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Microsoft (MSFT) Forges Billion-Dollar AI Deal With Hitachi

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Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) has announced a major strategic alliance with Japanese industrial conglomerate Hitachi Ltd., which is projected to involve multibillion-dollar investments over the next three years. The partnership aims to accelerate social innovation through the application of generative artificial intelligence across a wide range of industries.

Under the agreement, Hitachi will embed several of Microsoft's flagship cloud and AI products, including Azure OpenAI Service, Dynamics 365, Copilot for Microsoft 365 and GitHub Copilot, into its Lumada solutions for sectors like energy, mobility, manufacturing and logistics. The integrated offerings are intended to deliver innovative digital solutions that drive better business and societal outcomes.

A key pillar of the collaboration is accelerating Hitachi's own internal digital transformation. Hitachi aims to boost operational efficiency for its global workforce by deploying Microsoft's generative AI technologies like Copilot and GitHub Copilot across application development, customer service and other core functions.

The partnership extends to joint projects focused on enhancing cloud services and cybersecurity resilience and reducing the environmental impact of data centers, an area of increasing priority given the rising demand for computing from generative AI workloads.

Microsoft and Hitachi also plan to collaborate on strengthening digital talent pipelines by incorporating Azure OpenAI Service and GitHub Copilot training into the latter's program for developing more than 50,000 GenAI Professionals to support customer digital transformations.

This wide-ranging partnership marks an important step in MSFT's strategy to commercialize generative AI capabilities at scale. The fact that Hitachi has chosen to deeply integrate Microsoft's generative AI technologies represents a strong endorsement of their technical prowess.

By combining Microsoft's advanced AI platforms with Hitachi's deep domain expertise across sectors like energy, mobility and manufacturing, the two companies intend to jointly develop cutting-edge digital solutions. These co-created offerings aim to solve complex real-world business and societal challenges while also promoting sustainable growth and environmental responsibility. The collaboration signals MSFT's aspirations to establish its generative AI services as an essential catalyst for enterprise innovation.

MSFT’s Generative AI Strategy Takes Shape With Leading Partnerships

Microsoft has formed several notable partnerships to advance generative AI capabilities. Per an Allied Market Research report, the global generative AI market is likely to reach $191.8 billion by 2032, witnessing a CAGR of 34.1% between 2023 and 2032.

Microsoft's multifaceted partnership strategy is a calculated move to mitigate the risks associated with relying on a single AI provider. By diversifying its sources, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company gains access to a broader range of AI capabilities, positioning itself to integrate the best-suited models for each application. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2024 revenues is pegged at $244.41 billion, indicating 15.3% year-over-year growth. The consensus mark for earnings has increased by a penny over the past 30 days to $11.77 per share. The figure indicates 20% year-over-year growth.

At the core of Microsoft's strategy, there is the long-standing partnership with OpenAI, the company behind the renowned GPT language models. MSFT's $1 billion investment in OpenAI in 2019 paved the way for the integration of GPT-3 and GPT-4 into products like the Copilot coding assistant and the revamped Bing search engine powered by an advanced AI model.

Seeking to diversify its AI arsenal, Microsoft has also forged alliances with emerging players like Anthropic, known for its innovative Claude model. Furthermore, the company has teamed up with Meta Platforms (META - Free Report) to harness the capabilities of META's large language model, LLaMA, potentially enhancing its natural language processing prowess.

Microsoft has a long-standing partnership with NVIDIA (NVDA - Free Report) , a leading provider of graphics processing units widely used for training and running large language models and other AI systems. This partnership aims to optimize Microsoft's AI services for NVIDIA hardware.

The tech giant has partnered with Hugging Face, a popular open-source platform for deploying and sharing machine learning models. This partnership focuses on enabling developers and researchers to easily integrate Hugging Face models into Microsoft's AI services.

Shares of MSFT have gained 9.9% in the year-to-date period compared with the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector’s 16.1% growth amid stiff competition in the AI space.

As the AI race intensifies, Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) has announced a partnership with SAP to accelerate the implementation of generative AI for various enterprises. SAP intends to embed generative AI solutions across its enterprise resource planning applications with the help of Amazon Web Services.

Microsoft's aggressive partnership strategy positions it as a formidable contender, which is poised to shape the future of generative AI applications across its vast product ecosystem. From enhancing search and productivity tools to revolutionizing coding and content creation, generative AI promises to reshape numerous industries.

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