Microsoft and Sony join cloud forces

17 May 2019 | Laurence Doe

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Microsoft and Sony have announced that they will jointly develop future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services.

Under the memorandum of understanding, the gaming and technology goliaths have agreed to explore the use of current Microsoft Azure data centre-based solutions for Sony’s game and content-streaming services.

Microsoft and Sony's partnership also extends to new innovations that will enhance customer experiences in their direct-to-consumer entertainment platforms and AI solutions.

In addition, the collaboration covers the areas of AI and semiconductors — an important component in creating new intelligent image sensors.

Sony’s sensors will be integrated with Microsoft’s Azure AI technology in a hybrid manner across cloud and edge to provide enhanced capabilities for enterprise customers.

In terms of AI, the parties will explore incorporation of Microsoft’s advanced AI platform and tools in Sony consumer products, to provide highly intuitive and user-friendly AI experiences.

 Kenichiro Yoshida, President and CEO, Sony Corporation (left), and Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

Kenichiro Yoshida, President and CEO, Sony Corporation (left), and Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

For many years, Microsoft has been a key business partner for us, though of course the two companies have also been competing in some areas,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, president and CEO of Sony.

“I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content.

“Additionally, I hope that in the areas of semiconductors and AI, leveraging each company’s cutting-edge technology in a mutually complementary way will lead to the creation of new value for society.”

Microsoft’s strategy is to use the cloud to empower gamers to play what they want, with whomever they want, whenever they want, wherever they are, and on any device

The companies also aim to deliver more enhanced entertainment experiences for their worldwide customers by building better development platforms for the content creator community.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, commented: “Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation.

“Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers.”

The rapid progression of cloud gaming services could represent 25% to 50% of 5G data traffic for operators by 2022.