Microsoft building game and app streaming service codename "Arcadia"

Windows 8

Microsoft's Operating Systems Group is assembling a team to build an app- and game-streaming service, according to ZDNet sources. The technology is codenamed "Arcadia" (joining Cortana in Microsoft's love of Halo references) and is built on Microsoft's Azure cloud computing infrastructure.

Arcadia replaces "Rio," the now-discontinued game-streaming service Microsoft demonstrated in 2013. According to Foley's sources (she's been covering Microsoft for years, and tends to have a good line on the company's unnanounced projects), Arcadia will allow users to not only stream games but perhaps also non-Microsoft apps. Job postings for the Arcadia team seeking software engineers with non-Microsoft operating system experience corroborate that idea, or possibly suggest that Arcadia will be able run on non-Windows devices.

Previously, Rio was Microsoft's look into using Azure-based technology to provide the Xbox One with the same sort of backwards compatibility that Sony offers with the Gaikai-based PlayStation Now service.

Microsoft is holding an event at the end of January to talk Windows 10 and gaming. Foley says it's unlikely that Microsoft will be showing off Arcadia this early, so we may not hear anything about it at the event, but Arcadia could have something to do with future Windows 10-Xbox One tech crossover.

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