Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott, Richard Campbell, and Leo Laporte

Jun 28th 2023

Windows Weekly 835

Sifting Mud for Nymphs

FTC/Microsoft court hearings, Pixel Fold, consumer Cloud PCs

Records live every Wednesday at 2:00pm Eastern / 11:00am Pacific / 18:00 UTC.
Category: News

Microsoft/FTC hearings reveal numerous details about the Xbox business

  • The FTC’s economist could not explain how the acquisition would actually harm competition
  • The FTC bungled its questioning of Phil Spencer so badly that he had to explain how mergers work to the agency.
  • Microsoft decided to pursue AB after it learned that Sony was paying publishers to skip Xbox and that it was trying to make Starfield exclusive to PlayStation
  • A Bethesda executive asked Phil Spencer why AB was so different, noting that some Bethesda titles became Xbox exclusives
  • Phil Spencer says that Microsoft “expects” Xbox to be profitable, but he never said that it ever was. Its continual third-place finishes in the console market is what kicked off Microsoft’s game studio buying spree: Sony was outspending it on exclusives
  • Phil Spencer also admitted to what I think is Xbox’s biggest failure, it’s lack of an “organic” strategy for mobile.
  • Spencer: there is no native Minecraft on PS5 because Sony. (Related: if Microsoft buys AB, Sony will not give AB advanced access to PS6)
  • Xbox Cloud Gaming was promoted as a way to get Xbox in front of 3 billion more eyeballs, but it’s been used as a way for Xbox console users to test new games before they buy them. 
  • Sony’s PlayStation boss came off badly during the hearings. 
  • Microsoft considered “spending Sony out of business.” If this deal fails, it should do just that
  • AB demanded a better revenue share and threatened to pull COD off Xbox otherwise. They had no choice, so AB gets an 80/20 revenue split instead of the usual 70/30. Blackmail!
  • Microsoft considered buying over 100 separate companies to gain a foothold in mobile gaming (and overall). Key among them are Zynga, Bungie, Sega, CD Projekt Red, and Gearbox

Windows 11

  • Deja vu: Microsoft issues Windows 11 version 22H2 Moment 3 as a preview update
  • A quick update on that new switch in Windows Update
  • Welcome to the nanny state: Windows 11 just can’t stop telling us how to do things
  • Microsoft wants to bring Cloud PC to consumers for some reason
  • DuckDuckGo’s web browser is here for Windows in beta. It’s as safe and private as Brave, but it is still lacking too many core features for daily use

Microsoft and AI

  • ChatGPT adds Bing integration in iOS
  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talks about his AI conversion


  • Meta launches a VR Quest+ subscription service
  • Google is bringing games to YouTube

Tips & Picks

  • Tip of the week: Xbox Series X/S storage hits lowest prices ever
  • App pick of the week: Stardock Deskscapes 11
  • RunAs Radio this week: Patching in 2023 with Sami Laiho
  • Brown liquor pick of the week: Green Spot: 
    Regular - 40% - $50
    Leoville Barton - 46% - Bordeaux - $100
    Chateau Montelana - 46% - Zinfandel - $100
    Quails Gate - 46% - Pinot Noir - $100 CAD

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