Microsoft to find virtual ways of 'absorbing interns' energy' as students told to stay home – and events off until next year

Meanwhile, the Xbox gang spreads cloudy joystick joy to more countries

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Roundup Amid mutterings from the peanut gallery that at least a year's worth of events were ripe for "reimagining", it also looks like any musical numbers from 2020's batch of Microsoft interns will be strictly virtual.

Describing itself as embracing the "new normal", Microsoft has told the 4,000 or so students that were due to join the company this year that things are going to have to be virtual as it continued to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Microsoft does, however, still have vaguely creepy plans to "to absorb their energy" like some sort of dastardly Doctor Who villain, so all is not lost.

Putting a brave face on things, the company is planning to create a virtual experience for disappointed interns who had hoped to spend time on Microsoft's campuses. It will also host remote events for interns to build that all important network of connections.

Those who really want the full-on physical experience can defer to next year, although we'd contend that with much of Microsoft now doing their work remotely, a virtual internship would certainly give the hopeful students a real taste of what life is now like for the workforce.

One can but hope that the creative fires of its interns are not quenched by the experience, and we look forward to Microsoft The Musical Part 2: Staying At Home.

xCloud widens as events wind down

Staying at home might as well be the theme for the coming 12 months at Microsoft. While the company has yet to officially issue a confirmation for events past Autumn's Ignite 2020, it isn't looking good for those who prefer the face-to-face experience.

It remains unclear what the moratorium might mean for third-party events, such as August's rescheduled Kubecon in Amsterdam, where Microsoft would be expected to have a presence. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation has, however, cautioned attendees not to book anything that isn't refundable in case it finds itself unable to resist throwing in the towel and going virtual.

Still, there was some good news for those who enjoy their Xbox games on a titchy Android screen. Microsoft announced that the preview of its Project xCloud gaming service is spreading to another 11 countries in Western Europe (for a limited number of customers at first.)

The technology allows gamers to play console games on an Android phone or tablet, streamed from Microsoft's data centres. While the company acknowledged the strain people staying at home were putting on regional networks, it would "continue to evaluate the COVID-19 situation" and expand the service. ®

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