Article subtitle: "Software giant turns to gaming partners in hunt for Azure customers." On a related note, see Google, Amazon and Microsoft cloud businesses helped more than double spending on data centers last year (Recode) and Introducing Agones: Open-source, multiplayer, dedicated game-server hosting built on Kubernetes (Google Cloud Platform Blog)
"Kareem Choudhry, a 20-year company veteran, was named vice president in charge of the new unit, called gaming cloud. His group will be tasked with helping other game developers and and publishers use Microsoft’s cloud products and creating new services for the industry.Microsoft’s Xbox Unit Seeks to Lure Game Makers to Cloud - Bloomberg
More game developers and publishers are delivering titles and additional content via web download and subscription, instead of selling games off the shelf, and offering multiplayer modes that match gamers online. Microsoft sees the opportunity to sell these companies – some of them longtime Xbox partners – on cloud services from Azure, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said. In September, Spencer was promoted to report directly to Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, who asked him to find areas where Xbox could tie more closely to the rest of the company. Microsoft’s Azure, which is chasing marker leader Amazon Web Services in the cloud, was an obvious target, he said."