Microsoft, Xiaomi to partner on cloud, laptop sales, Cortana

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Last week Microsoft announced the signing of a Strategic Framework Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Xiaomi, the $46 billion Beijing, China mobile device maker, to partner on cloud, laptop sales, and Cortana. Microsoft hopes this to help solidify Xiaomi’s leadership and also contribute to the acceleration the Xiaomi’s international expansion.

Under the MoU, Microsoft and Xiaomi will specifically focus on cloud support, laptop-type devices, Cortana and Mi AI Speaker, and a collaboration on AI Services. Microsoft points to the following aspects of the MoU.

  • Xiaomi and Microsoft will explore utilizing Microsoft Azure cloud platform to support Xiaomi’s user data storage, bandwidth, computing and other cloud services in international markets.
  • Xiaomi will leverage Microsoft’s support on joint marketing, channel support, and future product development for Xiaomi’s laptop and laptop-type devices to penetrate international markets.
  • Both companies are discussing opportunities to integrate Cortana with Mi AI Speaker. Senior executives from both parties are involved to drive deeper technology integration and collaboration for AI-powered speakers.
  • Xiaomi and Microsoft intend to explore multiple cooperative projects based on a broad range of Microsoft AI technologies, such as Computer Vision, Speech, Natural Language Processing, Text Input, Conversational AI, Knowledge Graph and Search, as well as related Microsoft AI products and services, such as Bing, Edge, Cortana, XiaoIce, SwiftKey, Translator, Pix, Cognitive Services and Skype

Xiaomi was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Lei Jun and the company has been working with Microsoft since 2015. The company recently adopted Microsoft Azure (operated by 21Vianet in China) to run its Mi Cloud service for smartphone users and has also pre-installed Microsoft Office and Skype apps on its Android tablets.

“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,” said Wang Xiang, Global Senior Vice President and Head of International Business, Xiaomi.