Microsoft News Roundup: Sony blocking Xbox, Elon Musk stepping down as Twitter CEO, and Windows 95 (!)

Final Fantasy XIV
(Image credit: Square Enix)

It's almost the end of the year, which means the news cycle is slowing down for the holidays. But before many companies close their doors for a break, a handful of major stories broke this week. From the ongoing saga of Microsoft purchasing Activision Blizzard to Windows 95 making the headlines, here are the biggest news stories from the last seven days.

Sony blocks games from Xbox forever

Final Fantasy VII

(Image credit: Square Enix)

As part of the ongoing saga surrounding the purchase of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft has issued responses to both the United States FTC lawsuit and the UK's Competition Markets Authority (CMA). It was highlighted this week that in its response to the CMA, Microsoft confirmed that several popular titles will remain exclusive to PlayStation forever.

Bloodborne, Final Fantasy XVI, and the upcoming Silent Hill 2 remake will all be permanent exclusives to Sony's console platform.

While exclusives are relatively common in the gaming industry, Sony has straddled the fence regarding if they're appropriate. On one hand, Sony has called on governing bodies to stop Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard in large part due to the exclusives that Microsoft would obtain if the deal were to go through. On the other hand, Sony has several notable exclusive deals, including the recently highlighted titles such as Final Fantasy XVI.

Our managing editor Jez Corden discussed how the recently revealed exclusives affect Microsoft's acquisition of Blizzard.

Windows 95 theme for Windows 11

Windows 95 theme on Windows 11

(Image credit: Stardock)

Windows 11 may be the latest operating system from Microsoft, but that doesn't mean everyone likes the look of it. If you yearn for yesteryear and the look of Windows 95, Stardock rolled out a theme that's worth a look. WindowBlinds 11, which allows you to customize the look of Windows 11 and Windows 10, gained a Windows Classic theme this week.

With the theme, users can make the Taskbar, window frames, and other elements of the modern versions of Windows look like their old-school predecessor. You can extend the Windows 95 esthetic throughout more of the OS by pairing WindowBlinds 11 with Start 11.

WindowBlinds 11 | $20 at Stardock (opens in new tab)

WindowBlinds 11 | $20 at Stardock (opens in new tab)

This tool allows you to customize the look of Windows 11 or Windows 10 with a variety of themes. The latest addition is the Windows Classic theme, which makes your PC look as if it's running Windows 95. The maker of WindowBlinds 11 suggests pairing the app with Start11, which supports customizing the Start menu.

Elon Musk stepping down as Twitter CEO

Twitter on Surface Duo

(Image credit: Future)

While not strictly Microsoft or Windows news, Twitter is the hottest topic in tech these days. Our colleagues over at iMore have a live blog to help you stay up to date with the social media drama. The biggest news from this week is the fact that Elon Musk confirmed that he would step down as CEO of the social media platform.

The Twitter CEO shared a poll on December 18, 2022 asking if he should step down as head of Twitter. He promised to abide by the poll, which means he will have to step down, as 57% of respondents said that he should stop being CEO of Twitter.

Musk also made the headlines for instituting a new policy that blocked linking to or directing people to Facebook, Instagram, and several other platforms. That policy has since been reversed.

Perhaps polls aren't the best way to run a multi-billion-dollar business. Or perhaps Snoop Dogg should run Twitter.

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Review roundup

Honeycomb Aeronautics Alpha Flight Controls XPC, close-up of yoke.

(Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

Our experts took a look at a couple of pieces of tech for some of our final reviews of 2022. This week they reviewed Chained Echoes on Xbox and a set of flight controls from Honeycomb.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

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 sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).