Back in 2015, an agreement was signed to allow the testing of Windows 10 on devices made by Xiaomi. A year later, Xiaomi purchased patents to assist the running of other services from Microsoft on its devices.
Recently, both companies have announced they will be collaborating again, this time on the development of AI, cloud computing and hardware. Microsoft Cortana will also be involved in the collaboration. Both parties have signed a Strategic Framework Memorandum of Understanding (MoU, although no information on financial terms has been released regarding this new agreement yet).
Previously, Chinese electronics firm Xiaomi has mostly targeted the Asia Pacific market and has achieved plenty of success so far. The company also enjoyed an increase in market shares even during the period where other companies experienced a decline. The recent collaboration with Microsoft may help to promote Xiaomi mobile phones and devices in the US, especially when the company is eyeing an IPO that will potentially reach the value of $100bn.
Although Microsoft did not experience much success on its previous ventures in the area of mobile devices, the company is now taking a new approach by collaborating with a different partner (Xiaomi) currently on the rise. According to EVP of Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence and Research Group, Harry Shum, Xiaomi is among China’s most innovative firms and is enjoying a rise in popularity in many parts of the world. Using the company’s expertise in AI and tools like Azure, Microsoft can also play a role in enabling Xiaomi to come up with new technology.
Xiaomi’s Global Senior Vice President and Head of International Business, Wang Xiang, stated that the company is very happy with the new strategic MoU that will serve to strengthen and deepen the collaborative relationship with Microsoft. By working together with Microsoft on the development of key technology, Xiaomi aims to deliver a wider range of innovative products in the near future. Microsoft, on the other hand, would be able to reach out to a wider user base, especially those who are already fans of Xiaomi’s devices.
The agreement involves four key services for both parties. Microsoft will provide cloud support for Xiaomi to use Microsoft Azure for storing data, while Xiaomi will co-market the company’s laptops and related Windows-based hardware. Furthermore, Microsoft and Xiaomi also plan to collaborate better on developing Cortana-based AI speakers. This may mean that Xiaomi will release an improved version of its first generation of smart speakers released back in July 2017 – the MI AI. However, it is also possible that the they will come up with a whole new product.
This Microsoft-Xiaomi agreement marks the beginning of a long stretch of AI-driven collaborations. The company is also looking into more collaborations, especially in areas including Speech, Conversational AI, Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing. Other AI-powered services like Edge, Bing, Pix and Swiftkey will also benefit from collaborative efforts.
To find out about the latest brainchild from Microsoft or any of its collaborative partners, contact WM Reply today to speak with our friendly customer service team.