Microsoft Acquires Pando – Next Xbox Uses Rumoured

Pandora's Xbox?

Microsoft has bought Pando, according to Israeli website Calcalist. The article says that Microsoft spent no more than $11million on the technology and implies that it intends to use it in the next Xbox. But what is Pando?

It’s a file-sharing technology that works peer-to-peer (P2P), similar to bit-torrent. The website pitches it as a kind of add-on service for anyone wanting to send large files via IM, email or social networks. It’s also a content delivery network that can host assets for websites, similar to Amazon Web Services that many of your favourite sites (including this one) probably use in some way.

The report also indicates that the CDN is used by at least one television network in the US – NBC – to power their HD TV streaming. This leads to some interesting speculation about possible uses Microsoft might have for the tech.

The next Xbox, which this report seems to think will be released in June (rather than simply shown off at E3 in June), will doubtless have some form of streaming technology associated with it. The simplest thing would be to continue the partnerships they already have with myriad content streaming companies around the world. But the PlayStation 4 reveal put a heavy emphasis on their Gaikai streaming and their partnership with Ustream to share your gaming with the web. Microsoft must surely have something similar planned for their next home console and that might be made much easier for them with this acquisition.

Of course, Microsoft is more than just its Xbox division (although not much more, these days) so it’s equally conceivable that they wanted the Pando technology to power some aspect of their Windows Phone App Store or even something as mundane as Service Pack delivery to Windows 8 users.

Time will tell.

Source: Catalist (and google translate) via GAF

14 Comments

  1. Would it not be too late to implement this with the console coming out this year?

    • well, it doesn’t say when they bought it so they could have bought it long time ago… so maybe they are already done implementing this?

      • Source article says “in recent days” according to google translate. Could be microsoft trying to respond to the PS4 announcement?

    • I don’t think it would be too late if the technology is being integrated on a firmware level. We may not see such a technology immediately if Xbox is released in June, but sometime along the way it would come.

      • Perhaps, but surely Microsoft would have decided on what the system will do by now? Maybe not, I certainly don’t know :-p

      • Well one would think so, but there is a always time for additions. With almost every game or console, once something has gone Gold, then its on the patches, updates and DLC.

    • They could have already utilised the technology. Then found out it was patented or some such and just bought the company that owned the tech.

  2. It seems a bit late in the day to be changing to Pando for HD streaming unless they don’t have anything ready or close to being ready. I can’t see why console users would be sending large files either.

    There maybe some implementation down the line but I would expect any announcement to be aspiration of where they want xbox to be not what it will be near launch.

    Windows phone seems very plausible though.

  3. well, considering how quickly the took advantage of their skype purchase…

  4. Dave Perry (Gaikai) said they would be building the fastest network in the world, one of the few ways to really do that is with some kind of bit-torrent technique.
    If Sony doesn’t do this and Microsoft does, people will notice it.

  5. This new story makes me a sad pando.

  6. “Of course, Microsoft is more than just its Xbox division (although not much more, these days).”

    What the hell? Really? Up until just 18 months or so ago, the entertainment division only made up 18% of their revenue. Operating systems, business software, server tools, etc. They’re all near a quarter each of the big Microsoft pie.

    Unless I have something seriously wrong. If so… apologies.

    • That percentage may rise with the new Xbox. But generally you are on the right idea. Microsoft’s market in business is substantial with software, server tech and OSs. I don’t see as Microsoft has deviated from what it has been known so well for years as.

  7. Could it not be used primarily for Office/Dynamics? Seems more likely.

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