Microsoft to shut down its Mixer live streaming service, partner with Facebook Gaming

Microsoft is shutting down its three-year-old Mixer live streaming service after being unable to grow it enough to compete with Amazon's Twitch and Google's YouTube.

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Credit: Microsoft

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After pouring lots of money and effort into trying to establish its Mixer live streaming as an alternative to Amazon's Twitch and Google's YouTube service, Microsoft is throwing in the towel. Microsoft is shutting down Mixer on July 22 and will transition the Mixer community to Facebook Gaming. Microsoft also is going to provide its Azure-based Project xCloud streaming game service to Facebook Gaming participants, officials said today.

Starting July 22, all Mixer sites and apps will be redirecting users to Facebook Gaming. Microsoft's pitch is users can move from "I'm watching" to "I'm playing" a game with a single click.

Microsoft bought Beam in 2016, which it renamed and launched as Mixer a year later. But despite Microsoft investing in the Mixer platform and paying big for talent to come to it, the company couldn't get Mixer to take off. (A number of the company's own employees use Twitch and YouTube, not Mixer for live streaming.) Mixer's co-founders departed Microsoft late last year.

Microsoft plans to retain the Beam technology and use its low-latency video networking for internal purposes. Microsoft officials said that some of the Mixer team will be moving to the Microsoft Teams team to build the low-latency tech from Mixer into Teams' video-meeting platform.

Last year, Microsoft and Sony announced the two were exploring how the two could collaborate on cloud-based gaming and content-streaming, as well as on smart sensors for Sony consumer products in a partnership largely focused around Project xCloud.