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Project xCloud Beta
For those who don’t know, Project xCloud is Microsoft’s game-streaming service that enables gamers to play console-quality games anywhere using mobile and tablet devices they already own. The public preview for Android devices begins in October in the United States, United Kingdom and Korea. After registering, the invites will be sent in the “coming weeks.” Titles will include Halo 5: Guardians, Gears 5, Killer Instinct and Sea of Thieves. Best of all, you don’t need to buy or already own the game for it to work during the preview. Read more for the announcement video and the preview signup link.

Microsoft Excel Artist Japan Tatsuo Horiuchi
Tatsuo Horiuchi, an 79-year-old artist from Japan’s Nagano Prefecture, prefers using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets over actual paint to create his masterpieces. Horiuchi didn’t want to spend money on art supplies so he started to use Excel to create art after seeing others using the program at work. How does it work? The Autoshape function is mainly used to form the images and then custom colored shapes are layered to weave together an intricate image. Read more for a video and additional information.

Microsoft the Musical
Yes, Microsoft the Musical exists and it’s not just some random parody video. It was dreamed up and led by real Microsoft Interns, and starts off with them introducing Bill Gates before coming up with the ‘Idea of Gates’ to motivate people to continue working on their ideas. Then it moves on to Windows and how it ended up funding all of their future projects. Read more to watch and for additional information.

Project xCloud Controllers
Photo credit: Sarang Sheth
Microsoft first announced Project xCloud back in 2018, its cloud gaming platform that will enter beta trials later this year. Simply put as possible, all of its games will be hosted on remote servers and live gameplay video will be streamed to a compatible device over the internet. Controller inputs are then transmitted back and forth with little to no lag depending on the internet connection, so it feels like the game is actually loaded on the device itself. Read more for additional pictures and information.

Gears 5 Microsoft Xbox One X
The Gears 5 release is just over a month away, and today, Microsoft unveiled a limited edition Xbox One X bundle for the game. It’s the first first Limited Edition Xbox One X since the Project Scorpio Edition, and sports a never-before-seen dark translucent casing as well as laser-etched cracks across the console’s frosty top surface, complete with snow drifting across a golden Locust symbol on the back. Read more for a video and additional information.

Fortnite Ninja Twitch Mixer
Popular Fortnite streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is the most followed streamer on Twitch, and today, he announced that Microsoft’s Mixer is going to be his exclusive streaming platform from now on. He leaves behind 14.7-million followers, along with a large number of paid subscribers. For those who don’t know, “Ninja” started streaming “H1Z1” in 2011 before eventually moving to PUBG, another battle royale game. Read more for a video and additional information.

Microsoft OpenAI Elon Musk
Microsoft announced today that it will partner with Elon Musk-founded artificial intelligence research company OpenAI to build AI technology for their Azure cloud. It will be used to address issues in climate change, healthcare, education, and other big issues facing the world. However, their ultimate goal is to create Artificial General Intelligence, a human-like AI that you’ve probably seen in science fiction movies and TV shows. Since being founded in 2015, OpenAI has created technology that helps computers understand language, train robots for simple tasks, and of course, defeat humans in the computer games, like Dota 2. Read more to see the Dota 2 match and for additional information.

Microsoft Language Hologram HoloLens
Microsoft executive Julia White demonstrated the company’s amazing language-translating hologram using HoloLens at the Inspire partner conference. You read that right, a life-like hologram that can speak another language in the person’s own voice. No post production trickery was used, just existing mixed reality and neural text-to-speech technologies. Read more for the video and additional information.

Microsoft Xbox Controllers Smartphones
Photo credit: Windows Central
Project xCloud aims to bring console quality gaming to phones and tqblets, but let’s face it, using a touchscreen controls just won’t cut it, especially for FPS games. Sure, there’s systems like AdaptControl which can adapt to the ‘drift’ typically occurring when using virtual on-screen controls, but touch-based emulation of traditional gaming controls like D-pads, buttons and joysticks aren’t responsive enough. So, Microsoft has been working on prototype Xbox mobile controllers for smartphones that attach to each end. Read more for additional pictures and information.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

A new Microsoft Flight Simulator game is coming to PC (Windows 10) and Xbox One platforms through Xbox Game Pass in 2020. In the announcement trailer, we get a preview of a variety of flyable planes, including small two-seaters to massive 747s, complete with satellite data, thanks to Microsoft’s Azure engine, which brings the world to life, including real-world locations like the pyramids at Giza as well as the Seattle Space Needle. Read more for a flight test video and additional information.