Is Microsoft following Google's lead on AI?

Nadella often says mobility is not about a single device but rather the mobility of a user's experiences across many devices supported by an intelligent cloud.

Google's CEO Sundar Pichai said in an interview just before Google I/O 2016 that he's "on a journey from mobile to AI."

The interview further expounded: "Pichai is also focused on shifting Google's journey from 'mobile-first to AI-first.'"

Coincidentally, during his keynote at Build 2017, Nadella shared that Microsoft too is moving from a mobile-first, cloud-first vision to one that places AI at the forefront.

So is Microsoft following Google?

The future of the PC is a family of devices connected by an intelligent cloud

Shift from mobile first, cloud first?

Nadella stated the following during his Build 2017 keynote:

We're moving from what is today's mobile-first, cloud-first world to a new world that is going to be made of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge.[The] user experience is getting distributed across devices. It's no longer just mobile first ... it's not about one device, an app model for one device. The user experience itself is going to span all of your devices ...Your personal digital assistant by definition is going to be available on all your devices. [As] you move between devices it's going to be there helping you gets tasks done.

Nadella during his Build 2017 keynote.

Oddly, it seems that Nadella is defining mobile first as being centered around one device and a single app model, rather than how he historically defined it. Furthermore, his shift toward an intelligent cloud and intelligent edge vision now adopts the "mobility-of-experiences" definition he historically applied to his mobile-first, cloud-first vision.

He further explained this platform shift has an AI focus that benefits from investments in the "edge of the cloud." Serverless computing allows for pieces of logic to exist outside of the bounds of a virtual machine (VM) making that logic mobile. Existing on the "edge of the cloud" where hundreds of gigabytes of data can be processed for tasks such as those associated with an autonomous or connected car, computational power moves to the cloud's edge. Nadella explained that AI in such an environment is more distributed.

Clearly, Microsoft's "mobility-of-experiences" vision remains unchanged, though it resides beneath an AI-first umbrella. Furthermore, investments in AI have been a decades-long strategy for Microsoft. Given these facts, one must wonder if Nadella's public setting of a new pole star from mobile first, cloud first to an AI-focused guidance is a reactive measure to Google's clear dedication to and observable success in the same.

Google's all about AI

Like Microsoft, Google invested in first-party hardware but for different reasons.

Microsoft's hardware strategy positions a growing family of Windows 10 devices as an actual and aspirational medium for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). Google's hardware strategy provides a platform for its AI vision.

Both Microsoft and Google are invested in hardware, though for different reasons

Google's earlier AI, Google's Now, was founded on the popular industry-leading Google search engine. Its ability to serve and anticipate a range of Android and iPhone users' needs made it a leading personal assistant.

Unlike its rivals, Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana, however, it lacked attributes that made it personal. With Google Assistant, which is described as a user's personal Google, the Mountain View company has attempted to reframe the powerful search engine as every individual's personal Google.

Ok, Google Assistant

Google Assistant is more personal than its predecessor and gets to know users over time. During Google I/O 2016, the Google Home smart speaker, the Pixel smartphones, and Google's new messenger Allo were all introduced as platforms for the Assistant.

Truth be told, Google Assistant is as much a defensive move as it is an offensive move for Google. In an app- and AI-dominated world, "search" is no longer just a destination we go to; it's integrated into our apps and digital assistants. Google confronts this challenge to its core (ad revenue) business by making search personal and marketing Assistant as an evolution of the familiar Google search engine.

Google wants users to know its AI has the advantage of being based on the world's leading search engine. Rishi Chandra, vice president of product management for Google's living room devices, said: "There is no better engine of answering any question that you have. We fundamentally believe that."

Microsoft may fear that this is true given the number two position of Bing and consumers' general lack of awareness of Cortana.

Google's AI push

This year, Google expanded its AI vision by adding Google Assistant to smartwatches, Android TV, cars and the iPhone (joining Siri and Cortana). The company also expanded the Assistant's ability through Google Home and Chromecast. Visual responses from Google Home can now appear on the TV.

Google I/O 2017.

Google Lens, the company's AI-driven camera app, allows users to point their phones' cameras at people, places and things to glean information about them based on Google's extensive knowledge graph.

Like Microsoft and the 2016 private preview release and recent general release of the Cortana SDK, Google has released the Assistant SDK. Third parties can now integrate Assistant into their hardware as Cortana was incorporated into the Harman Kardon speaker.

Microsoft, Cortana and AI

In 2014, while the tech world was focused on health platforms, wearables and the rumored bigger iPhones, Microsoft was fine-tuning its AI vision. Cortana was about to make its debut on Windows Phone. Beyond a mere voice assistant, it was obvious then Cortana had potential as an intelligent UI for transient computing across Windows devices.

AI, bots and canvases: An evolving view of Microsoft's AI vison

In early 2014, few foresaw Microsoft's embrace of the iPhone and Android, however, though by July 2015 it was evident. Nor did I see, then, Cortana as a singular artificial intelligent UI for users' experiences across Windows, iOS and Android bound together by the Microsoft graph, as demonstrated at Build 2017.

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave a forward-looking description (opens in new tab) of the unifying effects of Microsoft's graph in 2013. His statements are specific to Windows devices but foreshadow Microsoft's Windows-as-a-hub, binding users' cross-platform experiences:

The experience we will deliver across all our devices centers on the idea of better connecting people with the things they care about most ... files, documents, photos, videos, notes, websites, snippets, digital history, schedules, tasks, and mail and other messages, combined with real-time information from our devices and services.It is more than what we think of as the shell today, and no current label really fits where we are headed.The shell will support the experiences layer and broker information among our services to bring them together on our devices in ways that will enable richer and deeper app experiences.

Microsoft's graph as a unifier of all platforms and experiences is a vital part of the company's AI and platform vision.

As a single underlying "super platform," Microsoft's graph enables Cortana to become the UI for experiences for all platforms. This approach to AI in conjunction with Cortana's democratization via the SDK makes Microsoft's strategy a worthy contender to Google's well-positioned Assistant.

Are Microsoft's AI efforts following Google's?

Microsoft began investments in machine learning, natural language processing, and deep neural networks long before Google became an AI-first company.

Ballmer and Gates pave way for Nadella's AI vision

In the following video, Microsoft Research's Eric Horvitz talks about the company's investments in AI:

During Build 2016, Microsoft introduced Conversation as a Canvas and the Bots Framework. Nadella also described Cortana as a meta-app that would interface with bots. Apps such as Skype, WhatsApp, Line, Slack and others were described as canvases for conversations that would connect with bots and AI, and human language was then identified as the UI.

This year's integration of iOS and Android into the Microsoft graph and Cortana's positioning as its UI is the progression of an AI vision at Microsoft that had early roots in Microsoft Bob.

So, no, Microsoft is not following Google's AI efforts.

I believe, however, that Nadella's statement shifting Microsoft from a mobile-first, cloud-first motto is a deliberate public acknowledgment of his awareness of how important and competitive AI has become and will be. Considering Microsoft's already considerable investments in and previously communicated plans for AI, I believe Microsoft wanted the industry and competitors to know that, like Google, Redmond is all about AI.

Must Read:

AI, bot's and canvases: Five-part series on Microsoft's AI strategy (opens in new tab)

The Internet of Intelligent Things: Google, Samsung, Microsoft and the new battlefront

Microsoft's cognitive services

Jason Ward

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

  • Thanks for reading folks!!! Obviously Microsoft has decades worth of investments in AI and is not following Google's very respectable advancements in the area. What I found interesting as I watched Satya Nadella's Build 2017 keynote, however, was his very clear and deliberate departure from the mantra we Windows phone fans know all too well, "Mobile-first, Cloud-first", to an intelligence-driven (AI-driven) guidance. It immediately reminded me of Google's CEO Sundar Pichai's departure from a mobile-first, to an AI-first focus that he articulated a year ago. Clearly, Microsoft has had investments in AI for years, but only now is it placing the emphasis on AI as it's guidance as Google did last year. What do you think? Is Microsoft trying to make sure the industry and competitors know that it's AI strategy is a priority by placing it as the public guidance for the company, rather than Mobile-first, cloud-first philosophy (which Nadella articulates is still part of the company's strategy by the way)? The industry is increasingly AI-driven from IoT, mixed reality, Surveillance Tech and more. Public perception is a part of industry rival battles just technology advancement's and products. I think it was was for MS to "update" it's guiding philosophy to an AI-driven one to match it's investments and the industry's direction. Google's jump on this a year earlier of course, gives it the perception as being more forward-thinking here. What do you think? Was Microsoft being reactive here? Were they to slow to focus thier public message and philosophy with an alignment with it's AI investments allowing Google to position more aggressively as more forward thinking in regards to an AI-driven focus. LET'S TALK!
  • AI  is very much Cloud First.  And of course, no, MS is not following Google's  "lead"  however Google is the most populist brand of all, and as such it has better success in marketing terms. More recognizeable. Beating someone in GO, is different than running an entire city with an AI heart, (IBM does that without a making much fuss about it,) or leading in image and voice recognition etc. etc. as Microsoft does. Cortana is not AI, not by a longshot, but it should be empowered by AI if Microsoft wants Cortana to thrive and their hidden deeply undergound marvels to come to the surface.  Last but not least, for AI to work, it needs a lot of data, data that is acquired by users as they go about their daily usage scenarios. And while google  has a "carte blanche" there, Microsoft is constantly a victim of endless ridiculous press bourne witchhunts. Microsoft continues to have a press problem, more conspicuous than before, but still there. Perhaps, unlike google they can't offer much to the various tech websites? 
  • Bingo!
    It is very much a natural progress and "Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge" only better articulates the path we are following.
    It is not at all surprising that Google and more are following a like path.
  • Machine learning programs are incredibly narrow. Because of this, various assistants will gain leads in specialised areas. Apple, MS and googles assistants will becomes "better at different things". MS seems to be focusing on natural language interactions. Googe appears to be focusing on expanding search functionality. Apple may also be heading into search IMO - they have invested in dark data AI AND partnered with IBM, to gain use of watson. I think google is smart to be AI first right now, because someone like apple could beat them at their own game with an AI that actually catergorizes content rather than uses markers. MS on on the other hand, like apple, and sony have the potential for AR/VR markets - because they have more powerful hardware under their platforms. 
    This is another reason why google has to be AI first - phones will not be a profit core of VR/AR. Googles best chance of future proofing itself is the IoT. 
  • Microsoft isnt following Google's lead but heading to a different space. Google is strong in the consumer space. It occupies 80% of the smartphone market and it's devices are available globally. It's leveraging that Google AI is an "ambient presence" everywhere. Amazon is it's main competition with Alexa. Microsoft Cortana is only fully functional in the USA and only really present on the PC for all practical purposes. Microsoft are largely ignoring consumer and are hitting the enterprise sector using their on-premise dominance to move to hybrid and full cloud adoption. The Google consumer has a cheap TV solution in chromecast, a mobile phone solution, an assistant solution. The Microsoft consumer has a $400 Xbox One for movies, Cortana that is only fully enabled in the USA, no mobile platform for 99% of consumers and no home voice control interface. On the latter they are 18 months behind and are waiting for a partner to produce a "US Only" device. There is nothing wrong with being an enterprise company. Nadella's mission was not innovation but shareholder value.  The easiest way to summarise this is that you can get 5 installs for a family edition of Office 365 but Groove music still has no family plan after many years. It's not following Google but rather Microsoft is on a parallel track in which consumer isn't included.
  • Then i have a different Cortana than yours.
    It run's on my Lumia 950, it runs on my Blackberry DTEC50, it runs on my Surface 3. It even runs in my BMW iDrive when the phone is connected.  Also, i control my smart home via Homematic and Phillips Hue (both have 3rd party Cortana enabled apps) And the only piece of addintional hardware i needed for this is the Windows Hello Capable Webcam for my Desktop.   
  • Cortana is different in different markets. The US has the full feature set whereas the UK, where I am, doesn't support flight tracking from email messages. (Having said that I am flying on holiday at the weekend so I will see if it picks up on that)
  • Ie8irri8jdriiiiidjdiijdc in fr r orídosee xiiiii a irríddrîdrkdyid Dr 00id oii in djdPhone
  • Cortana isn't even close to AI, it's a search engine with a few responses, it doesn't learn at, it just does what it's been programmed to do.
  • and it doesnt yet work everywhr
  • Sure would be nice if you could freaking spell!! 'Y', 'U', and 'everywhr' are NOT words!! I don't like reading garbage!!
  • In general I would agree.  But on my phone Cortana tells me before I leave home or work if the traffic is good or bad and how long it will take me to get there.  So in that sense it has learned how to provide information.  Sure I guess it is somewhat programmed to do that but still it's intuitive to provide feedback even when I'm not directly asking for it.  I still contend the Kinect could have been the precursor to all of this had Microsoft stayed focus on it long enough.  Oh well.
  • There is no actual AI anywhere at least on the consumer level. The point is to start working on developing that.
  • Of course, no assistants are primarily machine learning yet. Machine learning is very narrow, and nobody could build an entire natural language platform from one yet. 
  • running out of ideas for editorials?
  • Actually AI's a pretty big deal😉 Great topic to delve into!
  • Oh I know abt AI, but this article lacks depth, u start with saying Did MS copy google and end up saying it didnt, what was the point?
  • Actually, the conclusion was "no" they aren't following Google in regard to thier AI efforts, but may have been reactive to Google's year old shift to an AI first guidance, in their public shift to an AI-first rather than Mobile-first motto this year. The article points to a shift some may not have known occurred in Nadella's guiding principal from the well known mobile-first cloud-first motto to an AI-focused one. It then frames that in a slightly broader context including one of Microsoft's main competitors (though there are others) who competes on the broadest range of similar services than any of MS other rivals: cloud, productivity, AI, hardware etc. (Other rivals compete with MS on less fronts.) Also, not all readers here, as MS fans, watch the competition as closely as others, so by providing the context of Googles AI foundations, progress and hardware strategy that is AI focused (whereas Microsoft's is UWP focused) readers can see where MS sits in relation to Google. This provokes critical thinking to see MS in relation to the broader picture rather than in a microcosm. Pointing then to Microsoft's long AI, machine learning, deep neural network history brings a history to the forefront that may be being overshadowed by Google's very public and consumer recognized AI efforts with Google Home, Assistant, ect. Some folks because Google's AI efforts are very consumer facing on the large Android platform may not realize the investments Microsoft has made and is making in AI. This article provides that information and perhaps let's some who think MS is following Google's AI strategy know, (because of thier consumer facing progress), that "No" MS is not following Google. You point out that I open with a question "is MS following Google and close with the response "No" they are not." And you then present that that partial conclusion (you missed the fuller answer as I pointed out at the beginning of this reply) as if a "No" somehow takes away from what is communicated. Would it have been better if, the answer were, "Yes, they are following Google?"🤔
  • Neither yes MS is following Google nor No MS is not following google is correct. There was no need to start with a sensational headline. A simple headline that says AI - Ms and competition n than an article that explores what MS n Google are doing should have been enough. It almost seems like the attempt was to pit ms fans n not so ms fans against each other for debates n gain some traffic
  • Dang dude he just schooled you. How do you feel?
  • Please. Jason Ward couldn't school a goldfish. Another article with random ramblings, obtuse points and entire paragraphs saying absolutely nothing, or guessing, or deriving obscure conclusions from random statements by executives. He's the technological equivalent of a conspiracy theorist. And a boring one at that.
  • Boring? But you read his article's Everytime? Ok.
  • Hi eryker, despite your obvious dislike of my work you are among the faithful readers nonetheless. Thanks for the support!🙂
    Now that you're here, I invite you to articulate an intelligent point by point rebuttal to the what I put forth in the article.
    In all sincerity, I am convinced you can raise the level of discourse above insults and personal attacks. They add nothing to the conversation.
    Let's talk about the topic of the piece. Give us your perspective, even if it differs from mine.
    Unwarranted insults are beneath you and everyone here. 😉
  • Running out of ideas for comments?
  • Running out of ideas for replies ?
  • replies? Lets face it, Microsoft is behind the future tech/vision. Reminds me a bit of Apple which is lost without Jobs. Thats all I can say.
  • I think it's intersting that MS efforts focus around the use of FPGA's while Google is using dedicated nVidia hardware. I'd like to see what you make of that, Jason.  Othwerwise, great read as always.  Thank you for your insights.
  • Is Microsoft following Google's lead on AI? Microsoft doesn't follow, if they can't buy it, they misappropriate it for their own use, and what they don't understand, they tend to destroy, it's human and Microsoft nature.
  • In other words, Microsoft is realizing that there's a new thing emerging around the corner and, unlike the smartphone market, it wants to make sure it does not miss the boat again like it did
  • However I think that will be hard, since they are missing just that: Smartphones. The devices we bring along every day. That we interact most often with. Integration can only go so far if they do not own the platform and currently google is the one who does own it and so they will have a major advantage and give microsoft a hard time. They can only hope that the next big device-trend that will emerge from smartphones will be one, where their positon is stronger. Otherwise they will loose this battle pretty badly imo.
  • I don't think they are following, they are certainly not an year late, Build 2016 was all about Inteligent cloud, Bots and AI for Ms as well, and that's been a trend ever since the Mobile First, Cloud First days. It's just an industry wide push towards unleashing all the processing power available at the could towards making our lifes easier, and something all the big cloud providers are doing.
  • Na minha opinoão a Microsoft está no caminho certo. Segue investindo em recursos que, na realidade, não são seu foco. O tempo de resposta é da concorrência que está sempre de olho na MS 
  • I have to say this: Let's just for a second acknowledge Googles efforts in localisation. Microsoft has to get this fixed. As long as Cortana is mostly restricted to the US it will never be what MS aims it to be ... :/
  • Very "clickbait" headline meant to enrage MS fans and prove moral superiority when fans spout off without reading the whole article. Right near the article you answer the question. "So, no, Microsoft is not following Google's AI efforts." However, this smacks of yellow journalism.
  • Welcome to the writing style of this Jason Ward person. All bullshit and analyses from his head, no real news
  • Hi reomw. It's an opinion piece not a news piece. Thus, the presentation of opinion.🙂 Now, your position on this topic would be more effectively communicated via a point by point rebuttal to the points I put forth. All your insults succeed in doing is state your opposition to me and my writing rather than the content. Do you have any opposing points to support your view that would contribute to the discussion?🙂 I'm inclined to believe (actually I'm convinced) that despite you visceral response above there lies within you the capacity for a more amicable and intellectually articulated presentation of an opposing view. It's nice to be nice😉:
  • The argument I was making is that the headline was meant to enflame cursory readers and drive comments from an uniformed view. It is a very poor journalistic style unworthy of serious discussion.
  • In further evidence of my argument, you recently wrote another article on the MS fluent/material design crossover where you conclusion was the opposite of this one. Therefore one can conclude the use of a very similar title was meant as a cheap traffic tactic, relying on the traffic the last article read... Definitely not up to the integrity standards I usually associate with this site.
  • Hi sporosarcina as I told others, I did not create that main headline.
    Additionally, I believe that the article does indeed provide information from which informed discussion may be had. As a matter of fact I know that it does. I'm not certain if you took the time to read the piece.
    But, you've dedicated time here to express your dislike of the title and what you presumed my intent to be. Perhaps you might be inclined now to present your opposition to the content as a well-articulated rebuttal🙂
  • It's really this simple (in idea, not necessarily execution): Microsoft needs to develop Cortana into what Jarvis is to Tony Stark.  Maybe not with that personality, but the ubiquitousness and the ability to be proactive as well as reactive.  Cortana still is best on the Windows phones.  But, as I've said many, many times, Cortana is NOT omnipresent.  She is multi-present.  She is a completely separate entity on ever single device you have her on. Which is why I will NOT waste my money on that stupid Harman-Kardon speaker. Yet another piece of hardware battling with my other hardware to hear, understand and react to my commands.  Microsoft's approach to AI will begin to mature when Cortana recognizes ME, absolutely uniquely, and does so as ONE entity regardless of how many devices are within earshot (or, eventually, visual range). 
  • Security however is a concern. The thought is that the more an AI knows about me, the more useful it is but at the cost of my personal security. I think Apple has a slight ACE up their sleave here. They state that security is its utmost importance. Consumers hear this and think that Siri is the the best AI even though it lacks features compared to Google and Microsoft. This could be damaging to microsofts efforts. How will they manage this narrative when to the consumer they are getting hit by malware/infections (ie. Wannacry) regularly and Apple keeps saying they are the most secure.
  • Apple can say whatever they want but that doesn't make it true. WannaCry didn't effect Windows 10, only 8 and below.
  • I don't get it.
    I live in Australia, 3 years ago Cortana was pretty intuitive, responsive and clever.
    Today, Cortana is more like malware. A nuisance POS software program that frustrates and annoys. I wish I could delete it, It's constant incorrect interruptions and failed text readings are an embarrassment.
  • You can disable the assistant, you know :)
  • Cortana needs to be Tonto to the Lone Ranger! I think you need to sync your devices scuba-do.
  • Cortana is such a poorly functioning product it couldnt even rate as Silvers excrement.
  • Tonto doesn't speak  
  • Considering that Build was before I/O and comparing the keynote speeches by each CEO, I'd say it's just the opposite with Nadella delivering a clearer more eloquent vision than his counterpart. I'm not alone in this opinion, I've read multiple articles stating the same thing.
  • Hi unmorphed actually I was comparing Googles Sunadar Pichai's statement from a 2016 interview (and the AI focus of I/O 2016 later in the piece) to Nadella's keynote statements this year, 2017. Excerpt from beginning of article: "Google's CEO Sundar Pichai said in an interview just before Google I/O *2016* that he's "on a journey from mobile to AI." The interview further expounded: "Pichai is also focused on shifting Google's journey from '*mobile-first to AI-first.'"* Thanks for jumping in!🙂 The advantage Google has is their consumer success. Google Now and Assistant have more mindshare than Cortana which from a consumers perspective makes it appear Googles ahead. Computer and cloud i intelligence is far deeper than assistants' as we know and Microsoft's platform position with integrating intelligence in products, Services etc is "invisible" to many consumers. Thanks again!
  • I think there might be more money here in enterprise. Farmers, manufacturers, labourers can all use IoT in a way that improves business. For the average person, turning the lights on when you get home, or playing your favourite tune when you get into the bath would be nice, but its more of a luxury, and as such, not as worth the expenditure. By contrast enterprise would spend millions, billions, for the right AI/IoT products. 
    That's not to say consumers won't use AI or IoT products, just that I doubt they'll have rapid product adoption, or be wildly profitable for quite some time yet. Makers would have to prove some functional or entertainment value. ATM its mostly gimmicky. I think google knows its in trouble. A large company like apple could take dark data (the internet), catergorize it into tags, and use those tags to match topic questions via AI (interestingly apple recently brought the former, and partnered into the later via IBM).  
    A purely content based search would beat a marker based one hands down. Perhaps thats a machine learning product that would be very hard to create, given its broader and more complex than most such applications, but if anyone ever makes one, and they have mindshare like apple does, they could kill googles core business virtually overnight. 
  • Just as interestingly Apple also hired a project manager for a "search engine capable of supporting hundreds of millions of users", or at least placed an ad for such, back in 2015. Google ought to be focusing less on hobbies like daydream, chromeOS and android - and instead watching their back. If apple makes a superior search based on AI, it could be very very bad for google.  
  • Also this -  
  • Google is doing very cool things!  I like Google Lens. Cortana is no slouch either.  I don't think MS is following Google...they planned this... Good things to come from each company!
  • The intelligent edge is a noticeable difference in strategy, having a cloud based logic system, that THEN can become local is interesting. I hope MS extends this to all their machine learning efforts - we really do not want cloud latencies for every machine learning based task. Yes its handy, if your machine (like a phone) doesn't have the juice, but if your machine does - why should we suffer the delays? 
  • We will see. But I think Google and Amazon got a strong start with voice speakers. I am afraid that Cortana will meet the same faith as Windows Phone/Mobile, out to late to compete. Microsoft in general are early in to ideas but very slow to act. Look at Android, Audi and Volvo will built in that system in the car. So Google is much in to IoT, machin learning stuff.  But who know, maybe Nadella will pull it of. Time will tell.
  • I think the next thing will be assistants coming to screens running Windows 10 on ARM, some big and some small. One that will know when you get home and one in your pocket that will accompany you on your walk to your car. It will then run diagnostic of your car and your trip, weather and remind you to pick up milk on your way home, mapping out places on your route.
  • A Windows pocket PC. Microsoft screwed up by not being able to grow their mobile platform. Mobile will belong to Apple or Google even if they need to copy Microsoft on the next big thing.
  • I read your article several days ago on your opinion that Microsoft is following Google's material design with their Fluent Design.  I made some points that it's comparing apples to oranges as material design is primarily for 2d and fluent design is an attempt on a unified interface for 2d and 3d systems.  I chalked it up as having different appreciation of facts.  Today you have an article about Microsoft following Google in AI.  One article I can regard as a difference in opinion, or having not enough data on hand, however twice in as little as a few days shows to me that perhaps it's a preferred writing style.  You might frame it as not seeing the bigger picture in terms of competitor's efforts however that's not really how i read this article.  A different title would have worked better, it's a little click-baity. I feel you might be thoroughly versed in Google and Apple's efforts and largely just beginning research on Microsoft's efforts via build or others?    Some AI related questions that might broaden this article.  Why did MS choose the more expensive FPGA option instead of Google going the cheaper route.  How would that infrastructure  affect AI?  Does Google have similar cognitive services available? Tensor-flow how does it compare  Does Apple?  Are they available for all devs to work on or just a feature on their app?  Does Google have an IOT program like MS-IOT, are cognitive services or AI available for them?  What is intelligent edge does their competitors have something similar, how are they different?  We now have cortana skills how is it different from alexa's skills, do other competitors have it as well.  bot framework, what is it, how did it come to be, how is it different from wechat (the first messaging app to employ bots) and how does it use AI?  Then you could wrap it all up.       AI is more than just digital assistants.  
  • Thanks for the feedback, Kram. I referenced some of my earlier pieces on Microsoft's AI efforts within the context of the piece. Though I don't address all of the questions you've posed in this reply, and of course I don't know everything🙂 perhaps my five-part series that I wrote last year (some of those stories are linked here) titled "AI, bots and Canvases" which address Microsoft's AI strategy and a couple of other earlier pieces related to IoT and Cognitive Services might satisfy your concern that "I'm just beginning" to research Microsoft's efforts.😉 Here's a link to the afore-mentioned series and related pieces: Also, I didn't choose the title😉
  • [QUOTE]Also, I didn't choose the title😉[/QUOTE]   Ah! That cleared things up. 🙂           
  • Its twice that you've mentioned that u don't choose the titles but y is it that only your titles look click baity. May be its time to have a talk with the ME. You shd havr the right to choose ur title especially if it makes u look bad. Or may be write an article on how titles' are chosen so we the readers know the process n may be offer our suggestions or complaints
  • oh the irony....
  • Spoke too soon
  • Nice piece Jason!
  • I doubt it. Microsoft might be more aggressive about their push, because of what Google is doing and how the market responds, but Microsoft has been working with AI for a long time.
  • No, they did it because they need more reasons to force people to use the cloud. All of their "AI" offerings are based in the cloud. There is nothing there that a company can insall on prem or have running soley in your home. Its just natella forcing his cloud "baby" onto everyone.
  • Its Mobile and Cloud first when Microsoft is trying to sell Windows 10 Mobile phone. Now that they don't they need to change their Mantra. Simple as that. AI is the next Big Catchword... so everybody would claim AI this and AI that... so its AI my foot!!!
  • Nice. But, with the limitations Goog puts on Cortana, you're only going to get so far...AND with the hodge-podge sytle of Microsoft offerings (ex.: Wunderlist, now To-Do) and Cortana on Android, Microsoft's offerings just always seem not quite ready for prime time - though I continue to use them all as my primary apps on my LG. 
  • If Microsoft comes out with a "Cortana Dot", I would buy it. I don't need a big speaker - I already have two Bose systems. But, they won't, so I will buy an Amazon Dot. It's too bad - I use Cortana on my phone, Surface, and PC.
  • Cortana must be multilingual. Google Assistant is already supporting Japanese language. It was supported a few days ago. Korean is also supported at the end of the year. Google is fast with multilingual support. Microsoft has to learn.