Microsoft’s Boring but Profitable Future

The PC giant is making Windows exciting again

DALL-E/Every illustration.

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For the past 24 hours, I’ve felt like Robin Williams fresh out of the jungle in Jumanji, screaming,“What year is it?” 

In the 1990s, Microsoft became a personal computer giant by using someone else's technology to make its Windows operating system and forming a partnership with cutting-edge chipmaker Intel to power its computers. 

In the 2020s, Microsoft is getting even bigger by using the transformers invented by Google and forming a partnership with OpenAI for its large language models.

Over the course of two days, Microsoft announced an incredible number of product updates at its Build developer conference. The company’s press team sent Every a list of the new products and features that was about 100 pages long. In all of that, two things mattered: 

  1. A new line of personal computers that have AI integrated at the operating system level 
  2. A new AI agent studio that allows not only individuals to automate tasks, but entire teams

While OpenAI had the Scarlett Johansson Her voice (oops!) and Google had a man in a bathrobe running around the stage at their events, Microsoft’s presentation (which Dan attended) was fairly drab, consisting of software executives droning through PowerPoint slides. But don’t let this flatness fool you. Microsoft has the scale and power to make AI a reality for the 1.4 billion personal computers running Windows (whether their customers want it or not).


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