Microsoft news recap: CMA provisionally approves Activision Blizzard acquisition deal, slimmed-down Surface lineup for 2023, and more

Jack Wilkinson

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Microsoft news recap is a weekly feature highlighting the top Microsoft news stories of the past week. Sit back, grab some coffee, and enjoy the read!

CMA OKs Microsoft’s plan to sell cloud gaming to Ubisoft, final decision nears

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given preliminary approval to Microsoft’s proposal to sell cloud gaming rights for Activision games to Ubisoft in an effort to complete its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The CMA initially had concerns that Microsoft’s strong position in cloud gaming could stifle competition if it gained control over Activision’s popular titles like Call of Duty, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft.

The new deal would transfer these cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft, an independent player, thus maintaining open competition in the cloud gaming market. Microsoft has also offered further remedies to make the terms of the sale enforceable by the CMA, and a consultation period is open until October 6th. The final decision on Microsoft’s $68 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard is still pending but looks more likely to close before the October 18th deadline.

Microsoft’s 2023 Surface lineup focuses on performance over quantity

Microsoft’s 2023 Surface event took a different approach this year, focusing more on performance rather than a broad range of products. The event highlighted only two Surface laptops: the Surface Laptop Go 3 and the Surface Laptop Studio 2.

The Laptop Go 3 comes with a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U processor, integrated Intel Iris Xe GPU, and up to 16GB LPDDR5 RAM. Microsoft claims it offers 15 hours of battery life.

The Surface Laptop Studio 2, aimed at content creation, features a 13th Gen Intel Core i7-13700H and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050, among other specs. Microsoft also teased two more devices, the Surface Hub 3 and Surface Go 4, targeted at enterprise customers.

Microsoft set to launch Microsoft 365 Copilot on November 1 at $30 per month

Microsoft is set to launch its AI assistant for the workplace, Microsoft 365 Copilot, on November 1. Priced at $30 per user per month, Copilot aims to streamline work processes and boost productivity. It integrates with Microsoft 365 Apps and offers a range of features, from email management in Outlook to data analysis in Excel. The service has already been tested by companies like Visa, General Motors, and KPMG, and aims to adhere to ethical guidelines, ensuring fair and unbiased AI-powered interactions.

More affordable Xbox Series S has accounted for 75% of current-gen Xbox sales according to leaks

Recent Xbox leaks due to documents sent by Microsoft in its battle to acquire Activision Blizzard containing confidential data, have revealed that the more affordable Xbox Series S has accounted for a staggering 75% of current-gen Xbox sales.

The Series S model has outsold its more powerful counterpart, the Series X, by a margin of 3 to 1. While the Series S’s lower price point is a likely factor, its more widespread availability during the first two years on the market also seems to have contributed to its sales success.

Xbox Series X And S Side By Side Custom

That’s it for this week. We will be back next week with more Microsoft news.