Hopefully, you’ve been accumulating shares in the great companies we talk about frequently. If you have, chances are you’re smiling because you know that getting anything on sale from groceries to shares is a good thing. If you haven’t, there’s still plenty of time to get started. One name I like is Microsoft (MSFT), notes Keith Fitz-Gerald, editor of 5 with Fitz.

Remember Clippy, Microsoft’s annoyingly chippy, ostensibly helpful paperclip? Now there’s news that Snapchat (SNAP) and Microsoft are partnering with an AI chatbot that is going to begin testing sponsored links in My AI.

Personally, I hate the idea because AI is one of the few areas of the internet I can use without being bombarded by advertising, click-here’s, and my personal fav (dripping with all the sarcasm I can muster), “helpful suggestions based on my preferences.”

Professionally, it’s probably good for another few points top line. My guess is, advertisers are going to push hard into this market because it’s yet-untapped territory.

Microsoft (MSFT)

Meanwhile, Ubisoft (UBSFY) CEO Yves Guillemot believes that “in the next five to 10 years, many games will be streamed and will also be produced in the cloud,” according to a report in the Financial Times. He also compares the way that Netflix (NFLX) was widely criticized at the start of their streaming journey with how many people may see his ambitions of incorporating streaming into the gaming industry.

I think he’s onto something, especially since he’s partnering with—you guessed it—Microsoft. This is a revolutionary idea, for a couple of reasons:

  1. Cross platforms play: This will allow gamers from different platforms like Xbox or PlayStation to play together more effectively, which will bolster gaming communities and increase the hours spent playing these games (and the advertising dollars spent attracting their eyeballs).


  1. Game libraries: Cloud gaming can allow players to stack an extensive library of games—and of course, if they can store more games, they can buy more games. This can have a direct impact on profits because there often isn’t a connection between the money spent and gaming, like there is when consumers fork over cash. This is the same reason credit cards are so deceptive to so many.


  1. Democratizing game development: Smaller game developers may have an easier entry, which creates additional competition and new value that can be created at a keystroke. The first company that gets this right will probably rule the roost for a long time to come.

I may need to start looking at gaming developers again.

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