Microsoft News Roundup: Farewell Activision Blizzard deal, goodbye Windows 10, and so long Microsoft-branded accessories
A week of goodbyes is headlined by the UK's CMA blocking Microsoft from buying Activision Blizzard.
Spring is supposed to be the season of new beginnings. Microsoft must not have gotten the memo. While flowers are starting to bloom at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, the tech giant saw the end of several prominent story lines this week.
After months of back-and-forth, Microsoft's planned purchase of Activision Blizzard took a major blow this week. The UK's CMA blocked the deal, marking the potential beginning of the end for the blockbuster purchase. Microsoft has said that they will appeal the decision but appeals in the UK are notoriously difficult.
Microsoft also announced that version 22H2 will be the last supported version of Windows 10. Keeping with the theme of things ending, Microsoft confirmed that it will discontinue its Microsoft-branded keyboards, mice, and accessories.
UK Blocks Activision Blizzard purchase
The UK Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) blocked Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard this week. The governing body's decision marks a major setback for the deal, which could never go through as a result of the CMA's ruling.
The CMA raised concerns earlier this year, many of which were addressed by Microsoft. The office then decided to block the deal, citing concerns related to the cloud market. Microsoft's 10-year agreements with NVIDIA, Boosteroid, Nintendo, Ubitus, and UK cellphone provider EE were not enough to sway the CMA.
The news sent waves throughout the industry, eliciting responses from Microsoft and Activision Blizzard leadership. Microsoft President Brad Smith called it Microsoft's "darkest day" in the UK in 40 years of trading. He added that, "it does more than shake our confidence in the future of the opportunity to grow a technology business in Britain than we've ever confronted before."
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Smith's comments were "wrong" and "not borne of the facts."
Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer reportedly held an all-hands meeting with Microsoft staff this week in which he reassured employees that the company will go forward with its vision regardless of if the Activision Blizzard deal goes through.
End of the line for Windows 10
Microsoft will not release any more versions of Windows 10. That will make Windows 10 version 22H2 the final version of the operating system. While the company announced that there won't be any additional versions of Windows 10, the OS will still be supported until October 2025.
Windows 10 version 22H2 will continue to get monthly updates, security updates, and bug fixes until it reaches end of support. It just won't receive any new versions, such as 23H2.
Companies and individuals will have to shift over to Windows 11, or potentially Windows 12, to get new features on their PCs.
Star Wars Jedi Survivor issues
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has earned praise for its combat system, level design, and story. Unfortunately, it also has performance issues. Both the console and PC versions of the title have some problems, but the PC version is worse. Even when running on RTX 40-series GPUs, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has drops, crashes, and stutters.
YouTuber Mutahar turned down every setting to low, disabled ray tracing, and used the Ultra Performance preset of AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution 2, and still ran into serious issues. The game couldn't hit 60 FPS, and that was when running on an RTX 4090.
Respawn Entertainment released the following statement about Star Wars Jedi: Survivor:
"While there is no single, comprehensive solution for PC performance, the team has been working on fixes we believe will improve performance across a spectrum of configurations. We are committed to fixing these issues as soon as possible, but each patch requires significant testing to ensure we don't introduce new problems. Thanks for understanding and apologies to any of our players experiencing these issues."
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Respawn Entertainment has taken feedback from what didn't work in Fallen Order, and the result is an adventure game that Star Wars fans are sure to love. However, the performance is incredibly rough right now, especially on PC. You may want to hold off until the developers patch the game up.
Microsoft-branded accessories to be discontinued
Microsoft has made well-reviewed keyboards, mice, and accessories for decades. But soon, the tech giant will discontinue all of its Microsoft-branded accessories. Instead, the company will focus on its Surface accessories.
“Going forward, we are focusing on our Windows PC accessories portfolio under the Surface brand,” said Senior Communications Manager at Microsoft Dan Laycock to The Verge.
“We will continue to offer a range of Surface branded PC Accessories — including mice, keyboards, pens, docks, adaptive accessories, and more. Existing Microsoft branded PC accessories like mice, keyboards, and webcams will continue to be sold in existing markets at existing sell-in prices while supplies last.”
Microsoft did not specify if it would rebrand any of its popular accessories to be part of the Surface family. Microsoft-branded pieces of hardware are often more affordable than their Surface counterparts.
Reviews & Editorials
Windows Central isn't just about deals getting blocked and products being discontinued. We also cover the latest gadgets, games, and accessories from the biggest names in tech. This week we reviewed the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro headset, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, and the Dell XPS 15.
- Live A Live PC Review — A spectacular remake of a long-lost JRPG classic
- Dell XPS 15 (9530) review: The cutting-edge laptop that pushes boundaries but with odd limitations
- Turtle Beach Stealth Pro review: Headset ascending
- Star Wars Jedi: Survivor review — A surprisingly personal adventure
- Dell UltraSharp 34" Curved Monitor (U3423WE) review: Less screen, more value
- Age of Wonders 4 review: A game I did not expect to fall in love with
- Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) headset review: Still one of the best... Now even better
- Review: Thrustmaster T818 wheelbase makes direct-drive sim racing affordable — with a catch
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.
I've tried umpteen combinations of brands and devices in the past couple of decades, and always end up being most comfortable and efficient with Microsoft keyboard and Logitech mouse.