Facebook Has Found a Best Friend in Microsoft

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Facebook did a great job in accomplishing its promise to Microsoft last year with the delivery of the three new apps for Windows 10: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram.

The availability of the popular apps on Windows 10 encourages more people to give Windows 10 a shot. And Facebook is more than willing to expose its apps and services to uncountable number of people anytime, anywhere.

Despite of the tough history they have together, Facebook and Microsoft would make a good collaboration as their visions for the upcoming years start to match. As a matter of fact, Microsoft is treating Facebook equal.

In 2007, Microsoft invested $240 million in what was then a promising young startup, for a 1.6% stake. As time goes by, the two announced some joint technology deals, like using Microsoft Bing for searching that fell by the curb as Facebook rapidly matured and started building its own in-house technology.

In record time, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has demonstrated time and the willingness to work with competitors: Nadella’s Microsoft has refocused on sufficing useful, helpful services to developers and consumers alike, no matter what device or operating system they are using.

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It was good, because Mark Zuckerberg has accordingly plotted an extremely ambitious 10-year plan for Facebook that combines augmented and virtual reality with artificial intelligence. Meaning to say, Facebook has a boatload of talent and expertise, but it can’t definitely carry out those in reality all by itself.

Two factors are involved in the making of the newer, friendlier Microsoft an ideal partner for Facebook: Firstly, Microsoft is not so equipped when it comes social networking play, and it’s bared itself of most of its advertising business, meaning that it’s rarely going forefront with Facebook.

Second, Microsoft has invested much of its huge fortune and resources into solving many of the similar problems that Facebook is dealing. A few weeks ago, Nadella declared Microsoft’s strong belief in “conversations as a platform,” while Facebook is selling “the Messenger Platform.”

Therefore the two are talking about chatbots, the current trend in Silicon Valley where you can text with a machine like it’s a human.

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It’s not difficult to imagine developers using Microsoft’s technology to establish their chatbots on the Microsoft Azure cloud, and then plugging them into the Facebook Messenger platform. The net result there is more chatbots on Messenger, which is good for Facebook, using the Azure cloud, which works nicely for Microsoft.

They even signed a deal to bring Facebook’s popular React Native framework to Windows apps, which draws more developers to both companies.

During the Facebook’s F8 conference earlier in April, Zuckerberg announced that the company’s Oculus VR subsidiary is working to soon create a pair of glasses, just the same as the normal average horn-rims, which provide both virtual reality and augmented reality.

Currently, Facebook already has the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. However, there’s no indication that it’s actively working on augmented reality. But Microsoft, Facebook’s new best buddy, has its HoloLens, which is currently the only high-end augmented reality headset you can purchase, though it’s a quite hefty one for $3,000.

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Undoubtedly, Microsoft’s gaming division and Facebook’s Oculus have their own little partnership happening in order to support Xbox One games in virtual reality with the Oculus Rift.

Besides, you will need a Windows computer to work the Oculus Rift headset in the first place — which is advantageous for Microsoft, too. Meaning, they get the opportunity to ride with the virtual reality wave with Windows, without their having to craft their own device. Going forward, you can perhaps expect more handshake deals along these lines between the two.

All in all, Microsoft and Facebook seem to be realizing that they can do more with the help of each other. And while we’re past the days where Microsoft considering Facebook as an investment, they mow seem to be walking together into the future as real partners.

 

 

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