Shadow is officially rolling out its next-gen offers to the U.S.

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to wield the power of a TITAN RTX graphics card on that old laptop of yours picking up dust in the closet? Wonder no more. That’s because we’re officially rolling out our next-generation offers, Shadow Ultra and Infinite, to the U.S. (Check out the FAQ and anticipated release dates here).Thanks to this release, all the devices you already own instantly become the supercharged gaming PC of your dreams. Finally quench your thirst for RTX gaming and bring your own next-gen device to the party. And even better, harness cutting-edge components which alone would cost you the price of an entire PC. Here’s everything you need to know about the release and how you can be one of the first to get your hands on this game-changing technology.   When and where will the new offers be released?A true technological feat, the release of Shadow Ultra and Infinite will be phased-out by region, and in limited quantities, to ensure the gaming experience is up to snuff with our quality standards.  The roll-out will begin with our Chicago-based datacenter at the end of November. In the following months, the new offers will slowly be rolled out in our three other Shadow regional datacenters – located in Texas, California and New York. Showing love to our communityWith community at the core of everything we do, our goal is to build the best possible gaming experience together, hand-in-hand with #TeamShadow. And this time is no different. After working in close collaboration with our users to develop and conceive these new offers, the initial batch will be made exclusively to them. That’s right, you must have an active Shadow Boost account in order to access the forthcoming tiers. Once the new offers are live in your regional datacenter, simply follow these simple steps to upgrade your account to next-gen hardware.Log in to your customer spaceClick the ‘Subscription & Billing’ tabChoose the offer you wantSelect a commitment plan Confirm billing and payment informationAnd if you don’t have an account, no worries! Simply grab a Shadow Boost account first for your chance to upgrade once your account is activated - it’s that easy!💡 Please note: upgrades available are while supplies last and on a first come, first serve basis. Wait, what’s Shadow Ultra and Infinite again? If you don’t remember exactly what Shadow Ultra and Infinite is, don’t worry! Here’s a quick refresher to bring you up to speed. Alongside, Shadow Boost, which is currently available and allows to play any game on any device with zero visible latency for only $11.99 per month, here’s what you need to know:  Shadow Ultra Shadow Ultra is the perfect plan for gamers who feel actual physical pain when lowering their in-game settings from high to medium. Capable of up to 4K resolution with ray-tracing on (that’s super fancy lighting and shadows if you didn’t know), you’ll be the envy of all your console obsessed and PC master race friends.With the Shadow Ultra plan, you’ll be able to run the latest games without breaking a computational sweat. Flex your graphical muscles to the max with this powerful cloud gaming package. Go on, let’s see those binary-code biceps. Shadow InfiniteWith Shadow Infinite, it’s time to legally change your name to “Max”. Why? Because you won’t be playing games on anything less than max “ultra” settings at 4K. We hear you yelling, “How is such sorcery possible?” Well, with the Shadow Infinite plan you’re armed with a GPU that goes toe-to-toe with an Nvidia Titan RTX. You’ll also get 32GB of RAM, a crazy-fast CPU equipped with unlimited bragging rights. We’ll excuse you for laughing in the face of even the most technically advanced games that cross your path - they don’t stand a chance.If you’re curious, you can check out the full specs here and in the image below.  Bring your own next-gen deviceNext-gen is not about new hardware. It’s about playing the games you love the way they are meant to be played - this is Shadow’s promise to you. So strap in, fire up your own next-gen device, and game on.  

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Shadow - a choice to be reckoned with

Sure next-gen consoles are cool and all, but have you ever played your favorite game on a real gaming PC? A real gaming PC like your smartphone, your parents’ tablet, your TV or even your dusty old Mac that you bought to learn web design with? But also have access to your favorite gaming libraries, mods, huge communities or the opportunity to, if you don’t feel like it, not play at all. It’s a real PC in the cloud after all. Do whatever you please with it!Dream on, you say? Make it our future, we say!Shadow - a pipe dream coming to lifeShadow was created with the dream of having your powerful PC exactly here, on all the screens and devices you already own. To free you of the need to shop for the newest hardware and having to throw your current setup into the bin.With such a technology, your smartphone can get more compact while turning into your gaming or working PC at any moment's notice. And this would only be topped by an affordable price, way below the cost of buying a new smartphone, gaming PC or next-gen console.  Smells too much like a scam? We know.That’s why today, Shadow does not only come in three different flavours (or configurations) called Shadow Boost, Shadow Ultra & Shadow Infinite, but it’s also available on a large variety of operating systems and devices, and in 10 countries, including the U.S. and South Korea. We have never been closer to our founders' dreams than today. 💡 To learn more about the beginning of Shadow, check out our article about Shadows 5th Birthday.Where is the love?Enough tooting our own horn. Work and life at Shadow has not only been fun and giggles. Waiting time, miscalculations, broken promises, tears and painful decisions have also been a part of this journey.No one knows that better than our community which is the core ingredient of Shadow ever since its founding. They are here with us, encouraging and supporting us, to build a piece of the future that is enjoyed, used and praised by many critics. Still tooting our own horn, aren’t we? So let’s see what experts have to say about Shadow. #nofilter.Let the experts speakShadow is a cloud computer on the screens you already own bringing you the freedom to use the software and games you want to play and use. This might sound enticing to some tech enthusiasts but screams ‘latency’ or ‘niche’ at others. This rings especially true, when looking into the past of cloud-based services, especially computing. Just thinking about it brings back unpleasant memories and makes the word of critical tech experts more important than ever.One of these experts is Darren Allan from Techradar, who gave Shadow an in-depth look saying that had “been impressed by the quality of the service”, anticipating that “the stage might be set for it to gather some serious momentum going forward”. In a similar vein, Engadget asks its readers, “who wouldn’t want the performance of a $2,000 gaming rig without having to cough up for the gear?”, as well as The Verge that describes Shadow as being “one step further than Nvidia”.  A choice that mattersPCMag goes one step further than its peers and awarded Shadow with nothing else than their ‘Editor’s Choice’ award. Alongside the shining red Editor’s Choice pennant of the year 2020, Shadow was graded a slick 4.0. With notable highlights that include its great gaming and non-gaming potential, its powerful specs, full access to a Windows PC 10 and responsive connection. This makes Shadow "the most flexible and powerful game streaming service”, PCMag states in their review while also rewarding our constant push for freedom with a comparison of other services and mentioning that “it’s more than GeForce Now or Stadia and their limited libraries can offer”.Or to just give you the TLDR in Laptop Mags words: "It is objectively the best game streaming service on the planet". We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, as we take these kind words and awards as our fuel to make Shadow even better. That’s a promise.

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Shadow has never been more dynamic. Literally

Your friendly neighborhood postal worker hates to see it happen, and your unnamed cloud computer service provider doesn't like talking about it: packet loss.Losing your Zurg collectible in transit can be as frustrating as losing that one frame that would have helped you score the equalizing goal. I mean, you had it. It was almost there. We saw it too!More Shadow, fewer packets lostCable companies hate this trick. Because the freshly released trick that we call a feature will help you enjoy your favorite cloud gaming service even more. Everyone knows that a good, ergo fast and stable internet connection is key when it comes to working and gaming in the cloud. While Shadow recommends 15Mbit/s of bandwidth to get started, the fun turns sour as soon as you start to lose more and more data packets. As the image quality suffers fragments of package loss, your sound will be off with every drop too. It’s like an artist on stage that is rocking a microphone with a loose connection and no crowd singing the missing words.Instead of witnessing a subpar experience like this, we want you and all Shadow users to experience what matters most, the joys of gaming. So got to our work and developed a feature to solve this issue once and for all.A dynamic Shadow trumps allThe new feature goes by the name of “Dynamic Bitrate” and will make sure that your Shadow will lose fewer packets in all of your sessions. It does this by monitoring your connection with Shadow and whenever needed, it adjusts the acquired bandwidth on the fly.Sounds pretty nifty, doesn’t it?This means that next time your smart fridge suddenly starts another 13 GB update, or your significant other binge watches another 4K cat telenovela, your Shadow will automatically adjust to the changed bandwidth environment and continue to work smoothly. Please note, you will occasionally notice a very small drop in quality. Thanks to Dynamic Bitrate, screen fragments, laggy gameplay or missing sound(bits) will be greatly reduced since fewer packets will be lost. 💡 If you are suffering from above-mentioned issues, lowering your bandwidth allocation for Shadow can help a lot. The higher the selected Mbit/s, the more packets are sent per time interval and in this case, the more packets are also lost per time interval.Freedom of choiceThe freedom to choose how to play games always remains yours with Shadow. This new feature is turned on by default on the next Shadow Launcher update (3.6), but remains entirely optional.The Dynamic Bitrate sits alongside most of the other options behind the cog-symbol in your launcher. Here you can comfortably switch it on and off as much, and often as you like. If you feel very daring, you can even change this setting using the Quick Menu. One more thing before you leave:💡 Please don’t confuse Dynamic Bitrate with “automatic bandwidth”, which is the bandwidth recommendation based on the result of your Shadow in-launcher speed test. The automated bandwidth does not automatically change your bandwidth while using your Shadow, and only does so each time you do a speedtest within your launcher.And now, have fun and game on!

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Happy Birthday Shadow!

What does Mambo number 5, your hand, and the Olympics have in common? Well, they all lead to the same thing: finding an excuse to introduce today’s happy article celebrating Shadow’s 5 years anniversary! Happy birthday to all of us! 5 years ago, in 2015, “O computers” was created. Luckily for us, the name didn’t last long and we quickly became Blade. And “Shadow” wasn’t always “Shadow”. We also thought of “Celena”, “Crystal”, “Monop” or “Skloudy”. Yes, we escaped a disaster! Now that we admitted the worst part of our history, we can move ahead and tell you all about the rest. Back in time, we were in a small studio, in Paris. More than enough human warmth for the amount of personal space needed by each one of us. Thankfully, this didn’t last long and we moved quickly enough to a bigger (and older) Parisian apartment. Support Team had 1 small room, marketing and web shared another, our devs had the master living room, and the rest figured it out somehow. We also had only one toilet. And this was the place we used to call “home”. Small victories made us happy. Well, they still do. But back in the day, you could write messages to the community on the forehead of your company’s co-founders. That is what we could call a “startup privilege”.  This is when we launched our product. During Paris Games Week 2016, we made 500 Shadow units available. Our first community members, the Early Birds, bought everything within 12 hours.  With our new community supporting us so strongly from the start, we felt more motivated than ever to rule the world!  The adventure was at its beginning, and we were more excited than ever to see what the future held for us! So many things to tell that can’t be summed up in a title nor an articleFrom having to scratch Windows licences by hand because... life, to dealing with a datacenter on fire (no worries, all the Shadow accounts were safe!), many crazy things happened through the years.  We moved again, and again (1 toilet can only go so far). We opened an office in the US in 2017. Same year, we launched our first Shadow apps.  We had many cool programs such as the Shadow University Program, where students could complete several quests and unlock rewards for their associations; or the REC by Shadow, that supported small and mid-sized streamers. We organized multiple events with our community, small ones in our office that felt like a cool themed LAN party, a bit bigger ones in our bigger offices, that felt the same but cooler (with themes and attractions), and even gargantuan ones as we organized our own “convention” during 3 days in a designated place!   And because the bigger the better, in 2018 we expanded our community to other countries in Europe: Welcome fellow United-Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg friends!  In 2019, we launched the Shadow Ghost and new mobile Apps.  Lots of community members wanted to get their hands on our new box. So we delivered! With a slight (!) delay (oops, sorry!). We learned a lot along the way. The same year, we also launched our VR Exploration Program to free users of cables in the quest for the ultimate VR experience. Among other things, we launched new offers, made additional storage available, and received a lot of demand. So much that our capacity quickly reached zero each time we launched something new! In 2020, we plan to open datacenters in South Korea and a 5th one in the US for the 5th birthday!  We’re now also happy to count 100,000 #TeamShadow members. You couldn’t imagine what that means to us. This is a dream come true. And it’s still just the beginning! All this to say one thing: Thank you! As we grew our community, we also developed our product, made it more accessible, added new features and made it what it became today. Along the way, we fixed many bugs, reworked our entire coding structure, and worked like crazy to deliver the best full Windows 10 PC in the cloud possible. Can you believe that when we launched Shadow to our Early Birds, there wasn’t even the sound? And they still loved us and supported us and helped us become what we are today! To them, to the Martiens, to the Los Juntos, and to ALL OF OUR COMMUNITY: a huge THANK YOU. We wouldn’t be here today without you.  

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AMA with our new CTO, Jean-Baptiste Kempf

Each company has its own method of integration.At Shadow, true integration doesn't happen without going through community. And yes, you probably noticed it already, we love talking to you. It's not uncommon to see employees hanging out on our Discord, Reddit, forum, and, for the lucky ones, on our Twitch channel.In order to welcome our new CTO (Chief Technology Officer) as warmly as possible, we decided to introduce him to you during a livestream so that you can meet him and ask him all your questions!Did you miss this historical Livestream? Don't panic, we've not only written a recap but also made a fancy pants video with the best Q&A's from the stream. Who are you, Jean-Baptiste Kempf? Our new CTO (or C3TO), is 37 years old, French, and of course, a geek. He has been working in tech and programming since 2003. He is mostly known in the open-source community because he has contributed to many projects of this type, including the famous VLC media player software. To learn more about his background, check out our blog post about his arrival (and that of our new CEO, Mike Fisher).Before embarking on this question-and-answer session with the community, our CM Luc was able to interview Jean-Baptiste (who prefers to be called JB) to find out a little more about him.Luc : How did you come to know about Shadow? What did you think about it before joining the company itself? JB : Everything related to video streaming gaming has always been an interesting topic for me, back since the X264 project (a video encoder). The new video codecs I helped develop had special features just for that. So of course I was interested when Shadow was created in France, and loved the project, that’s why I followed it. I became closer to the company in 2018 when an investor asked me to technically audit it. Since then, I’ve been discussing with a few people at Shadow regularly and everything accelerated in July when they said “Hey, why don’t you come and join?”Luc: What does it mean for you to join Shadow in terms of vision, the roadmap, and the overall product developments? JB: The core tech of Shadow is very strong but can still be improved. Grab a few milliseconds on FPS or new ways of encoding and streaming are parts of so many other things I’d love to see. There are also issues, but we are aware of them. My role is to fix the bugs we might have in the background to build the good blocks for the future. Be sure that the architecture, the technical background is able to evolve. Ask the difficult questions internally so that we can reorganize the teams and see if we need to recruit new people, so we can move forward. Luc: What are the actions that have more priority for you? What next steps will the community see an impact from? JB: - First, I would like to meet everyone, understand the tech, work on the architecture and reorganize the teams. I also deeply care about fixing some of the annoying bugs, and would like to see how we can have quick wins to push the technology forward. Then, I want to work on the VR app, and I’d love to make it possible to access Shadow from a web browser. This isn’t on the roadmap and is difficult to do but I’d still love to achieve it. About 4:4:4: Video streaming was never done for 4:4;4 but for movies. Bringing 4:4:4 seems easy but isn’t. But it would be technically interesting to me and I deeply care about it. Luc: What do you think about the cloud computing and cloud gaming world as a whole and how do you see Shadow fitting into that? I really like the approach of Shadow because it’s unique. I usually play it on non-standard games, which cannot be done with Stadia or GeForce for example. Being able to use Shadow not just for gaming but many other things is also something that is very unique. There are going to be so many fights about game editors and platforms and so on that having an agnostic platform where you can play all the games you want, as a user, is really something I appreciate. It’s a difficult approach because you’re taking a hard road on all sides, and the tech team is still quite small compared to competitors. But I like this road, and I think we should pursue it and improve the product. Let’s move on to the questions! Time to see some of the questions asked by our community. They were very numerous so we’ll try to sum them up as much as possible here. Don’t forget that you can still watch the live stream on our Twitch channel to hear them all!  Question: Are you still involved in VLC? Answer: Yes. I was already doing VLC in my free time while working on a few startups. Today I’m not coding anymore on VLC because I don’t have enough time. I’m now putting all of my focus on Shadow!Q: What is your favorite game? A: Probably The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The games I spent most of my time on are: Age of Empire and the Anno series. I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed lately to test some things on Shadow. I like strategy games. Is it because I suck at other games? Maybe :)Q: Can Shadow on the web browser really happen? A: It’s very interesting to stream directly from a web browser. It will need a different encoding to access the hardware and changes in Shadow’s architecture but I don’t see any big roadblock on the way. Q: Will Shadow be available on Chromebook?A: There is something that overlays the Shadow app and makes it unusable on Chromebook, causing it to block successful launches. It’s misbehaving because of too much overlay but we are looking to fix that. Q: How is Shadow going to keep up with the evolution of components on a regular basis? A: There is a strategy and I’m not the only one who can deliver that. However, there are many challenges related to this because we are buying a lot of GPU cards: there are supply and financial problems, and questions such as “are we allowed to do what we are doing?”. The focus, for now, is to develop the tech and follow the new structure so that infra can deliver them in a cost-effective manner. Q: What are your goals during your first years at Shadow? A: First of all, I would say not getting fired and not making too many mistakes! I don’t want to make false promises and I want to prove that small companies can be big and can deliver tech. Q: What are your plans regarding the Android App?A: I would like to hire new people to focus on it. I deeply care about mobile devices, I don’t want to focus only on the desktop version because I want everyone to be able to play, from any device. Q: Why can't Shadow use i7 and remove Xeon?A: It’s difficult. Running stuff on the cloud has limitations and is tricky. I know it’s frustrating but it’s complex. You cannot put normal CPUs and GPUs in data centers. There are a lot of rules, questions about power consumption, power-draining, etc. It’s not just taking normal PCs and putting them on the cloud, it’s way more complex. And that’s all for today! There were way more questions asked, so if you’re curious to hear all of the answers JB had, don’t forget that you can always watch the replay of this stream! We hope you liked this questions and answers session. Feel free to share your thoughts about it on our forum or on our Discord. We are super excited to have Mike Fisher join us as our new CEO, and Jean-Baptiste Kempf as our new CTO, and we hope that you understand why after reading this live stream’s transcript! 

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Powering up: Introducing our new CEO & CTO

Two new players have joined the game. And it’s not your basic last minute pick-up, no. It’s the highly sought-after pro players that will boost your team, and help you step up your game to become the best version of yourself.You guessed it, by new players, we meant a new CEO and CTO. And by stepping up our game, we meant bringing Shadow to the next level. Who are they and why did they join us? All your questions will be answered in this article! Introducing Mike Fischer as CEO!We speak the same language, we share a passion for gaming and we love his vision. These are some of the things that made us realize that yes, Mike Fischer is “the one”. But let’s dive a bit deeper into the reasons that made us love Mike, and made us think that he is the perfect CEO for Shadow.As a pioneer in the gaming industry, Mike started his career at the Tokyo HQ of Sega with other notable stops at Namco, Xbox, Square Enix (as CEO) and Epic Games. This iconic leader in the gaming space also chaired the AIAS (which organizes the D.I.C.E. Awards).He now takes over as CEO for Shadow and replaces Jérôme Arnaud, who successfully managed the transition between the departure of our founder Emmanuel Freund, and the arrival of the new management team.His mission is to take Shadow to new heights and fortify our position as a market leader in the cloud computing space. It’s time to show the world what the future of gaming is all about! Mike is a global leader and has lived everywhere around the world, from the U.S. to Asia, and Europe. His vast global experience and background will allow us to further accelerate and expand to other highly competitive international territories. This includes Asia, starting with South Korea later this year, propelled by a key strategic partnership signed with LG in March. We are very excited by this expansion and can’t wait to have Shadow available in Asia… and some day all over the world! Building great tech takes a world-class CTO Because we want to reinforce our technology stronghold, Mike is also joined by our new CTO, Jean-Baptiste Kempf, who is the lead developer of VLC media player, the successful open-source video player software with billions of downloads. He is the founder of the VideoLAN non-profit and founder (and CEO) of several video streaming startups. His experience with streaming technology is unmatched and will enable Shadow to remain at the forefront of innovation and maintain the best cloud computing technology in the industry. For the first time in his career, he joins a company that was not founded by himself (how lucky, right?). That’s because he truly believes in our technology. In line with Shadow’s initial vision, Jean-Baptiste’s technical expertise will bolster our technology, with the lofty goal to make high-end computing power available to all - this is what pushed us to found Shadow in the very first place, and we are thrilled to have new people join in the adventure to help us fulfill this dream. Attracting top talent with a revolutionary product Just like the rest of the company, these industry leaders are attracted to Shadow because they appreciate the world-changing potential of cloud computing and gaming technologies and think Shadow is best positioned to lead this transformation. We expect many great things to come in the near future with these two reputed leaders at the helm. Because it would be too impersonal to finish this article without quoting our new CEO even once, here are a few words from him why he joined us:“I’ve worked on many great game platforms and technologies in my career, but Shadow is the most revolutionary breakthrough in gaming that I have ever seen, and that’s why I joined the company.”Oh, and by the way, they’re also huge gamers like us.Mike’s favorite game is Rocket League, playing daily with over 500 hours total, and more recently has been enjoying Fall Guys! Jean-Baptiste, a strategist and lover of classics, his heart is torn between Zelda Ocarina of Time and Ages of Empire 2 for his most loved game, dabbled in Anno and Zelda: A Link to the Past this summer!

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Shadow’s community participates in resolving any critical bugs!

Critical Bugs - Why are they important?Well, first and foremost… it has the word critical in it haha. Okay, but why are these bugs so critical? Fair question.Before we go into that, let us just briefly explain what a bug is in simple terms so we are all on the same page. A bug is basically something that isn’t intended in your software. Bugs usually cause some sort of issue for users when using the software (sometimes they create happy accidents, but not usually). Now, a critical bug is something that is in dire need of fixing. We’re talking software-breaking bugs, bugs that make the user experience just awful, or bugs that can put users at risk (by far the most important critical bug - immediate priority is given). Our community squashes these software bugsMore often than not, a tech company will have quality assurance (or QA people as they are called) that are constantly doing tests on current versions of the software to monitor for bugs, especially any critical bugs. Our QA folks do an amazing job, especially with how often we are updating Shadow.However, it’s not just our QA people that tackle this task. Our community, #TeamShadow, has taken it upon itself to make Shadow even better because they genuinely love the service (which we are so grateful for). The community has even gone so far as to help fix critical bugs as we roll out new updates, which is above and beyond anything we ever expected. So, we wanted to show our appreciation by highlighting some of the monumental impacts our community has had on Shadow as the service stands today. Critical Bug Story: USBsSometimes the most specific bugs can sneakily cause the most damage. In this instance, with one of our updates we found something peculiar with USBs when it comes to macOS. When we originally tested this update, we tested on various devices, and we have no problems with external devices, like USBs or gamepads. However, we can never be too sure, so we sent it to our “insiders” of #TeamShadow, aka members of our community who really dig deep into Shadow and all it can do. When some of them tried to use their USB devices, they found that if they closed their Shadow before ejecting their storage keys, it had the potential to break the USB storage devices. This may seem like a specific bug, but users having the potential to break their USBs is a critical bug - they could have their files from work or entire family photo album on there.  Fortunately, because of our community, we found why those couple of USBs broke and were able to fix it prior to the update even going into beta.  Critical Bug Story: EncryptionKeeping any necessary channels encrypted is a very important thing. Encryption is when information, or programming code in this case, is converted into a secret code that hides the information. This is crucial for security because we want to make sure that your information remains yours, and likewise for us. Anything compromising encryption is deemed a critical bug.When we had first finished development of encryption for Shadow, we had no problem during testing and quality assurance. For us, making sure the encryption was working was the highest priority (as well it should be), and as it was functioning correctly, we were pleased. However, when some of our community used Shadow on early access for feedback, some of them found that their Shadow had no sound or even a complete black screen. User experience is everything for a service like ours, so this critical bug had to be tackled as soon as possible. Because we received this information, we were able to investigate and find all the issues before reaching beta or the final production.Critical Bug Story: LauncherThe key functionality of Shadow lies in our Shadow Launcher. It gives you complete access to your Shadow and harbors all the service’s functionality within it. It’s how we stream a PC onto your device. So, as it sounds, it’s vital to consumers.We are often updating our Shadow Launcher with various changes to optimize user experience. The launcher is constantly being tweaked, both on a small scale and sometimes a complete overhaul.Sometimes we update a lot of various components and those have to all work together in the new version. As we go through the QA process, we often find that the Shadow Launcher is functioning perfectly. But we don’t have any better resources than our community, who are always on top of it. Sometimes on an update, the Shadow Launcher is not working for all computers, in certain cases not even being able to launch at all. This critical bug is usually so quickly found from our users, that we are able to fix it and send another version almost immediately. Software bugs - A showcase of one community’s strengthBugs in software will be a virtual certainty until the end of time (most likely). It’s not a weakness as it is more of a reality. But critical bugs are something that are very important to monitor, prevent if possible, and tackle immediately if they occur. But we have found an opportunity to bring our community closer together, and closer with Shadow. Honestly, our community is just full of rockstars. They make a genuine impact in the Shadow service you see today, a service they use. It’s quite a sight to see. We thought it would be a crime not to give our community a huge shoutout for being the amazing tech gurus that they are. We love y’all, and everything you don’t have to do but do anyways for us. #TeamShadowWant to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter if you want to stay informed about the latest news regarding Shadow!

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The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2020 - everything you need to know!

Disclaimer: All the features we talk about below surfaced in published press reports. We haven’t tested anything at the moment.Apple’s WWDC 2020 Yes, that’s me (the guy writing as we speak - hello!). That was back in 2015. And the WWDC has been just as important to the state of personal computing every year since. As you may know, the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2020) took place on Monday. This was a big year for the conference with a lot announced, including a new hardware architecture for Mac computers as well as a new major update for all Apple platforms. As we here at Shadow have been constantly trying to improve our iOS app to provide cloud gaming as seamlessly as possible across ALL devices, what we learn at this conference is a crucial element to progressing how we use the cloud in gaming today. Our trusty iOS developer Thomas spent hours reading published press articles about the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference to introduce it to you today. It turns out that some features that have been added will greatly improve the overall experience of our iOS, iPadOS and tvOS apps (we’re really excited, sorry for the spoiler).Without further ado, let’s begin asking our tech guru Thomas some of the implications of the announcements at WWDC, especially as they pertain to cloud gaming and even more specifically Shadow.Full Mouse Support (for every type of game)Thomas, how has mouse support been expanded for iOS?“Well, on iOS & iPadOS 13.4 (prior version), Apple started to add mouse & keyboard features to iPhone & iPad. However, implementation was quite hacky on our side.With iOS & iPadOS 14 (and even tvOS 14) now, they decided to refactor everything to include mouse & keyboard directly in the GameController framework.The most important feature is the cursor locked feature. We will finally be able to handle FPS games and other games that need a locked cursor. Yes, you will be able to play games such as League of Legends, Overwatch, Call of Duty on your iPad. It’s actually an monumental advancement for game inclusivity.”Trackpad SupportMouse and Keyboard support, locked (pun intended). What about trackpad support?“Glad you asked. The new update allows us (Shadow) to add the trackpad support for the new iPad keyboard. They also went further by adding support for every button that a mouse can have. Yes, even this kind of mouse: We should also be able to have notifications in our app when a keyboard or a mouse has been plugged in or connected by bluetooth which is a huge step forward for the user experience.”Gamepad Support (all types)It seems like a big thing at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference was support. Is there anything else Apple included this year for improvements?“Finally, they added many gamepad improvements. We should be able to use all third-party gamepads instead of just MFI, Xbox and PS4 gamepads. It appears we can support the PS4 controller trackpad. We can support all Xbox Elite 2 buttons, even the ones behind the controller. We can support rumble, battery level, and even the controller color!” Anything else?The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference is a massive function. Is there anything else we should touch upon?“First off, it’s important to note it will take a bit time to implement those new features (and we have to wait for the update to be available,) but this will greatly improve the overall experience for those devices - they will become a great option for Shadow users.The future of iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV is bright on Shadow. iPhone and iPad are gorgeous devices. They are very good at streaming Shadow and they have some of the best screens around. iPad Pro are even capable of 120Hz display. You would think they would make the perfect devices for Shadow. That was not totally true because of Apple’s operating system limitations. But this was before iOS & iPadOS 14. Now we’re in a whole new ball game.Lastly, Apple added support for performance-intensive apps & games, so we will be checking if we can use new features to improve streaming performance.”Overall, it seems the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference was a big hit for 2020, and we are pumped to see everything we can use with the updates to improve cloud gaming through Shadow.A big thank you to Thomas for taking the time to do all this research and giving us only the juiciest implications (we love a good implication)! Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter if you want to stay informed about the latest news regarding Shadow! 

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VR games are the goal. Will Shadow make it there? Meet more of the Explorers.

VR GamesWhy is Shadow shooting (no pun intended) for VR games? We think the question is more about our mission: we want to keep pushing towards progress. It’s what we have built Shadow around. VR games happen to be the next step in the progression of the gaming industry. And we’re all for it! On top of that, VR games have so much to offer as technology continues to improve. We’re talking about a completely different experience from your standard gaming, where immersion becomes the foundation.  Imagine fighting against zombies that are surrounding you from every direction while you have your weapon of choice in hand (instead of just a controller). All the fun of a real life shooter fight, with none of the danger - unless you hit a wall. Don’t hit a wall. Practice safe VR.  To make VR games become a reality for Shadow, it really came down to our participants - we call them explorers. For those who don’t know, our Shadow VR Exploration Program is a program we have implemented that allows Shadow users who have a particular interest in VR. The way it works is we have these explorers try out VR games on our beta program and give their input on the current beta - a feedback loop! We can talk about VR all day, but rather than do that (it would get tiring haha), we will let our amazing participants explain their love of VR games and their experience in the Shadow VR Exploration Program.JoeBonjour, my name is Joe Faneuf. I am a member of the Shadow VR Exploration program, which is a very cool program. I got into VR back when Google Cardboard came out, and then I got into PlayStation VR, and then Oculus Go, now the Oculus Quest… which is blowing my mind. I got into Shadow less than a year ago, and the reason I got into that was because I wanted to play PC games with my friends but I had a Macbook, but Shadow let’s me play all of that stuff on my Macbook or my phone or the Apple TV, which is very cool. For VR games, I play a game called Eleven, which is table tennis. I can play with my dad, who lives a couple towns away. It’s like playing with him in the same room, talking to each other and everything. It’s a really big part of what VR is all about. You know, I am amazed, more and more, as stuff comes out everyday for VR. And it’s just so wild when you think of those crazy VR movies like Ready Player One and it’s coming to life, right before our eyes. It’s really intense, and I love it. I’m just really glad I’m here to experience it. DmitryMy name is Dmitriy, I'm a VR enthusiast and one of the early adopters of VR, when Oculus released their DK1. I've been using Shadow for about a year now and I'm really happy with the uninterrupted service it provides. I'm very excited for VR games support from Shadow, and glad that I was chosen for this program.At the moment it's of course Half Life: Alyx when it comes to VR games I love, as it's the most fresh experience but there is a long list of games I love playing in VR, especially multiplayer ones.I use Shadow because I'm a Linux laptop user. I use low power, long battery laptops. I don't like having to keep up with the latest beefy hardware every couple of years so I could enjoy the latest games on the best graphics. I also don't like having to deal with all the problems Windows introduces every other update. But I love playing games with mouse and keyboard or in VR. Shadow provides me all the fun part of playing games without hassle and annoyance of Windows machine.YouTubers often talk about failure of game streaming. Sadly they rarely speak about Shadow. You guys prove that game streaming is awesome, when done right. I mean I can play VR on Shadow, that thing requires much lower latency and better response times than regular games, otherwise it would easily cause nausea. I believe people should take the time to talk about Shadow more on YouTube.The FutureWhen VR games will become a standard staple in the world of gaming, we don’t know. But we are excited and ready for it! Gaming will always grow because gamers demand it. Our Shadow VR explorers highlight that. The reason the VR program works is because our participants are gamers at heart and VR lovers to their core.  We will continue to working on our VR beta until it’s great (which thanks to our explorers it has that potential), but we know the future of VR is there. We’re all just racing to get there.Big shoutout again to all our participants (meet more of them here), and to our talented devs for making all of this possible. Look out for more updates on Shadow’s journey into VR! :)Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter if you want to stay informed about the latest news regarding Shadow!

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Shadow stands with the Black Lives Matter movement together with our community #BlackLivesMatter

Black Lives Matter.It's heartbreaking to see the events that have transpired recently, but we at Shadow want to say how proud we are of everyone coming together to try and make a true difference against a systemic problem. It's not easy to fight to make a change, but society will be grateful you did. Black lives do matter. We are hear to say, "We see you." Black Lives Matter as a movement is vital to our world's betterment. We stand by you. Keep pushing forward.#TeamShadow: our community speaks upWe had the inspiration for this article from more than just our support for the Black Lives Matter movement. When we first decided to vocally stand with the movement, our community #TeamShadow stood with us, and spoke up. A movement is not about a single company, but the individuals that decide to speak out. On that note, we wanted to share some of our community's sentiments of support towards the Black Lives Matter movement. "We're all brothers and sisters" - CameronWe may have our work to do to break down systemic racism in this nation, but Cameron asks us to remember that Black Lives Matter is about our unity as a people. We are brothers and sisters, and you support your family when your siblings need your help. "Our voices shall be heard" - DavidA movement can only work if those who believe in it transform those beliefs into words, those words into actions, and those actions into patterns. David reminds us that our voices will be heard until we create true reform. That's how we stand with Black Lives Matter. "Show your humanity" - ZviA company is only as good as the mission it stands for. A mission is only as good as the humanity it stems from. Black Lives Matter gives each of us the opportunity to do one thing: show our humanity. We offer our support to the movement by embracing its humanity. Our society will evolve as long as we have the humanity to endure and persevere. A long journey aheadWe know there is much do to. And that we have only just begun. But that should never discourage us as a people to stop. Progress is rarely an easy one (we at Shadow know first hand). But it is what is morally right. Simple as that. So, lend out a hand for those in need, not only during this time but always. Show our "family" that they can count on us to do right by them. Be their ally, be their champion. And remember... keep pushing forward. #BlackLivesMatter

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Amid Coronavirus pandemic, Shadow does its part to help

Coronavirus ReliefCoronavirus has impacted us all. With a pandemic drastically changing the way everyone can live their lives, we have to strive more than ever to help one another. We may be doing social distancing, but it’s crucial that we remain “close” as a society. The people here at Shadow decided we wanted to do our part, no matter how big or small that would be. So, we got to work and one one project led another and we couldn’t stop. We wanted to bring up what we’ve done so that it may inspire those who have the ability with ideas of their own! Mask DonationTo fight against the Coronavirus, we were able to contribute protective masks to a hospital in need, all thanks to TENA, our Shadow Ghost supplier from China!So, what exactly happened? Well, our amazing supplier was kind enough to offer 4000 protection masks to protect our staff were we to keep working from the office (image of the mask below): However, since we are all working from home, we decided this was the perfect opportunity to start helping out. Instead of having those masks go to waste, we had those masks shipped to a hospital in need instead. That hospital was the Centre hospitalier de Sélestat (in France - map below for reference):  The masks were delivered early April and because we were able to get them to the staff relatively quickly, they were able to still go home to their families on a daily basis for some more time at least, which we were very grateful to hearWe are hoping that they get supplied some more masks soon.Race for CareWe realized it was time to start looking at specific organizations to support that were better able to directly impact coronavirus relief. We found our first one in #ProtègeTonSoignant (a French association - translates to #ProtectYourCaregiver), and their event against the pandemic: Race for Care. Race for Care is the first inter-company charity esport competition aiming at supporting health personnel in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. Before getting into the event, if you want to know more about the association #ProtègeTonSoignant: it is a collective of citizens putting their know-how and their network with the sole aim of helping caregivers to overcome this health crisis. We were very proud to be part of this charity competition, not only as a company participant but also as we were able to provide Shadow machines for the other competitors that didn’t have access to a proper machine to play during lockdown. So, how did it work? Well, we had to form a company team and compete against other company teams in the game Trackmania 2 - a racing esports competition is always a good idea.When it comes to how that was helping out, the closer a company got to winning, the more that company would pledge to contribute to the cause (up to 10k euros of donation from whomever wins)We ended up winning 2 matches won out of 4, coming in 4th and paying 9k euros to #ProtègeTonSoignant, which we were very happy to be able to contribute. All together, 29k euros were collected in charity. We are also proud to have made available some VMs to the competing teams so that they can join the game. Finally, a big thank you to Ari, Elias, Thomas and Martin for making our 4-person Shadow team. You all did amazing!Choeur de GamersWith the success of supporting #ProtègeTonSoignant, we decided to support the program Choeur de Gamers as they focused this time period’s charity efforts on the association Les Petits Frères des Pauvre (Little Brothers of the Poor).Faced with the Coronavirus health crisis, the Little Brothers of the Poor are fully mobilized to help stem the pandemic and to guarantee their primary mission: the fight against the isolation of the elderly. To do this, they provide financial support for elderly people in unfortunate situations, assistance with shopping, fetching medicines, ordering and delivering errands via the internet, preparing and delivering meals to the homes of the elderly, strengthening telephone calls, and so on. To help out, we provided tech support with a Shadow Ultra to enable them to run their event (more specifically their video control setup): a charity marathon of more than 100 hours of non-stop live on Twitch and YouTube with a hundred influencers from the internet. The event raised 62k euros in total and they continued using their Shadow during their event that happened in May. User Story: Charity EventAfter supporting organizations, we felt we could also take the opportunity to support individual efforts to help Coronavirus relief. Twitch streamer Louis brought us the opportunity to support his charity multi-day event tournament on games like Fortnite and Rainbow Six Siege. We emphasized on the event having less to do with “professional play” and more like a group of gamers who want to have fun and take part in a good cause.Overall the charity stream was a success, especially given the fact we started from scratch! Our partner, Louis, appreciated our support. He hopes to use this as a springboard to organize more charity events in the future with this channel. He also had a few cool quotes about his experience using Shadow:“I couldn’t believe how well the Shadow PC handled multiple windows open from live streams, to a streaming software, to a Discord screen share and the game running at max settings and not one bit of buffering on anything!! The product is absolutely amazing.”“I cannot believe how amazing Shadow is, most nights I have got home and have been lost for words when I come to remind myself about how it works and how I can have my settings maxed out, with Streamlabs and many other windows running all at the same time!! I feel honoured to be able to use such an amazing system and be a part of a truly outstanding company.” Thank you for the love, Louis. We were grateful to be able to do our part!Charity LivestreamLa Grizi Esport was founded by FC Barcelona striker Antoine Griezmann and his brother Théo. Why do I bring this up? After creating their esports team at the beginning of the year, the Griezmann brothers are now utilizing the team to support a wonderful cause.  La Grizi Esport decided to host a 24-hour gaming live show, even inviting soccer pros Paul Pogba and Ousmane Dembélé as well as many star streamers. Watching Paul Pogba open for their segment of the stream on Call of Duty: Warzone (Call of Duty’s famous Battle Royale genre entry) was great fun all while helping aid Coronavirus efforts.We decided to assist the cause by donating 1k euros during the stream.Continue fighting CoronavirusWhile we were able to start our efforts to support the current global situation, that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop. The pandemic continues to affect people all over the world, and we don’t know when this time in our lives will end. So, it’s important to keep doing our part, however big or small. We know many are stuck inside and do not have powerful machines to do what they love, so we began gifting influencers with Shadow accounts for them to stream. We will continue to assist in any way we can, and we urge everyone (whether it be company or individual) to do the same! We are all in this together.Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter if you want to stay informed about the latest news regarding Shadow!

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Meet the Explorers: Shadow’s VR program highlights the participants behind it!

Our ExplorersOur VR program is currently at its peak of back and forth feedback between our amazing devs and our wonderful participants, aka our explorers. While our devs working on this project have been working exceptionally hard to try and bring a revolutionary feature to Shadow, and we are forever grateful for all the wonderful work they do, we wanted to pause and show some love to the people that volunteered their time to make all this happen!EisliaHi, I am Eislia from Texas, and I’ve been using Shadow for two to three years now. I think the reason I like VR as much as I do is because you get put into situations you’ll never be put into in real life. Like… I can be going to town on some zombies with my fist. And… you know.. You can’t do that in real life. Besides being awkward, something I’m really good at is giving feedback so when I saw I could be a part of the Shadow VR Beta program, I was in. And then I got in. That’s the surprising part. I want to thank the people at Shadow for giving me the opportunity, and I look forward to continuing to work with them. Jack La CorteMy name is Jack and I live in FL. I have been into VR since I was a kid in the 90s and tried out an old VR game at Disney Epcot,  which was basically sitting in front of a CRT TV. But it was magical enough that I kept up with VR ever since, and really got into once Palmer Lucky brought the Oculus Dev kits to those interested to try it. I've been with shadow for only a few months now, and love it. I love even more what they are trying to bring in regards to tetherless VR. I like to play Skyrim VR and Valve's The Lab (Arrow shooting game is therapeutic).I use shadow because I want to be a minimalist and not have a large gaming rig in my office. Instead I have a small Surface Pro (Gen 1) that I use and when I want to game I load up Shadow and everything works great. I'm thrilled to be a part of the VR exploration program, and help Shadow test a new way to experience VR.Josh NeelBonjour. What’s up guys? My name is Josh. I am a proud member of the Shadow VR Exploration Program and I’m hailing from the state of Maryland right in the middle of the Covid quarantine. I am going to be interviewed by my 8 year-old daughter.8 year-old daughter: “How did you get into VR?”Well I have been tracking VR since Oculus was a kickstarter, but I didn’t have a VR worthy PC. So I was on the sidelines until Oculus released the Standalone Go. So about 2 years ago I picked up a Standalone Go as my intro to VR, and fell in love with it. And then this past year, I turned the big 40, and I decided the Oculus Quest was the appropriate birthday present.8 year-old daughter: “What is your favorite VR Game?”The best VR experience I have had is Valve’s Half-Life Alyx. Graphically, everything about that game is amazing.8 year-old daughter: “How long have you been with Shadow?”Well, once I started getting into the gaming discords, I started to hear about Shadow, and the idea of doing cloud gaming intrigued me. It just so happened that around that time they were having a holiday promo, and at that price point I felt it was a good time to jump on board. So, somewhere around December of last year is when I started, and I have been having great experience so far.8 year-old daughter: “Why do you use Shadow?”Well, I kind of tried it out for two reasons: 1) for PC VR or I wouldn’t be able to play games like Half-Life: Alyx and 2) the notion of using hardware as a service as opposed to buying and upgrading your own hardware. So I decided to try it out as an experiment to see if it was a viable alternative to maintaining my own home PC and I am very glad I did because the only complaint I had initially was the limited storage. However, as a couple of weeks ago now storage is upgradeable and I’m very happy with my Shadow.8 year-old daughter: “Anything else you’d like to share?”I’d just like to add that my experience with the program has been great so far. There’s a great team of devs working hard to improve the VR experience and it’s amazing how far they’ve come in such a short amount of time and I’m really looking forward to the future of Shadow VR. More Explorers to ComeWe loved being able to give our VR program explorers a place to share their voices (to be honest they share more than enough as is - shoutout to all our hardworking participants!). As we continue progressing through the program (and making VR smooth as butter on Shadow), we will have moments where we take a step back and give our explorers a platform to speak their minds. Just a little thank you from all of us here at Shadow!Stay tuned for more updates on Shadow’s entrance into VR. :)Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter if you want to stay informed about the latest news regarding Shadow!

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Cloud Services: user gives perspective on Stadia, GeForce Now, Shadow, and more

Cloud Services: User StoryThere are countless cloud services entering the market at this point (which is amazing because the industry has clearly become a legitimate solution!), but it’s hard to break down how experiences differ between platforms.Then came along Francisco. We found a post where he broke down his experiences using multiple cloud services, including Shadow. So, we decided to reach out and see if he would give an interview for a user story - he happily said yes. Our interview was more to give him the opportunity to tell his perspective. First, let’s provide a little context.Context: Francisco“Shadow was the last system that I used.”For Francisco, it wasn’t about Shadow. It wasn’t about GeForce Now, or Stadia, or any service. He needed a solution.You see, he works in IT and travels a lot. One thing he noticed on Reddit was that people gave no context on these cloud streaming services, which is needed. It's why he wrote his post. He says, “It may not be the post for you but you needed context.” As a traveler and a gamer, Francisco needed a powerful laptop. But even just with a laptop, a gaming laptop is chunky. Having to bring a gaming laptop as his work laptop just didn't look "good” in his eyes.So, it was key that he solve that problem. First, he approached getting external GPU's.He could have a small laptop, and then go back and still game. Didn't work; they were also chunky. Also, supposedly he got harassed at the airport every single time (makes sense if you think about). The biggest problem was that it was also pretty heavy. Kind of defeated the purpose of making the setup "light."So, he realized only one solution could truly work for him: cloud services. Testing out the watersFrancisco dipped his toes more into cloud streaming when he heard about Google Stadia. “I applied to their system early. The experience was honestly quite good. I was playing 4K HDR on the TV, and it looked great with no real lag.”He was rather excited about it. He traveled with it, and it worked efficiently. The experience wasn't perfect while traveling, but it wasn't bad. “Quite enjoyable.” And its user interface was simple to access. He said he appreciated that.But... he started to feel limited. There was no Android app at the time. I really wanted to translate it to mobile (we’ll get more to his desire for a solid mobile experience in a bit). Eventually the Android app came out, but it needed wifi and couldn't work on 3G - it was too restrictive. He ended his point-of-view on Stadia with: “The library is extremely limited.” He only bought one game on Stadia. It was “hard to justify buying a game that I could get half the price on Steam.”Cloud seems to be the answer After trying out Stadia, Francisco thought it was time to explore alternatives and see what was out there. Then came Geforce Now. “In my opinion, it looked better than Google Stadia, but it was also bandwidth hungry.”Right off the bat Francisco noted that it performed worse while traveling (which was the original solution he wanted to solve).He explains, “I was enjoying it a lot (though it performed worse on the go), but then many of the games were taken down. It no longer had as much to offer without its extensive library.”He did mention that he was able to use it on his mobile device, and that it worked well. The ability to transition from PC to mobile seamlessly became “addicting” to him. But in the end, without the games to play, it just couldn't do it for him.The solution that fit“Then I heard about Shadow.”He registered back in January 2020. He “waited eagerly” for his Shadow to be activated. When it did, he realized quickly: “It gave me the best of everything.” A really unique value for him was having access to everything. This was the solution he needed to solve traveling. He elaborated: “I can adjust my bandwidth depending on location, so traveling became adjustable. In bad reception areas, I could limit my bandwidth and resolution to accommodate.” Francisco was a big fan of Shadow’s mobile app. “I love what you are doing with it. I love the ease of just opening the app and seeing my Steam games.” He let us know that he plays more on his mobile than his PC now, and that's because of Shadow. He thought of going back to a regular PC, but it just wouldn't work. He says Shadow is just “too flexible.” It just makes gaming “easy.”He mentioned something rather interesting regarding pricing: “To look at pricing, you have to look at the whole thing. You can see Shadow might be more expensive, but if you look at everything you can do the pricing is definitely comparable.”Only problem with Shadow for Francisco is that you are tied to a specific datacenter. He states, “You have dedicated hardware, so when I'm traveling further away (away from Europe let’s say), that would be my only concern.”Looking toward the future  Clearly Francisco put some time into this. And we are so very grateful for that. It’s easy for people to give conjectures about different products (especially “cutting edge” ones), but most do not actually take the time to review the variety of solutions out there. To end off, we asked Francisco what we was looking forward to with Shadow:“What I'm most excited for is next year. I want the 4K experience. Oh man, I'm so excited for the 4K experience! And to do that on mobile! I'm eager to try out Infinite. And with 5G. That gaming experience with the mobility is going to be amazing. I think mobility is the key. That's what I'm most excited for.” It put a smile on our faces to hear how thrilled he was for the future of Shadow (we are too - wink). We would like to send a super huge thank you to Francisco for taking the time to share his experienced perspective with us. It was great chatting with you. Thank you, Francisco! :) Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter if you want to stay informed about the latest news regarding Shadow!

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VR Explorer Log: Shadow’s entrance into VR begins!

VR Explorer LogWith our VR Exploration Program underway, we thought it would be great if we brought you updates on the program and how it is going. The program is important to us because it represents our whole vision of what we are trying to accomplish. We constantly want to push past “what is” into “what could be.” There is no “can’t” simply a “not yet,” and if we want to truly embody that, then we must take care of each one of our ambitious passion projects. And with that, we introduce… the VR Explorer Log!The VR Explorer Log will keep you informed (hopefully biweekly - cross our fingers) on:The processWhat has been happening so farThings to comeSo, let’s get started with… well, how the program started. :)How it StartedOkay, so applications opened March 12th (2020 of course), which closed March 22nd (again, 2020). Shadow received approximately 600 unique applications during that time, which is obviously insane!After we received our enormous pool of applications, we decided we needed a second round of evaluation. We emailed the narrowed down pool of potential candidates for the next round of evaluation, which we received 51 responses too. Then we had to really go into dissection mode. And we literally went through each and every one. ‘Cause we love y’all - and they were actually amazing responses. After meticulous deliberation, drumroll please… dum dum dum dum dum (is that the sound a drum makes?)... we have our 17 Shadow VR Exploration Program candidates!Before getting into the program itself, we wanted to highlight a few of our favorite submissions we received!Hokedad King of Space The VR Program so farOnce selected, the Shadow VR Explorers were invited to join a (super) secret room in Discord! This is where all the magic happens - aka discussion regarding the program. Here we have everything setup for a smooth test-feedback flow, including:Announcements used by devs to announce new builds and features (communication is key!)Testing-feedback for specific testing done based on the newest buildVR-discussion for general conversationsVR-feature requests for structured requests on features to implement that could improve the productVR-setups for the testers to share their current setups :)The RulesEach participant was required to sign an NDA, provided by Shadow specifically for testing VR. For reference, an NDA is a non-disclosure agreement, in which the party requested to sign cannot disclose information they learn regarding a company. So, why an NDA? Don’t worry, it’s a very common practice.  The NDA here is needed because we are giving our participants access to features currently in development, before they are ready for launch. The NDA is to make sure information isn’t released before things are ready. We are excited to inform you of updates as they are successfully complete development!Following their compliance with the NDA request, they were provided the rules (via Trello board) for the program:You do not talk about Shadow VR ProgramYou do not talk about Shadow VR Program (you are under NDA - this is why)Use the associated Discord channels to discuss with your fellow testers and Shadow devsShare as much feedback with the devs as you can, especially when new versions are releasedActually you can talk about your impressions about VR on Shadow (but Brad Pitt won’t like it)What you can't do is talk about the discussions with the devs (no screenshots please) or share the files provided by the Shadow teamUse your test VM only for Shadow VR program related testsDo not spoil Half-Life: Alyx storyline (that’s not cool) To give you a highlight of what this all looks like in real-time, we took some screenshots of our amazing participants in action: Things to ComeAs you can see, our participants (and Shadow project leaders - we didn’t forget about you!) are working hard, and having a blast it would seem, to make sure this program is on it’s way. We wanted to thank our explorers (that’s what we call them - explorers) for all they are doing to help the future of Shadow. But we have only just begun! Our devs are currently working to implement so many of the feedback items our participants have provided, including: App user experience improvementsA proper debug log systemImproved trackingLastly, we will be highlighting some of our amazing VR Program participants, so keep at eye out for our “Meet the Explorers” blog article to see just who is helping make this program a success!

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Work from home can be tough. Shadow shows how they embrace the challenge.

Shadow work from home setupsIt’s more important than ever to do things to make you feel… like you. It’s easy to get lost in the isolation. When you can’t go out much (and not very far), can’t do the things you normally do, and are working from home, how can you make life bearable?We here at Shadow feel the same way, so we pushed each other to make our work from home experiences as personal and comforting as possible. Of course there are other strategies to make sure you are feeling okay during confinement, including:Video chatting with friendsNetflix bingingAt home workoutsStart working through you video game backlog (we know you have one)  But, for this article, we are going to be focusing on work from home setups, and how our colleagues made their work station their own. :)Work(out) from home - YohannWho says you can’t get fit at home? Our revolutionary genius Yohann begs to differ. If you are gonna be working for a majority of the day, might as well get super fit doing so. We know while you are stuck at home, it’s pretty easy to eat everything around you. Yohann battles that by making use of his work time… literally. Walking on the treadmill improves blood circulation and grinds out those nasty calories all while focusing on making Shadow amazing for our userbase (Shadow Fitness incoming soon). Also, don’t think we can’t see that Teemo poster in the background. We apologize to the League community for his blasphemy.If that isn’t relaxation, what is - SebastienA warm glow. Rich brown wood. A dash of vegetation. You might as well add a personal masseuse while you're at it, Sebastien. When you are cooped up in the house, relaxing can actually feel like a chore. Anxiety kicks in. You feel like you can’t do anything, or go anywhere. That’s where the Sebastien model comes into play. By making the “scenery” tranquil, we can make a work from home session calming (okay, maybe not like spa level calming - but good enough).Wow indeed - EdouardNow to transition from soothing to totally freaking geeking out with Edouard’s glorious setup. So, let’s just tackle the main point here… LOOK AT THOSE BEAUTIFUL STATUES AHHHH. Okay, we’re good. I mean, wow they are beautiful. Sylvanas being a personal favorite of ours. And while it may be confusing what is going on in the background, you can tell one thing - the man is doing work! Like, what is even happening on those screens. And on all three of them too. Just glorious. Can we note the amazing camera focusing though. The pristine focus on the statues with the slight blur in the background to emphasize the statue. We see you Edouard.We’re gonna need a bigger screen - NicolasWe can genuinely say this entry was unexpected. That’s all we can say as the intro. Just wow. Nicolas is comfy. You know how we know that. Those feet just ever so slightly popping up in the bottom. That’s a relaxed pose. We can tell.At first glance, this seems to be a bit excessive, no? No! Absolutely not. We’re just mad the rest of us didn’t think of it sooner. I mean, cmon! Look at it. Why work on a small screen when you can turn your work from home into a movie theater film marathon (but of work, not films - films would be nice… man we miss movie theaters… in time… patience). How about a staycation? - ClaraWe end with the perfect way to handle confinement: the staycation. Social distancing, but with a breath of fresh air. Before we get into the big brain idea behind this, can we just take a second to appreciate the color scheme. The green shrubs with the red wall, and the chair that color coordinate with everything else. Don’t think we didn’t notice. Hey, it’s been shown that those little details are what can make you feel the most positive. Give it a try. :)Okay, onto the concept. When you are stuck in confinement, it’s easy to feel trapped. Clara decided to untrap herself… literally. Being safe while still being in the confines of your own personal “outdoors” is a perfect way to feel a sense of freedom, which can help with a lot of that anxiety. Kudos, Clara.   Work from home - a positive spinWe know the last thing you all want to hear right now is “confinement isn’t that bad,” but we’ll say this: our own personal actions can always help. So, during this time where everything can feel overwhelming, make the situation your own. Work from home can feel like it drags on and on, or maybe you just procrastinate because you are at home. Now is the opportunity to really make your work from home setup “pop” with your own personal flair.  Let your imagination run wild. And hey, if you need a work from home solution to help out, you can check out Shadow. It’s kind of what we do. :)

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Using the power of communities, Shadow helps newer content creators grow

Welcome to the Shadow Creators ProgramAt Shadow, we believe in the power of communities. We believe in our need to collaborate with others to make the impossible possible. We call it collective exploration. That is why, when it comes to collaborating with influencers, we don’t want to create yet another affiliation program where we embark on a purely transactional relationship. We want you, yes you, content creators of the world, to be part of a unique community in the Shadow universe, becoming a true believer of our product, strong supporter of our challenging journey, and devoted advocate of what we do. What’s in it for me?The Shadow Creators Program (SCP) is Shadow’s new and improved program for micro-influencers. Micro-what? Simply put: if you’re a video content creator with a following base and a regular posting rhythm, this one is for you! SCP is a journey with various milestones. SCP is a community. SCP is an exclusive access to Shadow’s progress and stories. SCP is a way to give back, to reward.Once part of the program, you become an explorer that will achieve milestones, unlocking more benefits out of your experience.  So, how does it work?Collective explorationAt Shadow, Creators are part of our closest community. From exclusive infos to exclusive access to the secrets behind our product, you will be able to know it all.Progressive journeyAccess to info is good. Rewards are always best. We created the program as a journey where your involvement will unlock rewards. It will start with a first test: you testing the product and releasing a first video. If there’s a fit, we will support and reward your actions. Gradual compensationsWe have created 3 tiers of compensation so that we reward fairly all along our relationship. Once we will know we are made for one another, the more we work together, the more chance you’ll get to earn more money. Shadow Creators vs Shadow MakersYou may have seen another program we have released: the Shadow Makers Program. Now you could be wondering, “What is the difference between the two programs?” Understandable. Both are designed to help bolster your ability to build your community. But the Shadow Creators Program is for micro-influencers who have already established a foundation, whereas the Shadow Makers Program was designed to help newcomers surpass the barrier to entry to becoming an influencer. Shadow Makers focuses on ways to begin your journey and create the opportunities to create that solid foundation. Shadow Creators takes that already built foundation and create milestones for you to work toward (with our support) and grow from there! Can I join?To be able to join the Shadow Creators Program, you need to have:A minimum of 2,000 followersVideos that have been released within the last monthA high engagement score (likes, comments, watchtime) How can I apply?To join, simply click on the link below and fill our form. You will receive a confirmation email as quickly as possible from our team. However, do not forget to check that you are meeting our requirements first!

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Shadow helps its community, #TeamShadow, share their own talents and grow their communities

Shadow Makers ProgramEver wanted to share your work with the world?  Ever wanted to grow your community? Ever wanted to work with people who love to do what you do? Then this may be the program for you. Introducingggggg the US Shadow Makers Program!This program was first created for our lovely French users but we’re making an effort to bring it over to all you amazing people in the US! We want to help YOU build a community, expand that social circle, and show your work to the world! What it is"Makers" is Shadow’s incubator program to showcase to the world the talents of #TeamShadow (the most amazing community ever).Whether you’re a streamer, videomaker, musician, graphic designer or podcaster, we want to join your journey and help you evolve to achieve the visibility and recognition you deserve!As long as you’re an active Shadow user with 100-1000 followers, this program is for you!  We’d love to help your dreams come true!How will Shadow helpWe can all agree that you’re talented but we want to get you recognized and successful through self-development.  There’s no better way to build skills than by learning from others, especially from the pros! We have our own creative minds and are excited to share our knowledge with you! How it worksWe’ll be offering two classes per month that cover a specific topic.  Whether it’s the nitty gritty of creating a project or the fun of engaging your community in a few rounds of competitive DOTA, we want to give you AMA sessions, individualized contact, and connections to help you grow your fanbase!  We’ll be showcasing TWO of our talented Makers each month, promoting projects on our social media channels, AND we’ll chip in some of our own stuff for your projects!  If that’s not enough for you, we’ll also give you VIP access to our Collective Exploration, early access to games and features, and a unique opportunity to do the thing you love for a living!How you applyFill out this form here and you may become one of the inaugural members of the first US class of Shadow Makers!  Once you’ve sent in the form, the application will be delivered to our super secret facilities (it's not that secret) where we have super secret people (they are actually quite open) looking over your application!  Every applicant will hear back via email.I know, I know... so many possibilities!  So, what are you waiting for?  Your journey begins today.

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During quarantine, Shadow keeps its spirit up with some quality gaming.

Quarantine Gaming SetupsIt’s not about being flashy. You don’t need some fancy setup to make it all work (granted some of our community #TeamShadow have insane setups). During a time where we are trying to do right by each other by simply staying in doors, it can be hard to keep your spirits up. That is no different for us here at Shadow. So, what do we do (besides throw ourselves at our work to make sure we give you the best Shadow possible - wink)? Well, here we incorporate one big thing into our lifestyle: gaming. Doesn’t matter how, but so many of us here surround ourselves with our games of choice, now more than ever. We want to spread some positivity during this time, so here are some of our team’s game setups.Work hard, play hard - ChrisHere we have ourselves a man who believes in hard work ethic, but knows he needs a break from time to time. He’s the “completionist” of Shadow.  We got a chance to talk to him on what he was playing (because he plays a TON of different games - and masters them all): “I’m playing Dragon Ball Z Fighters (loving season 3 updates), a ton of Borderlands 3 (a new DLC just dropped), and just beat Doom Eternal on ultra violence.”But for a lot of us here, gaming is a way to keep calm and collected. “I usually play a lot in the afternoon and a little when I wake up. I had to stop drinking coffee and video games like Gungeon force you to fight through the exhaustion.” As you can see, here at Shadow, we use video games as a natural caffeine (we also use coffee, lots and lots of coffee).Can never have enough consoles - CyrusFirst, we have a man who enjoys the advances of the new with the nostalgia of the old.  Let’s start with the standard: we got ourselves an Xbox One that he says is still used primarily for Netflix (bold choice). Cyrus is currently obsessed with Borderlands 3 (who isn’t) as well as playing the remastered Spyro trilogy. But past the current generation console is where we get to the meat of this man’s gaming culture. We start with his Xbox 360 which he says is primarily used for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (which he argues in the best of the series) and Call of Duty: World at War. But it’s at the PlayStation 2 that we get to the heart of Cyrus’ quarantine gaming career. He is currently replaying both the Ratchet & Clank franchise as well as the Jak & Daxter franchise (he would tell you this is the greatest franchise ever made). On top of that he’ll bring in some Star Wars: Battlefront II and most recently we have one of the greatest co-op games to ever be put into existence - Gauntlet: Dark Legacy. With all these games in backlog, Cyrus says he will be able to make the most out of his time in confinement. Comfortability is key - AimeeNow to show our amazing support team some love with our Shadow queen Aimee (not a trademarked name - we just made it up)! She uses Shadow Ghost for work almost every day (it’s nice working on a product you love).  Aimee says, “I only start gaming when I'm off of work, and lately, I find myself more interested in Sims than ever (with mods, of course). Something about social simulation and creativity that really puts my mind at ease. I may pick FFXIV back up for that reason.” If you ever got a chance to play with modded Sims, you definitely understand what she means. And Final Fantasy… do we even need to get started on that franchise.We got a streamer in the house - RyanNow this is someone many of you reading this already know: our lovely Community Manager - Mr. Ryan (he doesn’t go by Mr. but what he doesn’t know wont hurt him haha). As you can see below, Ryan is a streamer at heart (even has the soundproofing foam to prove it). Ryan “started and finished Borderlands 3 for the first time. Playing a run n' gun style build as the Siren character Amara. Working on my Jungle game in LoL, recently getting Mastery 7 on Jarvan IV too!” As you can see, we have a lot of Borderlands fans (as well we should - amazing franchise). Also, pretty much the vast majority of us here at Shadow use League of Legends to stay sane. But hey, it’s how we stay connected. There’s nothing better than coming online and making a Shadow squad of 5 to chat about the day. :)Do I have enough controllers? - AriIt is only fitting that the man with all the controllers is our happy-go-lucky, swagger-walking Ari. Ari enjoys long walks along the beach, something he cannot do at the moment. So, to keep joyous during this time, he put more of his focus into gaming. At the moment, Ari explains, “I’ve been playing Dark Souls for the past several days, to remind me how my life is easy and convenient compared to being stuck in the catacombs with no more estus flasks.” You know you’re being engrossed in a game when your jokes start revolving around it.Also, he would like to update everyone that he is “still the best Cassiopeia player in Iron.” We can confirm that this is not the case. Co-op gaming is the only way - ArnaudAs we believe in collaboration at Shadow, Arnaud believes in co-op games while stuck at home. That and infinite figurines (which we appreciate heavily). On top of being surrounded by a plethora of culture, Arnaud has also been using gaming heavily during confinement. He has been having the most fun with co-op games, including “Left 4 Dead 2, Road Redemption on story mode with the Steam Remote Play Together, Sea of Thieves, Dead by Daylight, and For the King.”But our loveable Arnaud doesn’t only limit himself to just co-op games.  “I am also finishing Ori and the Will of the Wisps but this one is a solo game.”If you haven’t got a chance to play any of the Left 4 Dead games, please go try them out. They are some of the most fun you can have. Also, Ori is probably one of the most beautiful games out there. Gaming PositivityRight now, we are all dealing with a time that can be demoralizing, where we feel more alone than ever. And that’s why this is the perfect time to actively keep your spirits up. We here at Shadow use gaming to enjoy our time in confinement and to stay connected when we need it the most. So, play a game with a friend. Make some new ones online. Or play some of the games you know you have been saying you “will get to eventually” but never have. Now’s the time. Keep positive. It’s worth it.Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter if you want to stay informed about the latest news regarding Shadow!

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The Shadow Laser Island: The Truth behind our April Fools’.

There’s a grain of truth in every jokeYou’ve probably read our April Fools’ joke about us finally building our Laser Island. Wait, what? A laser island? I thought you guys were into computers in the cloud? Well, you know at Shadow we love cracking jokes. It’s part of who we are. And we felt this was the perfect opportunity to remind you about our origin story while bringing some smiles in this heavy context. It all started with a jokeHere’s the first truth: the Laser Island was a joke. Originally made by our founder in a press conference to answer a question about “Shadow becoming the next Google,” the joke was first and foremost the living proof of our promise.“I don’t want to become the next Google, I want to buy an island and build a laser on it!” That’s what Emmanuel Freund said to the press about 3 years ago.  We are not here to become a big corporation. We are here to build a dream. As the joke became a running gag repeated in several press moments, it got the attention of our community. And so the joke became a legend.  The legend becomes a rallying cryWhile it’s only known by a few, we called Shadow Island our origin story. Why? Simply because the island is the perfect analogy of what we stand for, what we want to accomplish. It is also, let's be honest, a proof of our bold yet visionary mind. First, the island.  Often seen as our imaginary base of our operations, the island is the symbol for both the starting point and destination of our collective exploration into the future of computers. At Shadow, we are taking gamers on a journey to freedom. The island is part of that journey. It is the place where we see our community, #TeamShadow, live and breathe with us. Exploring, testing, pushing the boundaries of what our industry could be. And also simply having fun with us. Second, the laser.  From the story behind our logo (we shot the moon with the laser - yeah, now you see it), it is the symbol for what we offer (streaming a computer). The laser, at the end of the day, is the perfect epitome of what we stand for: a beacon of freedom. That is what inspired our tagline: stream freedom. Wait, there is a T-Rex? At Shadow, our imagination has no boundaries. Sky's the limit. This is how we approach the disruption of our industry. Making the impossible possible. We had to make our origin story as “crazy” as our dream. The island is not just about the laser in what we now call our lore. It’s also populated by our iconic mascot: Bob the T-Rex.  Bob doesn’t come out of nowhere. He became our lasered-eye mascott through a contest that was done with you, our community. YOU were the ones that gave us this pretty badass of a character as one of our iconic faces. Since then, we keep feeding, expanding and populating this origin story as the foundation for what we do in the company. We brought in the Alpha/Beta Zone. We created the Insider Jungle. We even say we have a portal to explore new worlds (legend says Bob came through that portal). All of this is of course mostly kept internal (for now), but we couldn’t wait to shed a bit of light on this. And, soon, we hope to share more with you all. We hope you liked the joke. I mean, what joke? We definitely have a laser island.

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How is the Cloud changing the PC industry?

The Cloud: is it important to me?You’ve probably heard a lot about the cloud, in some way, shape, or form. And maybe you nod your head when you really want to ask, “What the heck is this cloud?” We get it. The cloud has become a bit of a buzzword (just like ‘synergy’ in 2015 haha). But honestly, there are a lot of implications the cloud has in today’s age. There is a good chance that the cloud affects at least one aspect of your life and you may not even know it. Let’s just clear something really quick regarding the cloud so we can all be on the same page. Cloud computing refers to storing and accessing data (and programs) over the internet instead of using your computer's hard drive. If this helps you see it better, the cloud is really basically a metaphor for the internet. Okay, so what does that have to do with you? Well, for today, we’ll discuss the implications of how bypassing your local hardware limitations has drastically changed the PC industry.How it worksTo get a better understanding of how the cloud works, it’s best to think of it from its two halves: the front end and the back end. These two components are connected to each other through a network (in most cases this would be the Internet). The front end is what you would call the “client” - aka the computer user. The back end is the “cloud” portion of the system.The front end incorporates the client’s computer, the computer network, and the application that allows the computer to connect to the cloud. The back end consists of various computers, servers, and data storage systems that constitute what you think of as “the cloud”. A cloud computing system could potentially include any computer program (i.e. video games) - each most likely with its own dedicated server.What unlocks cloud computing powerOnce a consolidated data center with servers is in place, unlocking that computing power is key, and incidentally the tricky part. Through a technique called server virtualization, a physical server is manipulated into thinking that it’s actually multiple servers with independent operating systems. This method allows for the sustainability of multiple clients utilizing the cloud at once.PC IndustryWhen it comes to the PC industry, traditionally you have had specific computing power established by the specs of your local hardware (your local CPU, RAM, hard drive, graphics card, etc.). To have a powerful PC, you would need strong components for each of these. The thing is… these components can rack up quite the price tag. And then you have to take into consideration the most important aspect: digital obsolescence.  The rate at which PCs become obsolete is growing rapidly, where some hardware components will be obsolete within the year. A lot of this has to do with the fact that programs are increasing how powerful they are so quickly in this day and age. Gaming, editing software, design tools, and so on. It’s quite phenomenal how fast programs are improving. It’s not bad that these tools are growing in capacity. The problem is that hardware can’t keep up and is extremely costly to replace. So, that’s just the reality? Well, it was. The cloud provided the solution the PC industry needed. Cloud: changing the way we view a PCWith the PC industry’s barrier to entry on the rise, the question became, “Who would actually spend upwards of $2000 on a PC?” The answer was not too many people. Gamers make up a large portion of the powerful PC users. And this is because you realistically cannot game without a powerful PC. But then that begs the question, “What if I want to try gaming? What if I want to try editing or designing?” The answer? You can’t. Or… you couldn’t. The cloud changed that.  The cloud allows you to put all the necessary computing power into data centers, and simply stream that computing power onto your device. Okay, that probably sounded a little confusing (extremely confusing). Basically, you don’t use your own PC’s hardware, you utilize hardware from outside and use the internet to leverage it on your device. Pretty cool, right? So, what does this do? Well, let’s break it down into the two big issues and how the cloud solves each:Upfront costs: by not needing your own personal hardware, but instead using powerful centralized hardware, you can have a powerful $2000 PC for a fraction of the cost.Digital obsolescence: since you are streaming outside hardware’s computing power, it’s easy to change the components you are using with stronger ones.Theoretically, the cloud provides a perfect solution to the biggest consumer issue in the PC industry. But is there actually a solution that utilizes that capability? Yes, there in fact is (perfect set up to talk about us, we know).ShadowOh hi there, didn’t see you there. We’re Shadow (we apologize for that joke in advance if it caused you any emotional pain). But seriously, everything we just talked about above, that’s what we do. We use the cloud to stream you an entire ultra-powerful, never obsolete computer to any device. We wouldn’t expect you to just drop thousands of dollars to try a powerful computer. That doesn’t make any sense. So we thought, “What if you could leverage cloud technology to get that strong PC, but for a fraction of the cost?” And that’s just what we did (we’re making it sound super simple, it was actually extremely hard technology to create - shoutout to our ridiculously talented developers).We hold all of the powerful PC components, and you just pay to use those components. And voilà, you are now streaming a super PC onto your old device. Heck, even stream a PC onto your mobile device. No seriously, a PC onto your phone. Super cool stuff going on. Don’t believe us? Check out a satisfied Shadower: No, no. It doesn’t work like that (we can’t just make you Jim Carrey channeling Morgan Freeman). But what we can say is that what you do with that PC is up to you. That’s what Shadow is: Stream Freedom. We don’t limit you. We don’t push you into something you haven’t done before. All we give you is power. The powerful computer you need, where you can do what you want with it. Check your never-ending email inbox. Edit your videos for your up and coming YouTube channel. Play the games you never could on crazy-high graphics. Learn how to code games on Unreal Engine. Or just binge movies all day. Do you. We’re just here to support your endeavors using all the cloud has to offer. :)Implications for the futureWith so much application spending being reserved for service based applications (including cloud computing), the cloud computing market is growing rapidly. Cloud computing is powerful and expansive and will continue to grow in the future and provide many benefits. So, what does this mean for the future?Cloud computing is extremely cost-effective and companies can use it for their growth. This can range from simplified storage capacity to enhanced data analysis. It is predicted that a majority of CRM (customer relationship management) processes will become cloud-based. The future of companies’ ability to interact with their customers is looking like it could be cloud-based.Additionally, the cloud’s ability to reduce the need for individual local hardware will most likely change the accessibility of higher end PC use cases, including gaming. The cloud may be able to put everything a PC has to offer in the palms of each person’s hands. A complete revolution.Excited to get started? We got you. Want to learn more? We have everything you need to know.We’re so excited to bring you the solution to your PC needs!Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter if you want to stay informed about the latest news regarding Shadow!

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The COVID-19 impact on Shadow!

COVID-19San Francisco, March 30, 2020 – The crisis we are going through is unprecedented in many ways. Containment – more or less strict depending on the region – is one of the most striking components, with nearly two billion people confined worldwide. Beyond the concerns that everyone has for themselves and their loved ones, confinement has accentuated at least two fundamental trends in our society: the explosion of gaming usage and work-from-home solutions. This is an expected consequence of this crisis, which is now quantifiable and visible through Shadow’s data usage.Shadow is indeed a cloud computing service, that provides users with a complete computer in the cloud, allowing them to play any game, or launch any PC application. Many users are gamers who have sometimes discovered, thanks to this crisis, the power of such streaming solutions: a complete computer available everywhere, at a time when many employees are looking for a way to work remotely.Connections to Shadow have increased by more than 50% during the day in the United StatesWith containment, users’ free time increased significantly, resulting in more time spent on Shadow. Thus, the number of connections to Shadow surged, increasing every day a little more as the measures hardened, and with the growing number of States and cities deciding to implement stay-at-home measures (c.+40% of daily connections to the service). Since stricter rules were implemented, these figures are particularly high during the day. Usually gamers play more often in the evening or at night, but since they've been locked up at home during the day, the number of sessions before 5 p.m. (local time) has increased by more than 50%. Cloud computing is also an alternative for remote workIn these times where companies are organizing themselves differently, a significant part of these new connections are not running games: these connections are particularly high during week days, and have increased by c.30% compared to pre-crisis levels. Shadow is used for office automation or other professional softwares, especially when employees do not have professional mobility equipment. There’s a scaling effect between US regions according to the chronology of political decisionsThe last lesson learned from reading these data: when comparing the different regions (here, Eastern, Western and Southern States), the use of Shadow seems to mirror the chronology of regional decisions. We observe the strongest increase in the service usage in places where stay-at-home policies have been enforced first: in the Eastern States, where the number of cases quickly exploded and populations took restrictions seriously; then in the Western States, with lower number of cases but early restrictive decisions; and finally in the Southern States, where these kind of measures are the most recent. Note: in this study, Eastern States include South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, State of New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, Washington D.C, Rhode Island; Western States include California, Nevada, Oregon; and Southern States include Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi.If you have any questions about who we are and what we do, click the link below to learn more. Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter if you want to stay informed about the latest news regarding Shadow!

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Bringing Shadow to schools across the US with the Shadow University Program!

Shadow University Program2020 is a big year for Shadow and we want to continue that trend by bringing the Shadow University Program over to the US! We’re always finding ways to get our community involved, especially our student gamers.No matter who you are or where you’re from, you’ve experienced the magic of gaming. From your favorite PC games growing up to the most exciting new AAA titles, our culture revolves around revolutionizing cloud computing with Shadow to free you from the constraints of technology and revolutionize the computing industry. Now, it’s your turn to help share this mission by becoming a Campus Ambassador to share the power of cloud computing to all!  What is it?The Shadow University Program is our partnership program with students looking to get their feet wet in the gaming industry (and help Shadow at the same time). It also happens to be the coolest student program to support your endeavors!As a Campus Ambassador, you’ll get the chance to dive right into the world of gaming to start your adventure. You’ll just need to form a party of 2 to 5 team members.What do you do?Students will get to partake in a 10-week long program where you get to help share the mission of Shadow on your campus.You’ll be able to partake in the battle against digital obsolescence to fundamentally change society’s relationship with technology.Each week you’ll be given missions and quests to complete that are related to both gaming and Shadow! Remember, you’ll be competing against other parties out there (so get your game face on).Successfully complete a mission and earn experience points to rise up on the ranking board. Earn your spot as one of the TOP 3 teams for rewards and bonuses. The more points you earn, the better the reward.Excited? Wondering what some of those missions are? Our missions and quests range anywhere from creating a Shadow inspired Minecraft environment to playing games as a team to sharing Shadow at your campus clubs. We’ll constantly be keeping it interesting. Ready to get started?Applications for the Spring 2020 season are live now! Don’t miss this experience of a lifetime as you live, learn and play games through Shadow. It's time to revolutionize the world starting at your campus with the power of cloud computing.I know, I know! You’re as excited as we are! So what are you waiting for? Let’s go get this bread!Fill out our application form here! And we’ll get back to you soon.And go ahead and check new site just for the program below: Don’t forget to follow us on social media for all the latest and greatest news about our programs and company. And we want to follow your journey, too! Share your experience using #TeamShadow.Please note that this is a volunteer experience and we greatly appreciate everyone who will be volunteering their time.

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Shadow introduces their newest venture: the VR Exploration Program!

VR Explorer ProgramReality’s a crazy thing, huh? Luckily, we live in a time where you can explore virtual realities, from travelling to monuments and breathtaking tourist vistas, to ripping through a few songs in a new dimension.But VR is expensive and considered reserved for an elite. At Shadow we want to break that barrier and bring this incredible experience to the masses. Thanks to the possibilities of the cloud and the latest VR headsets, we have a unique opportunity to create a VR experience that is affordable, cable free, and allows us to play games without limitations.What we want at Shadow is to give everyone access to a powerful gaming PC so that we can play all the latest games. But, we want to take that belief and expand it. So, we also want to bring you this with VR.Hey, maybe a super cool, brand new VR game is coming out this week… wink haha. But you probably can’t play it. Participating in VR requires complex and expensive setups, with large physical limitations. This is yet another challenge we want to solve in order to bring more freedom to gamers. The reason we’re going into VR is exactly the reason we decided to make Shadow in the first place: to let people play any game they want by breaking the hardware limit (cost, complexity, obsolescence).  And we want to do that with our community.We’ve seen you, yes, *you*, our lovely community, getting VR and Shadow to play together (not always perfect but oh so clever, haha). It’s been so wonderful to see what you all have been able to achieve using Shadow!Truth be told, we want in on the fun.VR on ShadowToday, we are excited to announce the first step towards VR being officially supported on Shadow! We have been working on VR for some time and we are excited to finally have a foundation for a few members of #TeamShadow to mess around with and that we may build upon for the future.This new project combines the power of the Shadow infrastructure and our bleeding edge streaming technology with the freedom allowed by the cloud and the latest VR devices to provide a truly unique experience. And as always with Shadow, the goal will be to allow you to play any game (we’re on it!).Latency is one of the major challenges in VR. With our world class technology, we managed to bring to Shadow users a local like experience for regular PC games and we plan to do the same with VR. We need our community to beta test our app in diverse connectivity conditions in order to fine tune our algorithms and create the best possible experience for everyone.Tackling VR in the cloud is no small task. No one has done it before, but with our secret weapons in store we feel up to the challenge. Our secret?We invite you, the #TeamShadow community, to join us in yet another venture of collective exploration as we push the potential of Shadow to greater heights. We will be working with the most engaged Shadowers, for enthusiastic early adopters, and for those who are passionate beyond ordinary “passionate” to shape the future of VR.If VR on Shadow becomes an official part of our offer, it will only be possible thanks to this collective exploration initiative (and all of you early testers)! :)How did we choose our squad?Note: First round of selection on the below criteria is now closed. Thanks to all that participated! As this is going to be an Alpha test, there were many variables to consider (we’re really giving this our 110%). To understand our testing group, we’ve detailed the criteria used to determine participants here:VR KnowledgeOwn an Oculus QuestFamiliar with VR tech (ideally, you’ve tested many VR setups and games)Have a Steam account with owned VR gamesEquipment/Connection RequirementsHave an internet connection of at least 100 mbps download, 20 mbps uploadHave a ping less than 15ms to your Shadow datacenter (check using the Shadow overlay)Have a 5Ghz Wi-Fi router, and be able to play near it to ensure having a connection as stable as possible#TeamShadow SpiritFamiliar with Windows 10 PC environmentAvailable on Discord to give regular and technical feedback to Shadow development teamsSpeak EnglishWilling to authorize development teams to access your Shadow for debug analysisA US-based userWilling to sign an NDAThe requirements may seem to be rather specific, but they are crucial for our collective exploration towards new VR possibilities. Note that there will only be 20 people qualified in the first round to keep the testing at a dissectable sample size. If you haven’t qualified at this time, don’t worry. As time passes and VR on Shadow is further developed, the program will likely become more open with new testing opportunities. We hope you all are as excited as we are as we make entry into this ever-growing territory. Let the program begin!

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COVID-19: impacts on Shadow

COVID-19 and the internetIn light of COVID-19, governments are following the advice of health officials by asking people to self-isolate as a protective measure. This is having a big impact on daily life as we know it and is limiting activities to the confines of our home. With that, it comes to no surprise that streaming and Internet-based services now play an even more important role in our lives, promoting a significant uptick in use. The increased data consumption through streaming services has a big impact on the bandwidth and overall quality of said streaming platforms but is also a huge stress test for our local internet providers.Shadow is no exception. Latest updatesFor today, everything you need to know will be explained below. As this situation with COVID-19 is constantly changing, we at Shadow want to be able to provide the most updated information on the status as it pertains to Shadow and you. We are aware that you will have many questions, so we will do our best to share real-time changes as soon as possible.Friday July 3:If you have any questions regarding your (pre-)order please contact our Help Center. If you have a specific question about your situation, please contact our support team.Weekly updates on the current status of pre-order activations can be found on our forum.Weekly Discord Updates no longer take place.Friday April 24:Due to a stabilization of the current situation (activation & peak time related issues) we will reduce our updates and only share news when needed.Update Thursday April 17th:Have a nice weekend!Update Thursday April 16th:We managed to catch up with Shadow activations in our Amsterdam datacenter. All users that ordered prior to February 19th with an April delivery date have been activated. The Paris datacenter is unfortunately a bit less stable since the impact of COVID-19. We are working on finding a balanced approach between activating new accounts and maintaining a good experience for current users.Update Wednesday April 15th:Activations for preordered additional storage are now over. Most of you have been activated. Again, remember to shut down Windows on your Shadow and reboot it in order to access your new storage (if not done already).We ran into some issues for some activations. For those cases you will be contacted directly by support or via email to solve your issues. While we are exploring plans to accelerate activations, global activation rhythm is still slow. On another note, we are very proud to have provided 4000 safety masks to an hospital in the East of France, thanks to our Shadow Ghost provider. Update Tuesday April 14th:We are exploring ways to get more activations done this week. Activations for preordered additional storage started today for Paris and Amsterdam (complete). You must shut down Windows on your Shadow and reboot it in order to access your new storage. Update Friday April 10th:A bird chirped to us that the Easter egg could be additional storage space next week. Reminder: keep a close eye on your emails and our various channels starting from Tuesday next week!Update Thursday April 9th:Additional storage: more information in the coming days. Watch your emails and our upcoming announcements!Update Wednesday April 8th: Activations are ongoing slowly but surely. We will keep a close eye on the load data.Update Tuesday April 7th: No news, which is good news.For more news, read below. Update Monday April 6th:Good news: our datacenters were stable over the weekend! As a consequence, we will slowly restart activations day-by-day this week in Paris and Amsterdam. US activations are still ongoing slowly in order for us to keep the right balance between activations and the stability of our datacenters. Update Friday April 3rd:We will monitor the situation closely over the weekend before making decisions on activations. Have a nice weekend! Update Thursday April 2nd: We see a promising stabilization of our data centers’ overload during the week days. We will monitor the situation closely over the weekend before making decisions on activations. Update Wednesday April 1st: We are monitoring the impact of the activation test closely. We are building a laser.Update Tuesday March 31st:Over the past weeks, we have monitored our datacenters on a daily basis to identify opportunities to reopen activations. After seeing a hopeful trend (within such a terrible situation), we decided to perform a test and activate a small group of users on Shadow Boost in Amsterdam today. We will closely monitor the impact of these activations, and based on the results, may activate more users within the week. Starting today in both our Paris and Amsterdam datacenters, our activation process will be stop-and-go, based on real-time data monitoring. Update Monday March 30th:It’s been 2 weeks and we thought it would be good to start the week with an overview of key elements:The confinement measures had a drastic impact on the use of Shadow across all countries (see update March 20th).As a first consequence, we had to pause all activations on Shadow Boost to mitigate the situation. We also worked on and rolled out solutions to improve the situation even further: undefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedFirst results are showing strong improvements in users' experience and Shadow accessibilityFirst batch of Shadow Ultra & Shadow Infinite activations have been completed in March. USA: we are still activating Shadow Boost - yet very slowly. Update Friday March 27th:We are working on more solutions and running new tests. Update Thursday March 26th:Shadow Boost activations are still on hold in the EU. Shadow Ultra and Infinite activations are on track. We solved most issues and are now on the last mile with 300 users left to activate. It will be done by Monday end of day. Thanks for your patience. We hope you enjoy the new configs! Extra storage activation has been delayed to mid April due so as to focus on managing the impact of confinement on users' experience. Update Wednesday March 25th:Since yesterday, we have implemented a new prioritization system to better manage the access to Shadow during peak time. How does it work? Basically, when you are trying to access your Shadow but our datacenters are running at full capacity, the system will give you priority for any freed spot as long as you try to reconnect within the next 10 minutes. So, if John tries to connect at 6:30pm and there's no spot available, he'll enter a queue:John gets "priority" for the next 10 minutes. If he tries to reconnect during this 10 minute window and still has no spot, he will keep his position in the queue.If John does not try to launch his Shadow again during the 10 minute window, he'll lose his position in the queue. So, as long as John tries to connect every 10 minutes (or less), he'll keep his position in the queue.Update Tuesday March 24th: We are testing some of our improvement solutions today. We will tell you more about it once we have more feedback and provide visibility on how it works after testing has been completed.Update Monday March 23rd: With 100% of users in confinement, the Paris datacenter is the most impacted one. This weekend, due to even higher demand between 4pm and 8pm, some users had trouble accessing their Shadow. We had to limit capacity to meet our power contract and be able to serve everyone else. We are still working on solutions to solve this. News should come this week. The Amsterdam datacenter is not exceeding our limit yet, but we expect the change in confinement rules in Germany to impact it soon. Overall, GPUs are used more than they were before. Recent demanding games that you are probably playing even more than before might be the cause. Don’t forget our tips please! As we are migrating users from Shadow Boost datacenters (Paris/Amsterdam) to Shadow Ultra/Infinite datacenters, we hope to see improvement (freeing space, lowering power consumption).However, activations of Shadow Boost are still drastically on hold in the EU and drastically slowed down in the US. Update Friday March 20th: Some insights on how the confinement impacted Shadow usage:+60% daily connection in France vs average and x2 more day sessions than usual +32% daily connection in UK vs average and +48% more day sessions than usual+30% daily connection in Germany vs average and 46% more day sessions than usual In the US, the number of connections during the day (before 5PM) increased by 41% (yesterday vs average). Keep following our tips.Thanks #TeamShadow!Last note: our support team might be longer than usual to answer due to a significant increase of contacts. Please remember to read this article on the most common issues to find the answers you might need! Update Thursday March 19th: Thanks to the actions we took over the past few days, we are seeing improvements in accessing Shadow since last night. A big thanks to you, #TeamShadow, for helping us out. Please continue to follow our tips! For all people that pre-ordered a Shadow Ghost, they are unfortunately still in lockdown in the factory in China. We are closing Shadow Ghost orders until further notice. Update Wednesday March 18th: We improved the L:201 / L:202 capacity overload error messages you may have encountered while trying to login. Learn more in our dedicated Help Center article.On occasion, users are unable to access their Shadow. This is because we are over exceeding the amount of electrical power consumption authorized in contracts with our providers. We are working on a solution and will provide an update as soon as we have more information.With Internet providers lowering their bandwidth cap due to the COVID-19 crisis, we expect a higher usage of Shadow, and thus an impact to your overall experience. In the meantime, we recommend you lower your bandwidth settings (30 Mb/s recommended) when using Shadow . Activation times in US datacenters are now slower compared to yesterday.  Update Tuesday March 17th: Shadow BOOST activation in Paris and Amsterdam datacenters are drastically slowed down for the week to allow us to have more visibility on the situationFrom today, any Shadow that is not used for 30 minutes in a row will be automatically shut down. Also, please think about turning your Shadow down when you don’t use it!Under no circumstances use your Shadow to folding@home. We know it’s for a very good and necessary cause, but this would block Shadows for others to use. We, as a company, are looking how we could contribute to this project in the short term with our infra, when it’s not full, and will let the community know.In further precautionary efforts, one of our datacenter partner has reduced their max capacity to better manage and optimize their overall electrical power surge during peak times.What about Shadow?Shadow, your favorite and most powerful computer in the cloud, is sadly no exception when it comes to the necessity of stable internet and an adequate bandwidth. This means that it cannot be ruled out that some issues may arise due to the unprecedented increase in workload. More than that and due to the fact of Shadow using a system of shared resources (which is not so far from the model your local gym is using) other issues can rise up from time to time. Shared resources is based on the theory that at no point will everyone with a Shadow subscription also use Shadow at the same time.To still make sure that most of our hardware is being used and not just collecting dust, we onboard users up until an estimated threshold of peak time. This way Shadow is usable by everyone who wants to use it without any loss in experience.An extraordinary but disruptive event like a pandemic will of course push this system to its limits. In our current situation, this means an increase in Shadowers wanting to use their Shadow at the same time. Just like in a gym, this can mean that all the machines and bar-bells are being used when you feel the sudden but strong urge to work on your biceps. To make it short, the increased interest in using internet based services, like Shadow, can lead to the following issues for you:performance issues (like artifacts or a high-ping)sudden log-offs from your Shadownot being able to login, because all hardware is in useWhat to do?All of this doesn’t mean that you should relinquish using your Shadow, not at all. Na-ah. But you might want to make sure that you give everyone (including yourself) a good time with their Shadow.How to do that? Well that’s actually quite simple:limit the allocated bandwidth of your Shadow to an acceptable amountonly turn on your Shadow when you actually use itWarning: Under no circumstances use your Shadow to fold@home.We know it’s for a very good and necessary cause, but this would block Shadows for others to use.What does Shadow do?Of course we are not sitting idly by, with all of this but will try to give each and everyone of you access to your most precious hobby (let’s just assume it’s playing video games).We are monitoring everything closely to let you know as fast as possible what the status in our data centers is. Speaking of status, our status page will be regularly updated to keep you informed: https://status.shadow.tech/ Sadly this increased usage also has an impact on our overall activation of Shadow Boost which will have to progress slower than hoped for. Otherwise there will only be more users queuing up for those dumb-bells. To make sure that those queues are not getting too long, while someone is not using their Shadow at all, we updated our shutdown policy exceptionally for this situation. Everyone not using their Shadow for a period of consecutive 30min, will be logged off automatically.Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter if you want to stay informed about the latest news regarding Shadow!

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With Shadow, PC gaming becomes more accessible and even more powerful

A new Shadow, now coast-to-coastShadow has been one of the biggest players in cloud PC for years. By 2018, it had made its mark in the United States. But the company didn’t stop there. Fast forward to 2020, where Shadow has been iterating upon its flagship product looking towards expansion. Shadow has dreamed of one day covering the entire United States. Well, it would seem today is that day. New OffersShadow becomes more accessible for all with its new Shadow Boost offer starting at $11.99 per month, aiming at making high quality gaming accessible to more players. The company also opened a mailing list to keep users informed with the latest news regarding the exclusive, supercharged configurations with ray tracing, that will be sold through a limited offer by Summer.SIGN UP NOWBe the first to know about Shadow Ultra & Shadow Infinite news! New Experience  Opening PC gaming to more people also involves making it much simpler: with its new mobile & TV apps, Shadow now combines the increased power of a PC and the simplicity of a console, thereby breaking the traditional limits between console and PC gaming, to focus purely on the best, smoothest experience across screens. Those apps are constantly improved through ongoing collaboration with our community. New TerritoriesThanks to technological improvements made together with its community, Shadow is able to expand and use its 4 data centers in the US to cover the territory coast-to-coast - a first step before further expansion in North America by 2021. We'll be monitoring very closely the service quality in those newly open states and, so far, advise potential users not to subscribe for competitive FPS gaming/e-Sport.  New InnovationsTechnological breakthrough also enables Shadow to look even further to fulfil its bigger mission: make all devices very smart. After PC, laptops, mobile, and TVs, Shadow now revolutionizes VR by launching the Shadow VR Exploration Program to play the most recent VR game on an Oculus Quest powered by Shadow. Subscriptions will be open on March 12th, and the selected participants will be notified on March 23rd (release of Half Life). New PartnersTo support its growth and expansion, Shadow announces a strategic partnership with LG Electronics, which includes LG taking an equity stake in Shadow, as well as upcoming projects that will connect Shadow services with LG’s various products. LG Electronics currently offers UltraGear gaming monitors worldwide (including the world’s first 1 ms Nano IPS monitor), which deliver both great image quality and fast response time, making them perfectly suited to get the most out of Shadow’s power. This partnership brings the total funds raised by Shadow to $110M and prepares for further growth, including Shadow’s upcoming launch in South Korea. Want to learn more?The company has worked so hard this last year to bring you the strongest, most accessible version of Shadow to date. Shadow will always be improving its product, constantly striving for the best iteration possible. But the company is so proud to present the new Shadow in the United States, now available coast-to-coast. With that dream realized, Shadow looks to the future. This is just the beginning for the new Shadow, so get ready for what’s in store for 2020.If you want to learn more about the improved Shadow, click below for more information!

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