Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft
Microsoft made a bunch of big announcements for both new products and existing products last week. Here’s a recap:
The biggest headline in gaming world last week was Microsoft’s $7.5B acquisition of Zenimax, the creator of games like Skyrim, Fallout, and DOOM. That’s a lot of money - it’s Microsoft’s third largest acquisition ever - and it should help sell Xboxes and xCloud, Microsoft’s game streaming service.
The announcement came the day before the new Xbox was available for pre-order, and it looks like gamers liked the news. Pre-order Xboxes are already sold out, and people are waiting for new ‘drops’ to get their hands on the next gen console.
Microsoft isn’t happy just getting exclusive games, looks like they want to have exclusive AI algorithms, too. The other big news last week was Microsoft got an exclusive license to OpenAI’s GPT-3 text generation model. (If you haven’t seen GPT-3 yet, here’s a long list of all the demos people have built with it. Click on any of them - all super cool)
It’s still not totally clear what “exclusive license” means though. Microsoft’s blog says OpenAI will continue to offer models via its own API, but Microsoft will “utilize the capabilities of GPT-3” in their other products and services.
A lot of these headlines came out last week because it was Microsoft’s big partner conference, IGNITE. Here’s Microsoft’s summary of their key product announcements at the event, with a couple highlights:
- Virtual commutes in Teams - Among other Teams updates, the one that got the most coverage is the ability to do virtual commutes to improve mental health 😂
- Azure Communication Services - Microsoft is going to start competing with Twilio ($36B market cap) by making their voice, video, and texting services available to external customers
- Azure Orbital - New service to analyze data captured from satellites
#1 Ranked Employer Brand in Seattle
Hired, a tech job platform, published their ranking of companies that developers, PMs, designers, and data scientists want to work for, and Microsoft was named the top employer brand in Seattle! (Here’s the rest of the top 10)