Microsoft and Xiaomi have signed a Strategic Framework MOU to strengthen the partnership between the two companies and to work together on future A.I.-powered products and software.
Microsoft said, “Xiaomi is one of the most innovative companies in China, and it is becoming increasingly popular in various markets around the world. Microsoft’s unique strengths and experience in AI, as well as our products like Azure, will enable Xiaomi to develop more cutting-edge technology for everyone around the world.
Xiaomi said in a press release that it is evaluating the potential use of Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform to support its ambition of reaching customers worldwide. Right now, the company uses Microsoft’s cloud computing regions in China (which are operated by a local company) to power its Mi Cloud service.
Xiaomi is also talking to Microsoft about integrating Cortana into the Mi AI Speaker, a Bluetooth smart speaker that theoretically supports English commands but doesn’t seem to do well with them in practice. Microsoft’s virtual assistant already speaks Chinese, so integrating that service with Xiaomi’s product could provide it with new life outside the company’s home market.
Regardless of the specifics, this deal has the potential to benefit both companies. Access to Microsoft’s A.I. and cloud computing technology could provide a boon for Xiaomi as it works to develop new hardware. Additionally, it might give the company greater access to western markets.
Based on the strategic MoU, Xiaomi and Microsoft’s cooperation will focus on the following aspects:
Microsoft Cortana and Mi AI Speaker
AI services collaboration