Sorry for all the acronyms.

The question concerns two highly hyped technologies of these last five years: augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

These technologies have been slowly falling out of the hype train as they still fail to deliver any opposable value to any market (if you disregard the novelty aspect of 3D gaming that no major game developer readily pursues). Even the late radical reposting of Facebook as the metaverse company of the future was anything but a huge flop (Facebook's market cap increase mainly came from firing a bunch of employees and passing down their mullion-billion dollar investment in said VR).

On the other side, there's AI, a technology birthed in the early nineties that no one was really betting on anymore until a year ago.

Artificial Intelligence has made huge strides and delivered unprecedented, transformational tools to the public and, now, progressively more to businesses as well. And if Microsoft hasn't been alone in rapidly pivoting toward AI solutions, they have certainly been the most active and, let's say it openly, visionary.

One of their recent ads is fascinating as it shows how they would ideally envision AR and AI playing together:

Something here has changed.

AR and VR now have value. They deliver process efficiency–a clear ROI for any business. But what is changing is that AR and VR here are just extra features on top of what delivers the core value: AI. So while AR and VR are sexy, in a Tony Stark way of interacting with machines with fancy displays, they're just now an accessory to the real breakthrough technology: no AI, no AR or VR.

Just like the multitouch iPhone display was a shiny feature, the real power came from a mobile OS capable of offering multiple interactions (from reading emails to geolocating yourself in real-time in the street) and, later on, an app store. And, as B2C applications of these technologies combined together are still weak, if even realistic, this might translate into Microsoft beating the crap out of the other GAFAMS (Apple included) very soon.

A last question for you:

When will Microsoft acquire Siemens?

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