this is the direction that the company is heading. As compute-devices evolve from desktop to laptops to phones, Microsoft will position itself as the premier company who is able to stream workload-intensive applications to any device allowing its users to work from any location and any hardware to complete their tasks.

It’s the ability to be productive on any device, no matter the workload, that is the driving force behind this technology. Because right now, you are limited to the device in your hand to be productive, but in the future, every device will be backed by cloud compute capabilities which will open the doors to new ways of collaborating.

Related Topics:

BECOME A PETRI MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Sign up for a Petri Account

Register
Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Brad Sams has more than a decade of writing and publishing experience under his belt including helping to establish new and seasoned publications From breaking news about upcoming Microsoft products to telling the story of how a billion dollar brand was birthed in his book, Beneath a Surface, Brad is a well-rounded journalist who has established himself as a trusted name in the industry.
Live Webinar: Active Directory Security: What Needs Immediate Priority!Live on Tuesday, October 12th at 1 PM ET

Attacks on Active Directory are at an all-time high. Companies that are not taking heed are being punished, both monetarily and with loss of production.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • How to prioritize vulnerability management
  • What attackers are leveraging to breach organizations
  • Where Active Directory security needs immediate attention
  • Overall strategy to secure your environment and keep it secured

Sponsored by: