Microsoft partners with Xiaomi to produce AI-powered smart speakers

Back in 2015, Xiaomi and Microsoft had come together for making Windows 10 available on Xiaomi Mi 4.

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Microsoft and Xiaomi are together expected to build AI-powered budget speakers and smartphones in the future. Wang Xiang, Senior Vice President at Xiaomi tweeted they’ve have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft “to collaborate in cloud support, AI and laptop-type devices.” The tweet received retweets from several important accounts including the official Twitter handle of Xiaomi, Manu Kumar Jain (Global VP and MD at Xiaomi India) and Donovan Sung (Global Xiaomi spokesperson).

Wang Xiang further said in his tweet: “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!”

The Verge’s Shannon Liao notes this collaboration has so far been uncommon given the deal taking place between the US and Chinese company on the topic of AI, which is valid. Remember the kind of setback Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE have received from several major US intelligence agencies including FBI, NSA and CIA? However, coming back to Microsoft-Xiaomi deal, Liao further said it makes sense given that “both countries are the biggest markets for those products and services.”

Also Read: Xiaomi starts rolling out Face Unlock feature via MIUI 9.2.4 OTA update for Redmi Note 5 Pro

Both Microsoft and Xiaomi are expected to try their luck at integrating Microsoft’s Cortana into Xiaomi’s AI-powered smart speaker. But since Wang specifically mentioned ‘cloud support, AI and laptop-type devices,’ the collaboration between the two is expected to reach beyond just smart speakers.

Back in 2015, Xiaomi and Microsoft had come together for making Windows 10 available on Xiaomi Mi 4. In 2016, Xiaomi also acquired some 1500 patents from the software giant.