Mobile is gone — not a surprise, given the company’s struggles with its Windows Phone operating system and its acquisition of Nokia, which Microsoft essentially declared worthless when it wrote down the total value of that acquisition in 2015.
Cloud computing, including fast-growing products like Office 365 and the Azure public cloud are still there. Now AI is there with it, too.
Microsoft has acquired a few AI startups, like Maluuba and Swiftkey, since Nadella took over, and has established a formal AI and Research group. That team “focuses on our AI development and other forward-looking research and development efforts spanning infrastructure, services, applications, and search,” the annual report says.
Microsoft’s vision reset comes after Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet’s Google, began saying that the world is shifting from being mobile-first to AI-first. Facebook has also invested in both long-term AI research and AI product enhancements alongside Microsoft and Alphabet.