Xiaomi & Microsoft Teaming Up. Here’s What You Should Know

Collaborations seem to be all the rage nowadays, with the Uber-ComfortDelGro alliance, Goodyfeed-Shopback syndications and Eminem-EdSheeran collabs being just some of the many that have transpired in recent times.

And it makes sense too. Every global phenomenon that occurred before has occurred via a partnership: the Wright brothers gave us wings; Larry Page and Sergey Brin worked together to give us Google; Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield made life just that little bit sweeter.

So it stands to reason that the upcoming Xiaomi and Microsoft alliance is something to be hyped about. Apart from being particularly successful in their own markets and fields, they have also become known as pioneers, originators of the new age.

Just imagine what they could achieve if they combine forces. 

Memorandum

As if in answer to our prayers, Microsoft and Xiaomi have signed a memorandum of understanding to work closely in cloud computing, AI and hardware.

Following that, Xiaomi would have access to Microsoft’s cloud computing products, including Azure, to create and develop phoneslaptops, and smart devices to bring them to an international market.

On the other hand, Microsoft will benefit from Xiaomi’s presence in China, with increased reach in the Chinese market.

Talk about a perfect collaboration.

So… what’s in the works?

Well, for one, the two powerhouses are in talks to possibly integrate Microsoft Cortana with the Mi AI speaker, a budget speaker with a modern look.

Image: TechCrunch

Which makes a lot of sense, seeing how Microsoft’s one and only Cortana smart speaker, the Harmon Kardon Invoke, has struggled in the fight against other popular digital assistant speakers from Amazon and Google. With Xiaomi’s help, however, I can just foresee the tide turning in Microsoft’s favour.

Image: Xiaomi

For two, they are also discussing projects that involve different Microsoft AI technology, including conversational AI and speech, as well as services like Bing, Edge and Skype. If successful, Microsoft’s consumer-facing software, including the charismatic Cortana, will become smarter.

For three, Xiaomi will be assisting Microsoft with the launch of future laptop and “laptop-type” devices in international markets. While Xiaomi handles the pushing out of new hardware products, Microsoft is expected to chip in with joint marketing, channel support and product development help.

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No guarantee

Microsoft and Xiaomi actually go way back (alright not really), when they signed a deal to test Windows 10 on Xiaomi devices in 2015. A year later, Xiaomi agreed to ship Microsoft Office and Skype on its Android smartphones, alongside an intellectual property agreement between the two companies.

And seeing how Xiaomi has stated in a press release that it stands to benefit from “Microsoft’s globally leading technologies in cloud computing and AI”, I guess the collaboration has always been waiting to happen.

However, nothing’s set in stone yet as at the end of the line, it’s but a mere memorandum and not a binding document. That’s meaning to say that this partnership is not guaranteed to give birth to a novel new product that merges the best of both worlds.

But seeing how reputable their names are, you can at the very least expect a decent product.

More and more

They aren’t the only ones either. On 22 Feb, Tencent and Samsung announced a joint investment in AI and games, a decision that stemmed from talks at CSE just last month.

And with more and more companies joining forces, one can’t help but be excited to see what the future will bring.

Maybe, just maybe, a flying Metropolis wouldn’t be that far off (alright maybe it’s still far off).

Though I have just one question:

When will it be Apple’s turn?

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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com

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Featured image: Xiaomi / engadget.com

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