The software stalwart’s big investment in AI could make it cutting-edge again.

Microsoft appears to be on the cusp of being something it hasn’t been in a long time: cutting-edge. It’s a label the company lost a long time ago after a series of small startups grew to become Microsoft’s biggest competitors. Google, for example, started out as a nimble, innovative upstart and eventually bested Microsoft in browsers, email, and mobile operating systems. But now Microsoft might be the nimble, innovative company that bests Google in artificial intelligence. And it’s all thanks to OpenAI.
OpenAI is the hottest AI lab out there with one of the buzziest and most exciting products: ChatGPT. And Microsoft is its very good friend. On Monday, the two companies announced that Microsoft was investing $10 billion into OpenAI (that’s on top of the $3 billion Microsoft has given OpenAI since 2019), and Microsoft is rumored to be adding ChatGPT to its Bing search engine. Yeah, that’s right: The much-maligned, little-used Bing might finally become a real competitor to Google’s search.
Following the news of Microsoft’s $10 billion investment, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote that ChatGPT is a “potential game changer” for Microsoft, and that the company was “not going to repeat the same mistakes” of missing out on social and mobile that it made two decades ago. Microsoft “is clearly being aggressive on this front and not going to be left behind,” Ives wrote.

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