It’s official, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is seeking to become an artificial intelligence superpower. There was absolutely no mention of its AI endeavors in last year’s annual SEC filing. This year, however, the are six references in total. This is solid evidence that the Windows giant has plans to become the most cutting edge firm in artificial intelligence. The next few years will see AI crammed into MSFT cloud, mobile and productivity businesses.
Forget mobile, PCs and productivity services. Although, yes, all of those form part of Microsoft’s core business. Yet they are now fading into the background as the tech firm’s AI ambitions take center stage. This week confirmed that Microsoft Corporation’s foremost priority is artificial intelligence.
The company’s newly found commitment was proven in an updated mission statement. Published this Wednesday, it now encompasses AI and the company’s goals regarding it.
Microsoft Corporation says that its new strategic vision sees the company competing and growing by creating the the best platforms and productivity services. All of which will be dedicated to “an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge infused with AI.”
It is a slight twist to what most Microsoft followers are used to. Any avid watcher of the company and its stock knows the firm for its dedication to mobile and cloud. That’s the Microsoft under CEO Satya Nadella, “mobile-first, cloud-first”.
The company now has growing expertise in AI however. Through fast-growing platforms like Azure in particular, Microsoft Corporation seems unable to ignore the advantage it holds in the market. And what you do when you have an edge is press down on it, like the Windows giant clearly seems to be doing.
Forget Microsoft Corporation mobile
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is slowly doing away with one aspect of its famous tag line: mobile-first. Despite the company’s best intentions, it has failed to breathe life into its mobile ventures. It has been two years since the launch of an in-house smartphone. The Lumia range bought off Nokia is a famous write-off. All the while, the Windows Mobile OS continues to lose favor.
In fact, just last month, the company did away with the Windows 8.1 variant of its Windows Phone platform. Poor exposure led to poor commitment from app developers, which in turn led to poor appeal to smartphone users. In short, Windows sees no love when it translates to mobile.
But the failure of Microsoft Corporation mobile developments is not due to a lack of trying. CEO Satya Nadella and his predecessor certainly had their hearts in the right place. In truth, by the time the company decided to get serious with smartphones, the market had already chosen its two champions. For the not so smartphone savvy, those are Apple Inc’s iOS and Alphabet Inc’s Android. At the moment, the makers of Windows hold around 0.5 percent of the total smartphone market.
Artificial Intelligence is Microsoft’s new favorite
Seeing the futility in beating their dead horse, the company is now turning to AI, a field it clearly has an advantage in. Cloud computing is still here and growing faster than ever. The firm’s Azure platform helped rake in nearly 100 percent in cloud profits last quarter. That was not without the help of the platform’s fusion with AI.
Further proof of the advancement of Microsoft Corporation AI comes in the firm’s buyouts. The firm recently adopted Maluuba, a small Israeli firm making headway in the realm of artificial intelligence. Under CEO Satya Nadella, Swiftkey was brought in, too. The CEO also ensured the establishment of an AI and Research group.
A look at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares shows them closing lower on Wednesday. The company’s stock has been on a slow and steady downhill path since Thursday last week. Back then, share value stood above $74. Today shares will open at just over $72.