Microsoft Has a Last-Minute Mysterious Surprise

The software giant invites journalists to a surprise event on Feb. 7. The event was unplanned, and the mystery is complete.

Do not bother to search because the event is not listed anywhere. 

There’s nothing in the newsroom section of the website dedicated to journalists. And nothing in the investor section dedicated to shareholders. 

This is simply because it wasn’t planned. It is a last-minute event shrouded in mystery. 

On Feb. 6 Microsoft  (MSFT) – Get Free Report sent out invitations to journalists to attend an event at its Redmond, Wash., headquarters for a Feb. 7 event. It’s scheduled to start at 10 a.m. local time, 1 p.m. U.S. Eastern. 

The company gave no indication of what will be discussed or presented. The invite says only that the company will “share some progress on a few exciting projects.”

Will It Be About ChatGPT…

This software giant’s game of hide-and-seek fuels speculation about this last-minute event. What is certain is that the event is scheduled when the race for artificial intelligence intensifies among tech giants after the spectacular breakthrough of ChatGPT.

ChatGPT — the name stands for generative pretrained transformer — is an artificial intelligence chatbot service that has been making waves through the tech industry since it premiered in November. 

The service, run by a nonprofit research organization called OpenAI, was created as a democratized artificial intelligence service and has virtually limitless possibilities for productivity — and for error. 

For almost two months, millions of people around the world have tested this chatbot to see whether the merits touted by its developers are real. Their conclusions, often posted on social networks, indicate that ChatGPT has the potential to disrupt many industries and professions. 

Google  (GOOGL) – Get Free Report sees the robot as a real threat to its dominance of online search. The company recently brought back Larry Page and Sergey Brin, its two founders, to find appropriate answers to ChatGPT. The Mountain View, Calif., firm said on Feb. 6 that it had launched Bard, a rival to ChatGPT, for testing. The service should be usable by the general public in the “coming weeks.”

Microsoft is an investor in OpenAI. The company said last month that it would expand its investment in OpenAI. The multibillion investment — the third it’s made into the group — would extend its collaboration with OpenAI and its key consumer and business product, the ChatGPT chatbot. 

The investment would mark the third time Microsoft has pumped cash into OpenAI, following a $1 billion infusion in 2019 and a smaller investment in 2017.

“We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said. 

“In this next phase of our partnership, developers and organizations across industries will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models, and toolchain with Azure to build and run their applications.”

…Or Perhaps About Activision Blizzard?

There’s also speculation that ChatGPT could be used by the tech giant to launch a version of its Bing search engine that uses the AI behind the tool to answer search queries rather than just showing a list of links. The chatbot is indeed a huge boon. 

Bing was the world’s second most popular search engine in 2022 — with a measly 3.04% market share, according to Statcounter. That’s far behind Alphabet’s  (GOOGL) – Get Free Report Google, with about 92.6% of the market.

Yahoo came in third with 1.24% of the search market followed by the Russian search engine Yandex with 1%.

Microsoft hopes the new feature, which could launch before the end of March, will help it outflank Google.

The company could also integrate the chatbot into its operations. 

“AI may well represent the most consequential technology advance of our lifetime,” Brad Smith, vice chair and president of Microsoft, wrote in a recent tweet. “We are committed to advancing it with a profound sense of responsibility, building on work we’ve been doing for more than six years.”

Keep in mind as well that the invitation arrives while rumors multiply around Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard  (ATVI) – Get Free Report, the publisher of videogames. Experts say U.S. and U.K. antitrust regulators might block the deal.

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