Microsoft Corp. is in talks to acquire Discord Inc., a video-game chat community, for more than US$10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Discord has been talking to potential buyers and software giant Microsoft is in the running, but no deal is imminent, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Discord is more likely to go public than sell itself, one person said. Representatives for Microsoft and Discord declined to comment. VentureBeat reported earlier on Monday that Discord was engaged in sales talks.
San Francisco-based Discord is best known for its free service that lets gamers communicate by video, voice and text, and people stuck at home during the pandemic have increasingly used its technology for study groups, dance classes, book clubs and other virtual gatherings. It has more than 100 million monthly active users and has been elaborating its communication tools to turn it into a “place to talk” rather than merely a gamer-centric chat platform.
Microsoft, which last year sought to buy social-media app TikTok and held talks to acquire Pinterest Inc., has been shopping for assets that would provide access to thriving communities of users, according to people familiar with the company’s thinking. Microsoft’s Xbox business has also been expanding the suite of subscription perks it provides as part of its Game Pass offering.
“Microsoft possibly acquiring Discord makes a lot of sense as it continues to reshape its gaming business more toward software and services,” said Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst Matthew Kanterman. “There’s a big opportunity to bundle Discord’s premium offering, Nitro, into the Game Pass service to drive more subsriptions from the last reported 18 million.”
After Microsoft’s recent US$7.5 billion purchase of ZeniMax Media Inc., owner of The Elder Scrolls and Doom publisher Bethesda Softworks, an acquisition of Discord would signal the Redmond, Washington-based software giant’s willingness to keep investing in its video-game unit.
“We expect Xbox to remain acquisitive to keep bolstering the value proposition of Game Pass and drive subscriptions higher,” Kanterman said.
Discord reached out to Microsoft to gauge interest, and Xbox chief Phil Spencer has been talking to the company, according to one person. The company raised US$100 million at a US$7 billion valuation last year, according to Pitchbook.
Discord has also held discussions with Epic Games Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. in the past, according to two people familiar with the matter. Epic didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Amazon declined to comment.
U.S. lawmakers urge speedy action on U.S semiconductor chips funding
A bipartisan group of 38 U.S. House lawmakers on Thursday urged leaders in Congress to immediately set a path to advance legislation providing $52 billion for U.S. semiconductor production including $2 billion in support for chips used by the automotive industry.
The U.S. Senate voted 68-32 in June to approve a sweeping package of legislation intended to boost the country’s ability to compete with Chinese technology, including providing $52 billion for chips, but the measure has stalled in the House.
The House lawmakers in a letter warned of the “dire consequences the automotive industry as a whole—and the nation—faces if we fail to advance legislation soon.”
(Reporting by David Shepardson)
MacBook Pro's M1 Max GPU is Over 3x Faster Than M1 in First Metal Benchmark – MacRumors
Multiple benchmarks have already given us a general estimate of the CPU performance of the M1 Max chip, but we’ve had little insight into GPU performance. The M1 Max is equipped with up to 32 graphics cores, marking a vast improvement over the 8-core GPU of the M1, which was Apple’s first chip.
The first Metal benchmark for the M1 Max surfaced this afternoon, with the chip earning a score of 68870. Comparatively, the M1 chip in the 13-inch MacBook Pro has a Metal score of 20581, and the Radeon Pro 5600M, which was the highest-end GPU option for the prior Intel-based 16-inch model, has a Metal score of 42510.
Compared to the fastest chip available in Apple’s previous-generation 16-inch MacBook Pro, the M1 Max is 62 percent faster, and it’s 3x faster than the M1 chip in the 13-inch MacBook Pro, based on the Metal score we have so far.
It’s not clear if this M1 Max chip is the 24-core variant or the 32-core variant. This is also just one result, so we should be able to get a better picture of the graphics performance when additional benchmarks are available.
According to Apple, the 32-core GPU in the M1 Max is up to 4x faster than the M1. Apple has said that the chip delivers performance “comparable to a high-end GPU in a compact pro PC laptop” while consuming up to 40 percent less power.
Since we last shared CPU benchmarks for the M1 Max/Pro chip, several additional results have surfaced. Comparing multiple benchmarks, the M1 Max/Pro earns an average single-core score 1742 and an average multi-core score of 12135.
The chip has the highest single-core score of any Mac to date, and it is only beaten in multi-core performance by the 16, 18, 24, and 28-core Intel Xeon chips used in the higher-end iMac Pro and Mac Pro models.
U.S. safety board says driver, passenger seats occupied during fatal Tesla crash
Local police previously said witness statements indicated there was nobody in the driver’s seat of the Model S when it crashed into a tree. The NTSB said a review of vehicle data show “both the driver and the passenger seats were occupied, and that the seat belts were buckled when the (event data recorder) recorded the crash.”
(Reporting by David Shepardson)
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