Microsoft and Search: Here We Go Again

September 23, 2020

Microsoft cannot create reliable software. Example: The Surface Duo, née Andromeda. Example: Windows 10 updates. Example: Windows Mobile. Example: Bob (remember Bob?) The company has good ideas, but it cannot move beyond imitating Amazon for the cloud, piggybacking on Google for a Windows 10X vehicle, and buying Fast Search & Transfer for the jargon-charged enterprise search system the company acquired in 2008.

Microsoft Gets Exclusive License for OpenAI’s GPT-3 Language Model” makes clear that the smart software efforts of Microsoft Research, acquisitions like Powerset and XOXCO, plus the numerous application specific search and NLP functions are not doing the job. The fix is to license the next big thing. Perhaps the challenge is an organization and work process within Microsoft? Maybe technology is not the problem? Maybe execution is?

The write up in the Silicon Valley real news article states:

Microsoft today announced that it will exclusively license GPT-3, one of the most powerful language understanding models in the world, from AI startup OpenAI. In a blog post, Microsoft EVP Kevin Scott said that the new deal will allow Microsoft to leverage OpenAI’s technical innovations to develop and deliver AI solutions for customers, as well as create new solutions that harness the power of natural language generation.

Here we go again. Will the result be a blend Bing, Windows ME, Vista, and MSN?

Stephen E Arnold, September 23, 2020

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