Business News Report
October 25, 2023

Microsoft Project Airsim Concludes as Focus Shifts to OpenAI Collaboration

In Brief

Microsoft Ends Project Airsim and Redirects its AI Strategy Towards OpenAI Collaboration.

Microsoft Project Airsim Concludes as Focus Shifts to OpenAI Collaboration

Microsoft is discontinuing its industrial metaverse endeavor, Project Airsim, and shifting its artificial intelligence strategy towards a partnership with OpenAI. This decision comes in line with recent changes in the tech giant’s approach to AI and its collaborative projects.

Sources have confirmed that the developers behind Project Airsim, a prominent Microsoft Industrial Metaverse initiative, received notifications about the project’s termination. Microsoft plans to fully dissolve the project by December 15th of this year.

From Bonsai to Microsoft Airsim

Microsoft’s decision to shut down Airsim follows closely on the heels of them ceasing support for Project Bonsai on October 19th. Bonsai, an AI platform envisioned for curating automated systems in industrial spheres, marked another component of Microsoft’s ‘Industrial Metaverse’.

Bonsai’s journey with Microsoft began in 2018, following the company’s acquisition of the AI startup as a strategic countermove to Google’s Deepmind purchase. Conversely, the Airsim initiative commenced in 2017 as an open-source project but gradually pivoted to cater to industrial clienteles.

While we take pride in the strides made by this incubation program and its impact on our clientele, our commitment remains unwavering to Azure, fostering a conducive platform for industrial virtual worlds and other in-house AI ventures.

Microsoft stated

Microsoft CTO, Kevin Scott, who once championed both Project Bonsai and Airsim, played a pivotal role in fostering a collaboration between Microsoft and OpenAI. Under his guidance, both projects aimed to bolster Microsoft’s cloud product offerings for their industrial partners. Interestingly, insiders point to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s endorsement of Project Bonsai in numerous discussions, equating its significance to that of OpenAI.

Azure, OpenAI, and the Changing Landscape

Initially, Microsoft viewed these projects as tools to entice industrial software developers, thereby fortifying Azure cloud’s standing against rivals like Amazon Web Services. Yet, as the alliance with OpenAI intensified, Scott’s attention towards these in-house projects seemed to wane.

A testament to the transient nature of tech projects, Microsoft’s enthusiastic promotion of its industrial metaverse vision in early 2023 was quickly overshadowed. By spring, Project Bonsai was already in the rearview, with its entire team disbanded just a few months post its formation.

Insiders believe that Project Airsim managed to stay afloat due to its perceived potential clientele. However, Gurdeep Paull, the key figure overseeing both these projects, left Microsoft recently after a commendable three-decade tenure.

The curtain falling on Project Airsim indicates a broader strategic shift. Microsoft seems to be realigning its resources and focus more towards OpenAI. This move further underscores their belief in prioritizing artificial intelligence, even at the expense of experimental ventures like Surface Headphones.

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About The Author

Nik is an accomplished analyst and writer at Metaverse Post, specializing in delivering cutting-edge insights into the fast-paced world of technology, with a particular emphasis on AI/ML, XR, VR, on-chain analytics, and blockchain development. His articles engage and inform a diverse audience, helping them stay ahead of the technological curve. Possessing a Master's degree in Economics and Management, Nik has a solid grasp of the nuances of the business world and its intersection with emergent technologies.

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Nik Asti
Nik Asti

Nik is an accomplished analyst and writer at Metaverse Post, specializing in delivering cutting-edge insights into the fast-paced world of technology, with a particular emphasis on AI/ML, XR, VR, on-chain analytics, and blockchain development. His articles engage and inform a diverse audience, helping them stay ahead of the technological curve. Possessing a Master's degree in Economics and Management, Nik has a solid grasp of the nuances of the business world and its intersection with emergent technologies.

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