2 min read

Could Clippy’s bot makeover change the game?

Microsoft’s been busy. As the axe fell on staff they promised billions to ChatGPT creator OpenAI in a move that may make Google nervous. All this while they arm up against US bureaucrats trying to block their Activision Blizzard purchase. And that’s just January!
Published on
February 1, 2023

The tech titan that interrupted our workflow in the ’90s with unsolicited tips from a googly-eyed Clippy may be hoping to bring back virtual assistance for users with AI - and more! 👀 Last week, Microsoft (MSFT) announced their third investment since 2019 in OpenAI - creator of popular AI chatbot ChatGPT - said to be worth an estimated US$10 billion. 

So could Bing finally power up to take on Google (GOOG, GOOGL)? 🔍 Gmail creator Paul Buccheit reckons perhaps. He said that ChatGPT has the potential to take down Google’s moneymaker, Search, within a year. But it seems Google ain’t going down without a fight, according to The New York Times. Late last year they issued a Code Red to dial in founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to help with accelerating their own AI projects. 🚨

Yet despite Microsoft’s ‘lacklustre’ earnings quarter that beat some-but-not-all estimates, it seems investors took notice of CEO Satya Nadella’s vision for ‘the new era of AI’, seeing a 7.05% lift in the share price since last week. 

But it’s not all coming up clipbots at Microsoft HQ. Last week, at the same time as also announcing they’d cut 10,000 jobs, thousands of Microsoft users pushed the panic button. 🆘 Azure, 365 and Xbox Live services suffered a near-total four-hour global cloud outage (everywhere except China), affecting a potential half a billion people and 15 million corporate customers. 

These Microsoft woes follow US bureaucrats hitting the warpath against the third-place game console-maker’s big play to acquire Activision Blizzard, announced one year ago. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has challenged the proposed US$68.7 billion acquisition saying it ‘violates federal law’. Why the battle cry? The FTC alleges that Xbox owner Microsoft plans to block Nintendo’s, PlayStation’s and Valve’s Steam game store’s access to Call of Duty. The allegedly false claims have incited Activision Blizzard and Microsoft to fight back, firing Fifth Amendment shots at the FTC. 🔫 Looks like pause game not game over… for now.

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