Whither Microsoft consumer business is dead?

Microsoft is pushing its Office services to the cloud, which will enable users to store data with the ability to sync files across different platforms, and the enterprise targeted cloud offerings like Azure.

While Microsoft had reassured analysts that it still has a consumer strategy in place: with Xbox, PC gaming, and devices powered by its digital assistant, Cortana. Albeit, the demise of consumer products like the Zune music player, Groove Music Pass and Windows phones, got most customers wondering if Microsoft does indeed have a consumer strategy in mind.

Microsoft’s aim is to unify the platforms: and through the Game Pass subscription service (Xbox-only for now); and its Mixer streaming service, gamers can stream as they play either PC or Xbox games, with the overall goal of offering subscription services and streaming services across all devices.

The company also plans to tap Azure to assist in gaming, with the purported acquisition of PlayFab, a company that help simplify the back-end services needed to run online games.

Thus, Microsoft is encouraging the development of AI, including speech and image recognition or dialogue management skills that bridge work and play, as its wooing developers on other devices to port them to Windows: Amazon’s Alexa, inclusive.

Microsoft ambition is to embed Cortana into a number of consumer devices, like cars, and with the capability of Azure’s cognitive services, thus create a wholly “intelligent cloud, with intelligent edge” over the consumer market.
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