Gone are the days when Apple and Microsoft were rivals to deaths
Microsoft and Google are positioning themselves as tough competitors in the world of artificial intelligence and cloud computing
In less than two weeks, Microsoft has celebrated its Build 2017 and Google has brought together experts and press alike in I / O 2017. In other words, they have held their developer conferences and revealed to the world some ideas.
Changing our relationship with their products. On the one hand, Microsoft showed some new laptops with a new version of Windows and several devices to exploit the use of virtual intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality. On the other, Google gave more details of its mobile operating system, Android; And also deepened in its advances in the field of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality. What a coincidence, right? This apparent rivalry between the two companies does not come from now, as everyone competes with everyone in the technology industry. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Google, Twitter … All ideas steal and trip as long as you can work in many common fields. In search of intelligence The real collision of Google and Microsoft is frankly interesting because of the areas they are getting into: automatic learning (‘machine learning’), the internet of things, artificial intelligence and cloud computing (‘Cloud Computing’). Even though the laptop surface to compete with the Chromebook (and a bit the Macbook Air), where Microsoft and Google really compete is in these areas.All Sundar Pichai, Google CEO; As Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, insisted in their respective press conferences that the goal of their companies was to evolve towards companies much more focused on artificial intelligence. Google will go from being ‘mobile first’, to focusing on mobile devices; To do in artificial intelligence to improve and change all your services. We have already seen how they seek to do so in the past. Microsoft, for its part, wants the machines to understand how we interact with them to make changes to a photograph or video without almost our intervention, as in the case of Story Remix, one of the programs presented in the 2017 construction; And that fits within the Cognitive Services of Microsoft. But the use of AI would not end there. Both companies have their own assistants, Cortana in the case of Microsoft and Assistant in the case of Google. And in both cases, it is a very complete interface that depends on the voice and not the writing, sometimes, what you see and on the screen to provide information to users.
Here it is true that the competition is very fierce, with Apple and Siri or Amazon and Alexa; But it seems that Google and Microsoft are the only ones that work on as many devices as possible. The Wizard came to the iPhone very soon, and Cortana already works on both Apple and Android phones, although with rather limited uses. Playing with realities The other great field of combat in which both companies are opting for the same path is that of augmented and virtual realities, everything that falls between and starts a mixture of “mixed reality”. In this area, the differences in approximation seem more evident. HoloLens, Microsoft’s augmented reality helmet, is an expensive device with very advanced features and connected to Windows 10. Google, meanwhile, has Daydream, a much more affordable glasses, designed for use on the mobile, with a Much more limited power and thought for virtual reality. That each has been focused on a limb does not mean that they will not touch. Microsoft has already announced its collaboration with several manufacturers, such as Acer or HP, for virtual reality devices for Windows 10. Everywhere, we all know Google’s passion for augmented reality. Even in its first attempt, the lessons learned with Google There is nothing forgotten if they re-immerse themselves in this area.In this area, it almost seems that Microsoft has an advantage, or at least more confidence by the products it is developing. Although HoloLens is still very conceptual and still has to see what applications may have, all the demonstrations have been astonishing. On the other hand, Daydream does not stop being below of Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and in parallel with the Gear VR of Samsung, that takes years in the market. Another thing is that Google get a proper ecosystem of content, which is what currently has no one outside the world of video game.
The War of the Clouds Although Amazon is counting on the infrastructure of servers that most large companies and services use, that does not seem to scare Microsoft, who has doubled its commitment to Azure, to a large extent, to have powerful support for those new services Powered by artificial intelligence.Nadella pulled muscle at her press conference in this area. Office 365 is used by more than 500 million users, while another 100 million use its collaborative work tool. As for Azure, its cloud is used in 90% of Fortune 500 companies. It is not bad, but it is far from rivaling Google, which is the king of digital services and also has a set Of programs for very strong office automation, thanks in part to students’ use of Chromebooks in US universities. Microsoft will need to work a lot on its cloud technology, even more than it has already achieved, if it wants its future services powered by artificial intelligence to come to fruition. Another thing is if Google and Microsoft know how to translate all these advances into issues that catch the attention of consumers as well as their hardware. That Google announced a phone was something very surprising, the same as when Microsoft did the same with their new laptops. Does the world of non-tangible services have as much ‘sex appeal’ as that of hardware? It is something that we will see in the coming years, as it seems that the evolution of these two great companies, and many others, is no longer as much of the hand of the pots that can produce, but of what these devices can do beyond Its components of high quality.