Bing is making an effort to keep people up-to-date on the spread of COVID-19 with an interactive tracking map.
People can use the map to find out the amount of confirmed cases per country, including currently active cases, recovered cases, and fatal cases. Information on US cases is broken down state-by-state.
Clicking on an individual country or state will bring users to relevant news stories and videos. The timeliness of stories varies in each region, with some less than an hour old and others as old as two days.
Information in Bing’s new map seems to be updated as news breaks. For example, as I was writing this article news broke about PM Justin Trudeau shutting down Canada’s borders and it’s already showing up in the map.
Data provided by the map is being pulled from the following sources:
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
Bing now joins Google in the effort keep citizens informed about the coronavirus outbreak. Google is in the process of developing an informational website, but there’s no word yet on when it will launch or what exactly it will contain.
Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard Inc. for $68.7 billion
Today, Microsoft announced plans to acquire video game maker Activision Blizzard Inc. for $68.7 billion. When the deal is completed, Microsoft will become the world’s third-large gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony, according to a company statement.
Game franchises from Activision, Blizzard and King studios that are part of the deal include “Warcraft,” “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush.” Bobby Kotick will continue as CEO of Activision Blizzard. When the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.
Why we care. This is a giant acquisition for audiences and content production. Gamers will have new options as the industry shifts and continues to evolve. Subscribers to Microsoft’s Game Pass portfolio, for instance, will benefit from the launch of Activision Blizzard games into that service. But that’s just 25 million subscribers in Game Pass. Activision Blizzard boasts nearly 400 million monthly active players in 190 countries.
Looking ahead maybe two years or more, the metaverse promises to be an all but limitless virtual reality layer built on top of the internet. Gaming companies already have deep experience with in-game advertising, and the metaverse could take that space to a whole new level. Whether Microsoft has this in mind, we don’t know, but this acquisition boosts Microsoft Gaming’s position as one of the biggest gaming companies in the world.
Kim Davis contributed to this article.
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