Yesterday Microsoft went on the offense against Google and unveiled their new Bing search engine that incorporates OpenAI's ChatGPT. Essentially you're getting everything you already know and love about ChatGPT but with additional information from the web.
There's no doubt this is a new browsing experience, and it's a future that we should all be thrilled to be a part of. However, I'm least excited by the notion of AI chatbots being integrated into search engines and browsers and more excited about this concept that Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, explained during their presentation:
We think there are two things that are emerging: one are these conversational intelligent agents. I think these are things we’re going to have everywhere we go. All computer interaction is going to be mediated with an agent helping you. In fact, we’re going to have this notion of a co-pilot that’s going to be there across every application canvas, inside of an operating system shell, in a browser. And so we want to show you some of this innovation starting with how it’s going to reshape the largest software category on planet earth — which I’ve been working on for a long time — which we are very, very excited about: Search.
It’s a new day in search. It’s a new paradigm for search. Rapid innovation is going to come. In fact, a race starts today in terms of what you can expect, and we’re going to move. We’re going to move fast, and for us, every day we want to bring out new things and most importantly, we want to have a lot of fun innovating again in search, because it’s high time.
AI Co-Pilots is a fascinating future, and it's one that I think Microsoft is well positioned to deliver on.
- They have the Azure cloud infrastructure and OpenAI partnerships to stay cutting edge on the Generative AI front.
- They have compelling hardware with their Surface lineup, but there's no true distinction from any other Windows PC other than the fact Microsoft makes it.
- They have enticing reach with the Office Software suite and all the corporations that depend on Teams to get work done.
- They have crazy potential on the gaming side with Xbox and their pending acquisition of Activision.
Suppose Microsoft integrated a seamless AI co-pilot experience across its entire ecosystem of software and hardware. In that case, I'd be hard-pressed not to switch from the Apple ecosystem on productivity alone.
Ultimately, there's no denying the enticing factors of ChatGPT, but when you factor in an established brand like Microsoft and put them on the offensive side, things could get really interesting.