Smart speakers are the “in” thing at the moment, and a recent survey found that companies such as Google and Amazon pretty much dominate that particular scene at the moment. This is why it is understandable that other companies looking to get their foot in the door might need to work together, which is what Microsoft and Xiaomi are doing.
Both companies have recently signed a memorandum of understanding (via The Verge) to work together on things like cloud computing, AI, and hardware, which includes developing AI that can be used in smart speakers, smartphones, and more. That being said, neither company is new to the smart speaker scene as Microsoft has the Harman Kardon Invoke while Xiaomi launched their Mi AI last year.
However it is possible that with this partnership that both companies are hoping to develop something that would allow them to get an edge over the competition. This memorandum will also see Xiaomi take advantage of Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform to expand its services for its users, while Microsoft will consult for Xiaomi on joint marketing and channel support to help get the company’s laptops into international markets.
According to Wang Xiang, Xiaomi’s Global Senior Vice President and Head of International Business, “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.”