According to multiple independent reports, Microsoft is interested in acquiring Discord, an instant messaging and digital distribution platform that’s especially popular among Gen Z gamers.
While the two companies are still far away from striking a deal, Microsoft seems to be the only potential buyer at the moment, and the software giant is willing to pay up to $10 billion to add Discord to its portfolio.
But why is one of the largest companies in the world interested in spending so much money to buy what was once the alt-right’s favorite chat app? The answer may surprise you: Microsoft isn’t really interested in the platform itself; it’s interested in the community of around 150 million monthly active users.
“Creation, creation, creation — the next 10 years is going to be as much about creation as it is about consumption and about the community around it, so it’s not creating alone,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “If the last 10 years has been about consumption — we’re shopping more, we’re browsing more, we’re binge-watching more — there is creation behind every one of those.”
Discord is a huge community of content creators, and many of its users play video games on Microsoft’s video game consoles. In the past, Microsoft had attempted to create a place for gamers to “come together to talk about games, watch games, watch others play games,” as Xbox chief Phil Spencer put it, by purchasing live streaming platform Beam and renaming it Mixer, but that effort turned out to be a failure.
The difference between mixer and Discord is that the latter platform is already loved by its target audience, so Microsoft wouldn’t face an uphill struggle and could simply focus on tightening the integration between Xbox, PC, and Discord.
“There’s a big opportunity to bundle Discord’s premium offering, Nitro, into the Game Pass service to drive more subscriptions from the last reported 18 million,” pointed out Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst Matthew Kanterman.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft has been looking for its next big acquisition for quite some time now. The company attempted to purchase both TikTok and Pinterest but failed each time. It will be interesting to see if things will work out on the third try.
Emirates Airline To Invest $2 Billion On Major Upgrades
Emirates plans a huge retrofit on its fleet and an upgrade to the inflight experience.
Emirates Airline has just announced plans to improve its inflight experience for passengers. The carrier has budgeted $2 billion to refit the interiors of over 120 of its aircraft, aiming for a more modern aesthetic for cabins, along with better food choices, modern inflight entertainment options, and a significant service overhaul.
Emirates is well known for its premium service, so this overhaul is an ambitious decision, as many other airlines are trying their hardest to increase revenues and reduce costs.
“Emirates is flying against the grain and investing to deliver ever better experiences to our customers. Through the pandemic we’ve continued to launch new services and initiatives to ensure our customers travel with the assurance and ease, including digital initiatives to improve customer experiences on the ground. Now we’re rolling out a series of intensive programmes to take Emirates’ signature inflight experiences to the next level,” says Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline.
The investment aims to ensure Emirates stays on top form, with many of the upgrades scheduled to materialize quickly. For the physical refit, aircraft are scheduled to enter the Emirates Engineering Center in November. So what can passengers expect once work is complete? The most significant change will be to aircraft interiors, where flyers of all classes will immediately spot new flooring, paneling, and reupholstered seats.
As well as a physical overhaul, the airline plans to upgrade entertainment systems, adding a “Cinema in the Sky” experience, complete with a bespoke app. In addition, better meal choices will reflect changing dietary preferences, including a new vegan menu and a nod to sustainability — though there will remain a strong luxury vibe to the proceedings, as the company has entered an exclusive agreement to offer Dom Perignon vintage champagne on board, as well as delicacies such as Persian caviar.
Though many of the improvements may seem trivial, Emirates is hoping that along with a huge cabin overhaul, their overall flight experience will continue to make travel a pleasurable experience, elevating their service above the competition.