Microsoft may be working to stream PC games as well as Xbox titles

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Microsoft has been working to create a PC gaming service, or at least it was working on such a program in mid-2021. That was revealed today by The Verge, who posted some internal Microsoft emails that were included as part of the company's recent court battle with the US Federal Trade Commission.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent an email to Xbox executives about rumors that Google was planning to turn their consumer-based Stadia cloud gaming service into a white-label service (Google would eventually shut down Stadia altogether). Xbox head Phil Spencer responded by saying that Microsoft could offer the same kind of service for PC game developers.

Kareem Choudhry, head of cloud gaming at Microsoft, also responded to Nadella's email, stating:

“Phil is correct. Sarah [Bond] and I in partnership with Jason’s [Zander] team are driving a suitable Azure SKU... as part of a series that will serve the customer demand we see externally for IAAS and to run our xCloud PC streaming stack,"

While Microsoft does offer Xbox Cloud Gaming as part of its Xbox Game Pass Unlimited service for $16.99 a month, the games have to be Xbox-based since the service uses a version of the company's custom Xbox Series X hardware. A PC cloud gaming service would presumably use different hardware.

Microsoft has not made any new announcements concerning improvements to its Xbox Cloud Gaming services, or any expansions into PC cloud gaming, in recent months. The company has concentrated on offering its library of games to other game streaming services, including NVIDIA GeForce Now, in an effort to convince regulators to allow its planned $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard to go through.

Most recently, Microsoft announced that if the deal to buy Activision Blizzard goes through, it would sell off the cloud gaming rights to current and future Activision Blizzard games to Ubisoft for 15 years.

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