Editor`s Note: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, visit microsoft News Center at news.microsoft.com. Web links, phone numbers and titles were correct at the time of publication, but may have changed. For additional support, journalists and analysts can contact Microsoft`s rapid response team or other appropriate contacts mentioned in news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts. Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of a smart and intelligent cloud. Its mission is to enable every person and organization on the planet to accomplish more. As part of the agreement, Sony will continue to use Microsoft`s Azure servers and data centers for its own gaming and content streaming services. These are probably PlayStation Now – the sony streaming service that was launched in 2014 after the acquisition of streaming company Gaikai in 2012 – and PlayStation Vue, the company`s internet-based cable TV alternative. Sony has now turned to Microsoft, rather than competitors like Google or Amazon. The agreement between Sony and Microsoft could have been simple to host Sony`s services on Azure, Microsoft`s cloud platform, but the agreement seems even deeper. “The two companies will explore the joint development of future cloud solutions with Microsoft Azure to support their respective gaming and content streaming services,” a Microsoft statement said. It was a big surprise for Xbox and PlayStation fans. Bloomberg reports that the deal even shocked Sony`s own playstation team, which was apparently not alerted to the discussions.
Discussions between companies have been going on since last year, and Sony has begun to show that it is open to cooperation with Microsoft and others. First, it is important to note that Microsoft and Sony have not signed legal documents, but only a “Memorandum of Understanding” which is the formal alternative to a gentleman`s agreement – a non-binding handshake. Sony and Microsoft have expressed interest in looking for a joint venture, but since they have not committed to doing anything real on paper, they can withdraw at any time.