Must-know: Microsoft's 2014 earnings review (Part 8 of 13)
The technology industry and R&D
The technology industry is a knowledge intensive industry. Every leading technology company has to pour huge funds in research and development (or R&D) to stay competitive and ahead of its peers. Patents, new services, and new technologies are the result of engineering and R&D.
Microsoft (MSFT) spends approximately 13% of its revenue on R&D. In its fourth quarter earnings, Microsoft announced and demonstrated Delve and Skype Translator. They will form the core of Microsoft’s new strategy and are aimed towards better work–life balances. Delve is an Office 365 cloud-based service, and Skype Translator offers language translation services for Skype.
The presence of Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOGL), Salesforce.com (CRM), and Amazon (AMZN) in the devices and cloud market pose a threat to Microsoft’s products and services.
The above picture shows the graphical explanation of Office Graph. Office Graph lets users connect to relevant documents, presentations, and people around them. Through Office Graph, Delve understands users’ preferences and needs and can provide customized and tailored services.
Overview of Delve
According to Microsoft’s CEO, Delve is “a new breed of intelligent and social work experiences” and “highlights key information of interest to you, based on what you are working on and the actions of people in your network.”
Delve searches emails, social networks, and corporate documents stored in Office 365. It’s focused on increased interactions between users and device collaboration. Delve functions on “machine learning” and artificial intelligence. It shows the relevant content such as documents and messages that users would prefer to see and delivers real-time insights. Delve is personalized and can be accessed on mobile devices and desktops.
Delve is comparable to Google Now and Cortana. Google Now is an intelligent personal assistant that’s available on the Android and iOS operating systems, which use a natural-language user interface for functioning. Cortana is Microsoft’s voice-controlled personal assistant.
Overview of Skype Translator
Skype translator allows people to speak in different languages “without any friction,” or in “near real-time.” Skype Translator combines voice recognition, language translation, and speech synthesis for translation and voice conversations. It is expected to be a revolution in overcoming language barriers and in communication across the world.
Both Delve and Skype Translator are expected to be available to customers by the end of 2014. Delve and Skype Translator are in line with Microsoft’s strategy of boosting productivity and unification. It is yet to be seen if Delve and Skype Translate will be accepted in the same fervor by the users and the community, as the company claims.
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