Microsoft meeting yields hints of ‘Rio’
The annual Microsoft company meeting has served as a showcase for many teams at the company for their near-term wares. It’s open to all employees and Microsoft executives.
There were other leaks from this year’s meeting, too. A demo during the September 26 meeting by David Treadwell, who is now the head of program management in Microsoft’s new OS engineering group, demonstrated what The Verge called its own “cloud gaming service.” Microsoft demonstrated streaming Halo 4 to a Surface and a Windows Phone at “Xbox-level visual quality,” from what I’ve heard.
That streaming service is code-named Rio, one of my contacts said. (Its former code name is Ridgeway, another of my sources added.)
The firm noted that latency (when streaming from Microsoft’s Tukwila, Wash., data center) was down to 45 milliseconds, which is probably OK for simple single-player gaming but is in fact pretty high for real-time multiplayer gaming. But here’s a secret benefit of this technology: Microsoft might use this to solve the backward-compatibility problem of the Xbox One, which cannot play Xbox 360 games: It could simply stream these titles to customers.
I’m wondering if this streaming technology will be applied to more than just games. Maybe Rio is also key to how Microsoft will allow users to stream applications like Office. I’ve blogged before about “Mohoro,” which is allegedly Microsoft’s “desktop as a service” offering under development. Maybe Rio figures in here somehow, or would provide Microsoft with an alternative way to deliver Windows and Office to users as a streaming service? (Just guessing on this part.)
The Verge’s Tom Warren also noted that Microsoft demonstrated a future Office tool, code-named Office Reader, which is designed for “consuming different types of content,” including PDFs, e-books and textbooks.