Web26/10/ · Key Findings. California voters have now received their mail ballots, and the November 8 general election has entered its final stage. Amid rising prices and economic uncertainty—as well as deep partisan divisions over social and political issues—Californians are processing a great deal of information to help them choose state constitutional WebThe Business Journals features local business news from plus cities across the nation. We also provide tools to help businesses grow, network and hire Web21/10/ · A footnote in Microsoft's submission to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has let slip the reason behind Call of Duty's absence from the Xbox Game Pass library: Sony and Web12/10/ · Microsoft pleaded for its deal on the day of the Phase 2 decision last month, but now the gloves are well and truly off. Microsoft describes the CMA’s concerns as “misplaced” and says that WebThere are only 24 hours in a day, and with long job working hours, it is challenging to make time for trading. But there is a way to make a profit on your money in a short period, as short as 60 blogger.com options trading is an expeditious way to make a good profit on your money without having to sit and check trading charts the whole day.. We bring forth for ... read more
It is about how they can put data at the center of their decision-making in a way that most organizations have never actually done in their history. And it's about using the cloud to innovate more quickly and to drive speed into their organizations. Those are cultural characteristics, not technology characteristics, and those have organizational implications about how they organize and what teams they need to have. It turns out that while the technology is sophisticated, deploying the technology is arguably the lesser challenge compared with how do you mold and shape the organization to best take advantage of all the benefits that the cloud is providing.
How has your experience at Tableau affected AWS and how you think about putting your stamp on AWS? I, personally, have just spent almost five years deeply immersed in the world of data and analytics and business intelligence, and hopefully I learned something during that time about those topics.
I'm able to bring back a real insider's view, if you will, about where that world is heading — data, analytics, databases, machine learning, and how all those things come together, and how you really need to view what's happening with data as an end-to-end story.
It's not about having a point solution for a database or an analytic service, it's really about understanding the flow of data from when it comes into your organization all the way through the other end, where people are collaborating and sharing and making decisions based on that data. AWS has tremendous resources devoted in all these areas. Can you talk about the intersection of data and machine learning and how you see that playing out in the next couple of years?
What we're seeing is three areas really coming together: You've got databases, analytics capabilities, and machine learning, and it's sort of like a Venn diagram with a partial overlap of those three circles. There are areas of each which are arguably still independent from each other, but there's a very large and a very powerful intersection of the three — to the point where we've actually organized inside of AWS around that and have a single leader for all of those areas to really help bring those together.
There's so much data in the world, and the amount of it continues to explode. We were saying that five years ago, and it's even more true today. The rate of growth is only accelerating. It's a huge opportunity and a huge problem. A lot of people are drowning in their data and don't know how to use it to make decisions. Other organizations have figured out how to use these very powerful technologies to really gain insights rapidly from their data.
What we're really trying to do is to look at that end-to-end journey of data and to build really compelling, powerful capabilities and services at each stop in that data journey and then…knit all that together with strong concepts like governance.
By putting good governance in place about who has access to what data and where you want to be careful within those guardrails that you set up, you can then set people free to be creative and to explore all the data that's available to them. AWS has more than services now. Have you hit the peak for that or can you sustain that growth? We're not done building yet, and I don't know when we ever will be. We continue to both release new services because customers need them and they ask us for them and, at the same time, we've put tremendous effort into adding new capabilities inside of the existing services that we've already built.
We don't just build a service and move on. Inside of each of our services — you can pick any example — we're just adding new capabilities all the time. One of our focuses now is to make sure that we're really helping customers to connect and integrate between our different services.
So those kinds of capabilities — both building new services, deepening our feature set within existing services, and integrating across our services — are all really important areas that we'll continue to invest in.
Do customers still want those fundamental building blocks and to piece them together themselves, or do they just want AWS to take care of all that? There's no one-size-fits-all solution to what customers want. It is interesting, and I will say somewhat surprising to me, how much basic capabilities, such as price performance of compute, are still absolutely vital to our customers. But it's absolutely vital. Part of that is because of the size of datasets and because of the machine learning capabilities which are now being created.
They require vast amounts of compute, but nobody will be able to do that compute unless we keep dramatically improving the price performance. We also absolutely have more and more customers who want to interact with AWS at a higher level of abstraction…more at the application layer or broader solutions, and we're putting a lot of energy, a lot of resources, into a number of higher-level solutions. One of the biggest of those … is Amazon Connect, which is our contact center solution.
In minutes or hours or days, you can be up and running with a contact center in the cloud. At the beginning of the pandemic, Barclays … sent all their agents home. In something like 10 days, they got 6, agents up and running on Amazon Connect so they could continue servicing their end customers with customer service.
We've built a lot of sophisticated capabilities that are machine learning-based inside of Connect. We can do call transcription, so that supervisors can help with training agents and services that extract meaning and themes out of those calls. We don't talk about the primitive capabilities that power that, we just talk about the capabilities to transcribe calls and to extract meaning from the calls.
It's really important that we provide solutions for customers at all levels of the stack. Given the economic challenges that customers are facing, how is AWS ensuring that enterprises are getting better returns on their cloud investments?
Now's the time to lean into the cloud more than ever, precisely because of the uncertainty. We saw it during the pandemic in early , and we're seeing it again now, which is, the benefits of the cloud only magnify in times of uncertainty. For example, the one thing which many companies do in challenging economic times is to cut capital expense. For most companies, the cloud represents operating expense, not capital expense. You're not buying servers, you're basically paying per unit of time or unit of storage.
That provides tremendous flexibility for many companies who just don't have the CapEx in their budgets to still be able to get important, innovation-driving projects done. Another huge benefit of the cloud is the flexibility that it provides — the elasticity, the ability to dramatically raise or dramatically shrink the amount of resources that are consumed.
You can only imagine if a company was in their own data centers, how hard that would have been to grow that quickly. The ability to dramatically grow or dramatically shrink your IT spend essentially is a unique feature of the cloud.
These kinds of challenging times are exactly when you want to prepare yourself to be the innovators … to reinvigorate and reinvest and drive growth forward again. We've seen so many customers who have prepared themselves, are using AWS, and then when a challenge hits, are actually able to accelerate because they've got competitors who are not as prepared, or there's a new opportunity that they spot.
We see a lot of customers actually leaning into their cloud journeys during these uncertain economic times. Do you still push multi-year contracts, and when there's times like this, do customers have the ability to renegotiate? Many are rapidly accelerating their journey to the cloud. Some customers are doing some belt-tightening. What we see a lot of is folks just being really focused on optimizing their resources, making sure that they're shutting down resources which they're not consuming.
You do see some discretionary projects which are being not canceled, but pushed out. Every customer is free to make that choice. But of course, many of our larger customers want to make longer-term commitments, want to have a deeper relationship with us, want the economics that come with that commitment.
We're signing more long-term commitments than ever these days. We provide incredible value for our customers, which is what they care about. That kind of analysis would not be feasible, you wouldn't even be able to do that for most companies, on their own premises. So some of these workloads just become better, become very powerful cost-savings mechanisms, really only possible with advanced analytics that you can run in the cloud.
In other cases, just the fact that we have things like our Graviton processors and … run such large capabilities across multiple customers, our use of resources is so much more efficient than others. We are of significant enough scale that we, of course, have good purchasing economics of things like bandwidth and energy and so forth. So, in general, there's significant cost savings by running on AWS, and that's what our customers are focused on.
The margins of our business are going to … fluctuate up and down quarter to quarter. It will depend on what capital projects we've spent on that quarter. Obviously, energy prices are high at the moment, and so there are some quarters that are puts, other quarters there are takes. The important thing for our customers is the value we provide them compared to what they're used to. And those benefits have been dramatic for years, as evidenced by the customers' adoption of AWS and the fact that we're still growing at the rate we are given the size business that we are.
That adoption speaks louder than any other voice. Do you anticipate a higher percentage of customer workloads moving back on premises than you maybe would have three years ago? Absolutely not. We're a big enough business, if you asked me have you ever seen X, I could probably find one of anything, but the absolute dominant trend is customers dramatically accelerating their move to the cloud.
Moving internal enterprise IT workloads like SAP to the cloud, that's a big trend. Creating new analytics capabilities that many times didn't even exist before and running those in the cloud. More startups than ever are building innovative new businesses in AWS. Our public-sector business continues to grow, serving both federal as well as state and local and educational institutions around the world. It really is still day one. The opportunity is still very much in front of us, very much in front of our customers, and they continue to see that opportunity and to move rapidly to the cloud.
In general, when we look across our worldwide customer base, we see time after time that the most innovation and the most efficient cost structure happens when customers choose one provider, when they're running predominantly on AWS. A lot of benefits of scale for our customers, including the expertise that they develop on learning one stack and really getting expert, rather than dividing up their expertise and having to go back to basics on the next parallel stack.
That being said, many customers are in a hybrid state, where they run IT in different environments. In some cases, that's by choice; in other cases, it's due to acquisitions, like buying companies and inherited technology. We understand and embrace the fact that it's a messy world in IT, and that many of our customers for years are going to have some of their resources on premises, some on AWS.
Some may have resources that run in other clouds. We want to make that entire hybrid environment as easy and as powerful for customers as possible, so we've actually invested and continue to invest very heavily in these hybrid capabilities. A lot of customers are using containerized workloads now, and one of the big container technologies is Kubernetes.
We have a managed Kubernetes service, Elastic Kubernetes Service, and we have a … distribution of Kubernetes Amazon EKS Distro that customers can take and run on their own premises and even use to boot up resources in another public cloud and have all that be done in a consistent fashion and be able to observe and manage across all those environments.
So we're very committed to providing hybrid capabilities, including running on premises, including running in other clouds, and making the world as easy and as cost-efficient as possible for customers.
Can you talk about why you brought Dilip Kumar, who was Amazon's vice president of physical retail and tech, into AWS as vice president applications and how that will play out?
He's a longtime, tenured Amazonian with many, many different roles — important roles — in the company over a many-year period. Dilip has come over to AWS to report directly to me, running an applications group. We do have more and more customers who want to interact with the cloud at a higher level — higher up the stack or more on the application layer.
We talked about Connect, our contact center solution, and we've also built services specifically for the healthcare industry like a data lake for healthcare records called Amazon HealthLake. We've built a lot of industrial services like IoT services for industrial settings, for example, to monitor industrial equipment to understand when it needs preventive maintenance. We have a lot of capabilities we're building that are either for … horizontal use cases like Amazon Connect or industry verticals like automotive, healthcare, financial services.
We see more and more demand for those, and Dilip has come in to really coalesce a lot of teams' capabilities, who will be focusing on those areas. You can expect to see us invest significantly in those areas and to come out with some really exciting innovations. Would that include going into CRM or ERP or other higher-level, run-your-business applications? I don't think we have immediate plans in those particular areas, but as we've always said, we're going to be completely guided by our customers, and we'll go where our customers tell us it's most important to go next.
It's always been our north star. Correction: This story was updated Nov. Bennett Richardson bennettrich is the president of Protocol. Prior to joining Protocol in , Bennett was executive director of global strategic partnerships at POLITICO, where he led strategic growth efforts including POLITICO's European expansion in Brussels and POLITICO's creative agency POLITICO Focus during his six years with the company.
Prior to POLITICO, Bennett was co-founder and CMO of Hinge, the mobile dating company recently acquired by Match Group. Bennett began his career in digital and social brand marketing working with major brands across tech, energy, and health care at leading marketing and communications agencies including Edelman and GMMB.
Bennett is originally from Portland, Maine, and received his bachelor's degree from Colgate University. Prior to joining Protocol in , he worked on the business desk at The New York Times, where he edited the DealBook newsletter and wrote Bits, the weekly tech newsletter.
He has previously worked at MIT Technology Review, Gizmodo, and New Scientist, and has held lectureships at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. He also holds a doctorate in engineering from the University of Oxford. We launched Protocol in February to cover the evolving power center of tech. It is with deep sadness that just under three years later, we are winding down the publication.
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We hope you have enjoyed our work. As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, and as larger enterprises go from deploying hundreds of models to thousands and even millions of models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.
As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems. Kate Kaye is an award-winning multimedia reporter digging deep and telling print, digital and audio stories. She covers AI and data for Protocol. Her reporting on AI and tech ethics issues has been published in OneZero, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, CityLab, Ad Age and Digiday and heard on NPR.
Kate is the creator of RedTailMedia. org and is the author of "Campaign ' A Turning Point for Digital Media," a book about how the presidential campaigns used digital media and data. On any given day, Lily AI runs hundreds of machine learning models using computer vision and natural language processing that are customized for its retail and ecommerce clients to make website product recommendations, forecast demand, and plan merchandising.
And he said that while some MLops systems can manage a larger number of models, they might not have desired features such as robust data visualization capabilities or the ability to work on premises rather than in cloud environments. As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few ML models, and as larger enterprises go from deploying hundreds of models to thousands and even millions of models, many machine learning practitioners Protocol interviewed for this story say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.
Companies hawking MLops platforms for building and managing machine learning models include tech giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and IBM and lesser-known vendors such as Comet, Cloudera, DataRobot, and Domino Data Lab. It's actually a complex problem. Intuit also has constructed its own systems for building and monitoring the immense number of ML models it has in production, including models that are customized for each of its QuickBooks software customers.
The model must recognize those distinctions. For instance, Hollman said the company built an ML feature management platform from the ground up.
For companies that have been forced to go DIY, building these platforms themselves does not always require forging parts from raw materials. DBS has incorporated open-source tools for coding and application security purposes such as Nexus, Jenkins, Bitbucket, and Confluence to ensure the smooth integration and delivery of ML models, Gupta said.
Intuit has also used open-source tools or components sold by vendors to improve existing in-house systems or solve a particular problem, Hollman said. However, he emphasized the need to be selective about which route to take. I think that the best AI will be a build plus buy.
However, creating consistency through the ML lifecycle from model training to deployment to monitoring becomes increasingly difficult as companies cobble together open-source or vendor-built machine learning components, said John Thomas, vice president and distinguished engineer at IBM.
The reality is most people are not there, so you have a whole bunch of different tools. Companies struggling to find suitable off-the-shelf MLops platforms are up against another major challenge, too: finding engineering talent.
Many companies do not have software engineers on staff with the level of expertise necessary to architect systems that can handle large numbers of models or accommodate millions of split-second decision requests, said Abhishek Gupta, founder and principal researcher at Montreal AI Ethics Institute and senior responsible AI leader and expert at Boston Consulting Group.
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When asked about the importance of abortion rights, 61 percent of likely voters say the issue is very important in determining their vote for Congress and another 20 percent say it is somewhat important; just 17 percent say it is not too or not at all important. With the controlling party in Congress hanging in the balance, 51 percent of likely voters say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for Congress this year; another 29 percent are somewhat enthusiastic while 19 percent are either not too or not at all enthusiastic.
Today, Democrats and Republicans have about equal levels of enthusiasm, while independents are much less likely to be extremely or very enthusiastic. As Californians prepare to vote in the upcoming midterm election, fewer than half of adults and likely voters are satisfied with the way democracy is working in the United States—and few are very satisfied.
Satisfaction was higher in our February survey when 53 percent of adults and 48 percent of likely voters were satisfied with democracy in America. Today, half of Democrats and about four in ten independents are satisfied, compared to about one in five Republicans.
Notably, four in ten Republicans are not at all satisfied. In addition to the lack of satisfaction with the way democracy is working, Californians are divided about whether Americans of different political positions can still come together and work out their differences.
Forty-nine percent are optimistic, while 46 percent are pessimistic. Today, in a rare moment of bipartisan agreement, about four in ten Democrats, Republicans, and independents are optimistic that Americans of different political views will be able to come together.
Notably, in , half or more across parties, regions, and demographic groups were optimistic. Today, about eight in ten Democrats—compared to about half of independents and about one in ten Republicans—approve of Governor Newsom. Across demographic groups, about half or more approve of how Governor Newsom is handling his job. Approval of Congress among adults has been below 40 percent for all of after seeing a brief run above 40 percent for all of Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to approve of Congress.
Fewer than half across regions and demographic groups approve of Congress. Approval in March was at 44 percent for adults and 39 percent for likely voters. Across demographic groups, about half or more approve among women, younger adults, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos.
Views are similar across education and income groups, with just fewer than half approving. Approval in March was at 41 percent for adults and 36 percent for likely voters.
Across regions, approval reaches a majority only in the San Francisco Bay Area. Across demographic groups, approval reaches a majority only among African Americans. This map highlights the five geographic regions for which we present results; these regions account for approximately 90 percent of the state population. Residents of other geographic areas in gray are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less-populous areas are not large enough to report separately.
The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California. Coauthors of this report include survey analyst Deja Thomas, who was the project manager for this survey; associate survey director and research fellow Dean Bonner; and survey analyst Rachel Lawler. The Californians and Their Government survey is supported with funding from the Arjay and Frances F. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 1, California adult residents, including 1, interviewed on cell phones and interviewed on landline telephones.
The sample included respondents reached by calling back respondents who had previously completed an interview in PPIC Statewide Surveys in the last six months. Interviews took an average of 19 minutes to complete.
Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from October 14—23, Cell phone interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of cell phone numbers. Additionally, we utilized a registration-based sample RBS of cell phone numbers for adults who are registered to vote in California.
All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection. After a cell phone user was reached, the interviewer verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey e. Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household.
Landline interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. Additionally, we utilized a registration-based sample RBS of landline phone numbers for adults who are registered to vote in California. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection. For both cell phones and landlines, telephone numbers were called as many as eight times.
When no contact with an individual was made, calls to a number were limited to six. Also, to increase our ability to interview Asian American adults, we made up to three additional calls to phone numbers estimated by Survey Sampling International as likely to be associated with Asian American individuals.
Accent on Languages, Inc. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. To estimate landline and cell phone service in California, Abt Associates used state-level estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics—which used data from the National Health Interview Survey NHIS and the ACS.
The estimates for California were then compared against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.
This means that 95 times out of , the results will be within 3. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: for the 1, registered voters, the sampling error is ±4. For the sampling errors of additional subgroups, please see the table at the end of this section. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for five geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population.
Residents of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less-populous areas are not large enough to report separately.
We also present results for congressional districts currently held by Democrats or Republicans, based on residential zip code and party of the local US House member. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and no party preference or decline-to-state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate analysis.
We also analyze the responses of likely voters—so designated per their responses to survey questions about voter registration, previous election participation, intentions to vote this year, attention to election news, and current interest in politics. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to due to rounding. Additional details about our methodology can be found at www. pdf and are available upon request through surveys ppic.
October 14—23, 1, California adult residents; 1, California likely voters English, Spanish. Margin of error ±3. Percentages may not add up to due to rounding. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Gavin Newsom is handling his job as governor of California? Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? Thinking about your own personal finances—would you say that you and your family are financially better off, worse off, or just about the same as a year ago?
Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or are you registered as a decline-to-state or independent voter? Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? Which one of the seven state propositions on the November 8 ballot are you most interested in?
Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. It allows in-person sports betting at racetracks and tribal casinos, and requires that racetracks and casinos that offer sports betting to make certain payments to the state—such as to support state regulatory costs. The fiscal impact is increased state revenues, possibly reaching tens of millions of dollars annually. Some of these revenues would support increased state regulatory and enforcement costs that could reach the low tens of millions of dollars annually.
If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 26? Initiative Constitutional Amendment. It allows Indian tribes and affiliated businesses to operate online and mobile sports wagering outside tribal lands. It directs revenues to regulatory costs, homelessness programs, and nonparticipating tribes. Some revenues would support state regulatory costs, possibly reaching the mid-tens of millions of dollars annually.
If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 27? Initiative Statute. It allocates tax revenues to zero-emission vehicle purchase incentives, vehicle charging stations, and wildfire prevention. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 30? Do you agree or disagree with these statements?
Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Joe Biden is handling his job as president? Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Alex Padilla is handling his job as US Senator? Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as US Senator? Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the US Congress is handling its job? Do you think things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? How satisfied are you with the way democracy is working in the United States?
Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, not too satisfied, or not at all satisfied? These days, do you feel [rotate]  optimistic [or]  pessimistic that Americans of different political views can still come together and work out their differences?
What is your opinion with regard to race relations in the United States today? Would you say things are [rotate 1 and 2]  better ,  worse , or about the same than they were a year ago? When it comes to racial discrimination, which do you think is the bigger problem for the country today—[rotate]  People seeing racial discrimination where it really does NOT exist [or]  People NOT seeing racial discrimination where it really DOES exist? Next, Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom].
Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics—a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? Mark Baldassare is president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California, where he holds the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Public Policy.
He is a leading expert on public opinion and survey methodology, and has directed the PPIC Statewide Survey since He is an authority on elections, voter behavior, and political and fiscal reform, and the author of ten books and numerous publications.
Before joining PPIC, he was a professor of urban and regional planning in the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine, where he held the Johnson Chair in Civic Governance. He has conducted surveys for the Los Angeles Times , the San Francisco Chronicle , and the California Business Roundtable. He holds a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. Dean Bonner is associate survey director and research fellow at PPIC, where he coauthors the PPIC Statewide Survey—a large-scale public opinion project designed to develop an in-depth profile of the social, economic, and political attitudes at work in California elections and policymaking.
He has expertise in public opinion and survey research, political attitudes and participation, and voting behavior. Before joining PPIC, he taught political science at Tulane University and was a research associate at the University of New Orleans Survey Research Center. He holds a PhD and MA in political science from the University of New Orleans. Rachel Lawler is a survey analyst at the Public Policy Institute of California, where she works with the statewide survey team.
In that role, she led and contributed to a variety of quantitative and qualitative studies for both government and corporate clients. She holds an MA in American politics and foreign policy from the University College Dublin and a BA in political science from Chapman University.
A footnote in Microsoft's submission opens in new tab to the UK's Competition and Markets Authority CMA has let slip the reason behind Call of Duty's absence from the Xbox Game Pass library: Sony and Activision Blizzard have a deal that restricts the games' presence on the service. The footnote appears in a section detailing the potential benefits to consumers from Microsoft's point of view of the Activision Blizzard catalogue coming to Game Pass.
What existing contractual obligations are those? Why, ones like the "agreement between Activision Blizzard and Sony," that places "restrictions on the ability of Activision Blizzard to place COD titles on Game Pass for a number of years". It was apparently these kinds of agreements that Xbox's Phil Spencer had in mind opens in new tab when he spoke to Sony bosses in January and confirmed Microsoft's "intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard".
Unfortunately, the footnote ends there, so there's not much in the way of detail about what these restrictions are or how long they'd remain in effect in a potential post-acquisition world.
Given COD's continued non-appearance on Game Pass, you've got to imagine the restrictions are fairly significant if they're not an outright block on COD coming to the service. Either way, the simple fact that Microsoft is apparently willing to maintain any restrictions on its own ability to put first-party games on Game Pass is rather remarkable, given that making Game Pass more appealing is one of the reasons for its acquisition spree.
The irony of Sony making deals like this one while fretting about COD's future on PlayStation probably isn't lost on Microsoft's lawyers, which is no doubt part of why they brought it up to the CMA. While it's absolutely reasonable to worry about a world in which more and more properties are concentrated in the hands of singular, giant megacorps, it does look a bit odd if you're complaining about losing access to games while stopping them from joining competing services.
We'll find out if the CMA agrees when it completes its in-depth, "Phase 2" investigation opens in new tab into the Activision Blizzard acquisition, which is some way off yet.
For now, we'll have to content ourselves with poring over these kinds of corporate submissions for more interesting tidbits like this one. So far, we've already learned that Microsoft privately has a gloomy forecast for the future of cloud gaming opens in new tab , and that the company thinks Sony shouldn't worry so much since, hey, future COD games might be as underwhelming as Vanguard opens in new tab.
Who knows what we'll learn next? Sign up to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors. One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed.
His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War. Open menu Close menu PC Gamer PC Gamer THE GLOBAL AUTHORITY ON PC GAMES. opens in new tab opens in new tab opens in new tab opens in new tab opens in new tab opens in new tab. US Edition. News Reviews Hardware Best Of Magazine The Top Forum More PCGaming Show Podcasts Coupons Newsletter SignUp Community Guidelines Affiliate Links Meet the team About PC Gamer.
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