Xiaomi has signed a deal with Microsoft to work together to integrate and collaborate on AI, cloud computing and hardware services.
Xiaomi Global Senior Vice President and Head of International Business Wang Xiang tweeted about the extension of the companies’ partnership on February 23.
“We have signed a Strategic MoU today with @Microsoft to collaborate in cloud support, AI and laptop-type devices. This will help accelerate our pace to bring more exciting products and services to our users, and also allow Microsoft to reach more users using Xiaomi products!” Xiang tweeted.
Dr Harry Shum, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence and Research Group said, “Xiaomi is one of the most innovative companies in China, and it is becoming increasingly popular in various markets around the world. Microsoft’s unique strengths and experience in AI, as well as our products like Azure, will enable Xiaomi to develop more cutting-edge technology for everyone around the world.” Dr Shum was quoted on Microsoft News Center.
Today’s deal isn’t the first agreement between Microsoft and Xiaomi. In 2016, Xiaomi bought and licensed 1,500 patents from Microsoft. The patents included in the agreement covered wireless communications patents, plus other patents for technologies including video, ZDNet reported.
Mr Xiang said: “Microsoft has been a great partner and we are delighted to see both companies deepening this relationship with this strategic MoU. Xiaomi’s mission is to deliver innovation to everyone around the world. By collaborating with Microsoft on multiple technology areas, Xiaomi will accelerate our pace to bring more exciting products and services to our users. At the same time, this partnership would allow Microsoft to reach more users around the world who are using Xiaomi products.” Mr Xiang was quoted on Microsoft News Center.
That 2016 deal also included an agreement via which Xiaomi committed to preinstall Office and Skype on Xiaomi Android phones and tablets. Xiaomi already had agreed to preload Windows 10 on its Mi Pad and to use Azure to power its Mi Cloud service.
The most recent addition to the Microsoft-Xiaomi pact covers several service components, according to TechCrunch.
Xiaomi will use Azure for data storage, compute and other services. Microsoft will co-market Xiaomi laptops and laptop-type devices running Windows. The two vendors also are considering a potential collaboration on AI-powered speakers using Cortana, as well as in other AI areas, including computer vision, speech, natural language processing, text input, knowledge graph and search.