Microsoft straddles gaming platforms with xCloud
Microsoft will offer xCloud cloud-based games to subscribers of its Xbox Game Pass subscription service. The free offering will extend cloud titles to subscribers, allowing them to play titles across mobile devices and computers. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: It’s a smart move — keeping Xbox enthusiasts within the brand even as cloud gaming offerings attempt to lure players from consoles. Microsoft must fight a two-front battle: keeping core gamers enthralled with its next generation Xbox platform, Xbox SeriesX, while also taking on cloud game offerings from companies such as Nvidia and Amazon.
Covid crushes Indian smartphone market
India is the second largest smartphone market and has experienced more than one million cases of Covid-19. When the nation ordered a lockdown in March, even online retailers Flipkart and Amazon were prohibited from selling. Smartphone sales for Q2 are down 48%. Xiaomi is the market leading seller of smartphones in India. TechCrunch.
dis-rup-shun: Does a setback of this magnitude offer an opportunity for rivals to unseat Xiaomi’s leadership in the Indian market, or will the company emerge from the quarantine with even more market force? At this stage in the game, buying market share is an even more long-term strategy, as economies of scale are more difficult when revenues are half of expectations, but Xioami has much to lose if rivals such as Vivo and Samsung gain on the company during difficult times.
Netflix — tech company or media company?
As Netflix has been, for a number of years, the face of the future of home video entertainment, a debate has ensued if this is a media or tech company. Wall Street has treated the company like a tech company, with a market value comparable to giant AT&T, even with revenue less than 10% of the latter. With the promotion of co-CEO Ted Sarandon, a content mastermind, the company’s emphasis on media content is clear. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Properly valuing Netflix is a challenge, as the company must spend vast sums to keep ahead of catalog-rich rivals such as Disney +, Peacock and AT&T (HBO) TV. This investment keeps profits out in the far distance as well, yet being first and the king of market share continues to provide the company with an out sized valuation.
UAE Mars probe launches successfully
The UAE’s space program, with a probe heading to explore Mars, launched from Japan early Sunday morning, Pacific U.S. time. The probe, launched from a Mitsubishi made rocket, is the first of three Mars explorations to launch this month as NASA and China also expect to launch Mars missions. CNET
dis-rup-shun: The space race, between sending probes to Mars, re-exploring the Moon, and sending satellites into space has become a very active business. With problems seemingly escalating here on terra firma, will governments and corporations continue to focus vast investments on things in outer space? How are the benefits of exploration and science quantified beyond the ability of companies such as SpaceX to build a commercial, low-orbit internet facilities?