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NAS:MSFT, May 20, 07:36 UTC

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Microsoft Corporation (NAS:MSFT) social chatter is higher than usual

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Microsoft Weekly: Gaming level, update revel, Surface bevel https://t.co/LBLfBy5iU7 https://t.co/9LWCPxUprf

Friday, May 18


News

Microsoft Unveils Xbox Controller for Specially-Abled Gamers

MSFT

Microsoft Corp MSFT recently unveiled a new gamepad, Xbox Adaptive Controller, which is aimed to ensure “gaming for everyone”. The controller, priced at $99.99, can be personalized as per the requirements of the gamer.The controller comprises two big programmable buttons and 19 3.5 mm ports round the back connecting to blow tubes, pedals, and other accessories.Per Microsoft’s blog, development story dates back to almost 2014. The feature, Copilot (released in 2017) for Xbox One witnessed creative use beyond the company’s imagination and inspired the developers.Bringing inclusivity will boost engagement, consequently bolstering its user base going forward.Notably, Microsoft shares have gained 14.1%, substantially outperforming S&P market's rally of 2.4%.Gaining Competitive EdgeIn the gaming console market, XBox can gain a competitive edge with the new Adaptive Controller over Nintendo, which doesn’t have significant improvement in features tailor-made for differently-abled gamers.Meanwhile, Sony’s PlayStation 4 has controllers which make gaming comparatively easier for differently-abled over Play Station 3, thanks to its reorganized operating system as well as user interface (“UI”) and tighter controls.Per an IDC study, total spending in home game console market for the years 2018 and 2019 is projected to be more than $45 billion each.Per Statista, PlayStation 4, dominated the console market generating 19.64 million unit sales in 2017, Nintendo Switch posted 11.85 million units coming second, while Microsoft’s XBox One sales came in at 8.21 million units.Per Statista, PwC projects console games industry revenues to grow by 2.43% per year between 2015 and 2020.Gaming Segment PerformanceIn the recently reported third quarter, Microsoft’s gaming revenues increased 18% (16% at constant currency) to $2.25 billion, driven by robust performance from Xbox software and services (up 21% at cc). Per a statement blog from Rare studio head Craig Duncan, “The worldwide excitement for Sea of Thieves has made it the fastest-selling first-party new IP of this generation.”For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, Microsoft anticipates Gaming revenues to grow at a higher rate due to benefits from third-party game title performance and improving user engagement.Zacks Rank & Key PicksMicrosoft currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).Better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector worth considering are Western Digital Corporation WDC, Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. MLNX and Micron Technology, Inc. MU, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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Qi Lu steps down as Baidu COO

BIDU MSFT

Baidu on Friday said its operating chief, former Microsoft executive Qi Lu, will be stepping down in July, less than two years into his tenure there. Baidu hired Lu to take on day-to-day operations on behalf of CEO Robin Li in January 2017. Immediately prior to that, he was an executive vice president at Microsoft, where he was in charge of Office applications. "We have seen many positive changes at Baidu since Qi joined last year. I'm especially impressed by Qi's integrity, dedication to work and sharp insights into technologies and businesses," Li said in a statement on the news.

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Microsoft launches adaptive Xbox controller for gamers with disabilities

MSFT

Microsoft Corp MSFT recently unveiled a new gamepad, Xbox Adaptive Controller, which is aimed to ensure “gaming for everyone”. The controller, priced at $99.99, can be personalized as per the requirements of the gamer.The controller comprises two big programmable buttons and 19 3.5 mm ports round the back connecting to blow tubes, pedals, and other accessories.Per Microsoft’s blog, development story dates back to almost 2014. The feature, Copilot (released in 2017) for Xbox One witnessed creative use beyond the company’s imagination and inspired the developers.Bringing inclusivity will boost engagement, consequently bolstering its user base going forward.Notably, Microsoft shares have gained 14.1%, substantially outperforming S&P market's rally of 2.4%.Gaining Competitive EdgeIn the gaming console market, XBox can gain a competitive edge with the new Adaptive Controller over Nintendo, which doesn’t have significant improvement in features tailor-made for differently-abled gamers.Meanwhile, Sony’s PlayStation 4 has controllers which make gaming comparatively easier for differently-abled over Play Station 3, thanks to its reorganized operating system as well as user interface (“UI”) and tighter controls.Per an IDC study, total spending in home game console market for the years 2018 and 2019 is projected to be more than $45 billion each.Per Statista, PlayStation 4, dominated the console market generating 19.64 million unit sales in 2017, Nintendo Switch posted 11.85 million units coming second, while Microsoft’s XBox One sales came in at 8.21 million units.Per Statista, PwC projects console games industry revenues to grow by 2.43% per year between 2015 and 2020.Gaming Segment PerformanceIn the recently reported third quarter, Microsoft’s gaming revenues increased 18% (16% at constant currency) to $2.25 billion, driven by robust performance from Xbox software and services (up 21% at cc). Per a statement blog from Rare studio head Craig Duncan, “The worldwide excitement for Sea of Thieves has made it the fastest-selling first-party new IP of this generation.”For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, Microsoft anticipates Gaming revenues to grow at a higher rate due to benefits from third-party game title performance and improving user engagement.Zacks Rank & Key PicksMicrosoft currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).Better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector worth considering are Western Digital Corporation WDC, Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. MLNX and Micron Technology, Inc. MU, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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Thursday, May 17


News

[$$] Microsoft Is Giving Disabled Gamers a Better Controller

MSFT

Microsoft Corp. is making its first videogame controller designed for people with disabilities, the latest in a growing number of industry efforts to accommodate players who face challenges seeing, hearing and directing the on-screen action. The tech giant Thursday unveiled the Xbox Adaptive Controller for Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 computers. “Social media has made a huge impact on being able to spread awareness of our mission and to gain support,” said Craig Kaufman, program director at AbleGamers, which worked with Microsoft on developing its specialized controller.

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Microsoft in Cloud Deal With US Intel Community

MSFT

Microsoft Corp. ( MSFT) is chipping away at Amazon.com Inc.’s ( AMZN) lead in the cloud computing market, revealing earlier this week that it landed a cloud deal with the intelligence community. According to a report in the Seattle Times, Microsoft said the deal, which is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, will enable 17 U.S. intelligence agencies to use its Azure Government cloud service, which is customized for federal and local government agencies. Under the terms of the deal, the agencies can opt to use Microsoft’s cloud in their own time frame.

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This Is How Microsoft’s New Xbox Adaptive Controller Works

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Microsoft is launching a new Xbox Adaptive Controller for its gaming console designed specifically to meet the needs of players with disabilities. Gamers with disabilities have previously required custom solutions for controllers, which require a good deal of technical expertise to create and can be cost prohibitive to would-be players. The Xbox Adaptive Controller has two large buttons on its face, which can be operated with hands but are also large enough for players to control them with their elbows or feet as well. The rear of the adaptive controller has a row of 3.5mm ports for adding inputs and buttons to represent features on the traditional controller and to give a player a personalized experience tailored to them. For instance, a player might add on a foot pedal or other touch-sensitive switch to give the device more functionality.

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Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller is an inspiring example of inclusive design – TechCrunch

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Microsoft's Xbox Adaptive Controller is an inspiring example of inclusive design. Microsoft is taking a big step towards fixing this with its Xbox Adaptive Controller, a device created to address the needs of gamers for whom ordinary gamepads aren't an option. It's not meant to be an all-in-one solution by any means, more like a hub that allows gamers with disabilities to easily make and adjust their own setups with a minimum of hassle. Whatever you're capable of, whatever's comfortable, whatever gear you already have, the XAC is meant to enable it. I'd go into detail, but it would be impossible to do better than Microsoft's extremely interesting and in-depth post introducing the XAC, which goes into the origins of the hardware, the personal stories of the testers and creators, and much more.

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Microsoft Opens Up the Video Game World to Millions of Disabled Players

MSFT AAPL

Microsoft Opens Up the Video Game World to Millions of Disabled Players. FortuneMay 17, 2018. and have launched high profile inclusive projects in observation of 2018’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day, helping people with disabilities both shape the technological future and better enjoy it. Microsoft has introduced an adaptive controller for its Xbox console and PCs, which will help gamers with disabilities play games. Apple, meanwhile, is bringing its Everyone Can Code program to schools for people who are deaf, blind, or have some other accessibility limitation. Microsoft’s controller, which will cost $100 when it’s released later this year, does away with things like directional pads, triggers, and the standard A/B/Y/X buttons.

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Microsoft could be a $1 trillion company in a year, Morgan Stanley says

MSFT

The investment bank’s base-case scenario is that Microsoft’s stock rises 33% over the coming 12 months, a gain that would carry it to about $130 a share, lifting Microsoft’s market cap to roughly $1 trillion. While Microsoft has gained nearly 45% over the past 12 months — a gain that has taken it to repeated record closes, and far eclipses the 15.5% rise of the S&P 500(^GSPC)— it would have to rise by another third to hit the trillion-dollar threshold.

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