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Diamond Partner Q&A: Microsoft's Patrick Mendenall wants to get developers into the cloud

At GDC 2019, attendees will have the opportunity to interact with an array of sponsors who help fuel the games industry, including our Diamond Partners, whose support plays an integral role to the success of GDC.

At GDC 2019, Microsoft will be showcasing the latest developments in Azure, the company's cloud computing service used by software and game developers all around the world. To give you a glimpse of Microsoft's offerings at the 2019 show, we reached out to Patrick Mendenall for a brief Q&A which you can now read below! 

Could you please introduce yourself and your role at Microsoft?

I’m Patrick Mendenall - a Principal Program Manager in Azure leading our engineering efforts across the gaming industry. My team’s job is to ensure that Azure is the best place to build, run, and play video games in every part of the world.

What advancements has made with Microsoft Azure in the last year that game developers should know about?

Microsoft has a long history in games spanning nearly 40 years from DirectX to Xbox to Xbox Game Studios and games like Halo, Forza Motorsport, and Solitaire. Over the past year, Microsoft has been working to bring together its public cloud leadership with this extensive gaming heritage. No one else can bring all of this experience and technology together, and we believe we can bring huge value to customers by more closely aligning these assets. Specific to Azure, our cloud has all of the building blocks a game developer needs to design, build, ship, and improve their games or services. When we bring these services together with our investments in PlayFab, which offers a full set of backend services, as well as Xbox Live and our many other game development tools, we’re able to support game developers through every stage of building, running and using data to monetize their games. 

What are some of the most interesting ways game developers have been making use of Azure?

Today Azure enables developers and partners to build for all endpoints like PC, Mobile, and console as well as services like game streaming, game server hosting, machine learning, and mixed reality. Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Seige, Fluffy Fairy Games and Next Games’ Walking Dead are all using Azure. Developers turn to Azure for scalability and our global availability.  Azure is in more regions in the world than any other public cloud and our global coverage is a huge advantage for customers. We’re also hosting workloads from over 95% of Fortune 500 companies and domestic and foreign governmental organizations so we’re more secure, compliant, and robust. Azure also supports open source software and nearly any language, tool or OS, which gives developers flexibility to build games their way. Last, but certainly not least, we have cutting-edge data services which can give game developers real-time insights into how to make their games better for players, and help them monetize their games.

When GDC attendees swing by the Microsoft booth, what kind of questions should they come prepared with?

We want every type of question! If you’re using Azure and aren’t getting what you need – bring that request. If you’re not using Azure and wonder whether we can accommodate your scenario – come ask! We have experts here from most every area of Azure so feel free to ask anything – there are no bad questions.

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