Why Microsoft wants TikTok

It’s all about data, competition, and the

Curated via Twitter from The Verge’s twitter account….

Microsoft had been planning to use Mixer for Xbox game streaming, but the service never gained enough traction, and the company was forced to strike a deal with Facebook for xCloud integration instead.

Microsoft has all the data it needs on business usage of software, but it hasn’t been successful with pure consumer services in recent years, which has left the company with a gap of insight into consumer behaviors.

Microsoft doesn’t offer any clues as to how its acquisition could directly affect TikTok features, apart from noting it “would build on the experience TikTok users currently love. ” Exactly how Microsoft could operate TikTok in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand is unclear.

Google is planning to leverage YouTube to integrate its Stadia streaming service, and TikTok would give Microsoft a response with xCloud game streaming.

Running TikTok separately could allow Microsoft to leverage its all-important data and integration points but also position TikTok as the YouTube and Facebook rival Microsoft has always wanted.

TikTok could help correct a Microsoft blindspot and even influence how other software and services are developed inside the company.

The software maker has also been operating this business separately, but again, it’s a key point of data for Microsoft to understand how developers are responding to the world’s app needs.

Microsoft could take advantage of that direct access to TikTok users with ads for Surface, Xbox, and other products, or even as another base for its game-streaming ambitions.

Microsoft has tried desperately to adapt its Windows operating system to be more consumer-friendly with video creation apps, but TikTok offers an easy way for millions to create videos from their phones instead.

The software giant has long used Xbox Live to fuel parts of Microsoft Research for future software and hardware projects, and the usage data helps game developers and Microsoft better understand how people use their Xbox.

Microsoft is also new to the world of content moderation and the associated headaches that brings, so it’s unlikely Microsoft will attempt to deeply integrate TikTok or re-brand it in any way.

How Microsoft operates TikTok in the US and beyond will be key to its future success if the company is able to acquire operational control.

The key part of any TikTok deal will be the data and users Microsoft gains access to.

Microsoft has spent years walking back consumer plays like the Groove Music service, the Kinect Xbox accessory, its Microsoft Band fitness device, Windows Phone, and more recently the Mixer streaming service.

Microsoft acknowledges the data’s importance in its blog post confirming acquisition talks, noting that “Microsoft would ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States.

Microsoft has access to a giant enterprise social network to fend off competition from Google and Facebook in the workplace, and the company continues to dominate with Office as a result.

With Gmail also dominating consumer email usage and document sharing through Google Docs, it’s possible to grow up in the US without needing any Microsoft software or services.

Microsoft doesn’t typically confirm it’s in acquisition talks before deals are made, and the company’s odd blog post specifically thanks President Trump for his personal involvement.

TikTok gives Microsoft a direct line to millions of youngsters using the app to watch videos and even those who use it to create content.

There will likely be more twists and turns in the TikTok talks in the coming weeks, but now that Microsoft has committed to finishing these discussions no later than September 15th, the clock is TikTok-ing.

Oddly, Microsoft doesn’t list TikTok’s UK operation as a target for acquisition. (The UK, US, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada are also intelligence sharing partners under the Five Eyes alliance.

At first glance, a Microsoft acquisition of TikTok seems a little unusual.

It has been a huge success, particularly as Minecraft has continued to grow and Microsoft has largely left the Mojang studio to continue to develop the game independently.

It’s not hard to imagine watching a Call of Duty video on TikTok and then being able to click and instantly play the game as it streams to your phone via Microsoft’s xCloud service.

TikTok would be another gateway into the mobile world of AR for Microsoft.

Microsoft missed the mobile revolution and has been playing catch-up ever since, but it doesn’t want to miss an entire generation of future workers.

Microsoft has been favoring its enterprise software and services, and even Cortana has transitioned to be productivity-focused.

If you dig a little deeper into Microsoft’s future ambitions, though, a move to acquire TikTok’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand could benefit many of Microsoft’s existing businesses while also setting the company up as a real competitor to YouTube and Facebook.

Equally, Nadella’s acquisition of LinkedIn for $26. 2 billion has also been a success story for Microsoft.

Link to original article….

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