So I finally attended Microsoft Build for the first time.
It did feel like a lot of other conferences I’ve been at. It was great to be able to chat with developers that directly work on the products I leverage. It is clear that we are in a Machine Learning and AI battlefield. Both Microsoft and Google are fighting to be the king of this territory. One big difference is that Google is fighting two battles where is it appears Microsoft is really only facing one. In Google’s case they are chasing Machine Learning and AI as well as the dominant mobile platform in which the are battling Apple.
Both Google and Microsoft have cloud services that provide Machine Learning or AI capabilities. A lot of them are very similar. It really feels like they are all playing from the same playbook. Even when it comes to specialized hardware. Google has it’s TPUs while Microsoft is running FPGAs.
Another area that Microsoft and Google share is digital assistants. Amazon owns this space today but now Microsoft is partnered to get Cortona on their Assistant. The two companies see the play that all digital assistances can play in the same world. Each will have their specialties making one better for something than another. Google is not in that mix of sharing at this point. They are making major leaps forward by leverage their AI/ML capabilities. Their demo of Google Assistant calling to make an appointment via Natural Language Processing shows an interesting world were digital assistance can really carry out many tasks. I think it is just a matter of time before these digital assistants turn into robotic assistants. I for one am ready for my R2D2 unit. Bring it.
Google of course has the one market of mobile that Microsoft does not directly have. Google announced their Android P Beta which will be the next wave of Android. I actually thought it was interesting seeing them take a lot of Apple’s gestures and take them a step further. Microsoft though does have a mobile play through Timeline and their Android Launcher. They also have integration with Android which allows them to bring SMS messages into Windows similar to iMessage for Apple fans.
This competition over AI as well as other areas will only benefit us all as we move forward. If we didn’t have these kind of innovations going head to head there wouldn’t be any incentive to do more. I am very excited to see where this goes. I wish there was more to be honest but I’m alright with the way things are being released frequently as well.