http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/technology/microsoft-removes-mobile-from-its-mission-as-it-focuses-on-ai/article/499240

Microsoft removes mobile from its mission as it focuses on AI

Posted Aug 4, 2017 by James Walker
Microsoft has made a highly significant change to its corporate mission statement. The company has replaced its former "mobile-first" strategy with a vision that’s focused entirely on AI. It reflects the altered reality of Microsoft's business.
Microsoft campus
Microsoft campus
Microsoft
The revision was made quietly in Microsoft's annual report for the 2017 fiscal year. CNBC noticed the company's mission statement has been substantially reworded to omit any mention of mobile technology. In its place, there's several prominent references to artificial intelligence.
Microsoft's new mission statement starts as follows:
"Our strategic vision is to compete and grow by building best-in-class platforms and productivity services for an intelligent cloud and intelligent edge infused with AI."
For comparison's sake, the previous version began:
"Our strategic vision is to compete and grow as a productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world."
The differences between the two are immediately apparent. Although changing a mission statement isn't in itself significant, in this instance Microsoft has entirely written its official corporate goals. Mobile is out and "intelligence" is in. CNBC counted six references to AI in the company's new mission, up from none in all previous versions.
Microsoft Seeing AI  an app which uses AI to help blind people  see  by describing the world around ...
Microsoft Seeing AI, an app which uses AI to help blind people "see" by describing the world around them
Microsoft
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The change is in keeping with the direction of Microsoft's development teams since CEO Satya Nadella took over in 2014. The company has stepped up its use of artificial intelligence across its consumer, cloud and corporate products. There's AI in Windows, Office 365, Bing and Cortana. The company's Azure "intelligent cloud" networks all its individual services together.
Through all of this, Nadella has repeated one tagline over and over during public events and conferences. Publicly, Microsoft is a "mobile-first, cloud-first" company, even as its own mobile revenue has dwindled and Windows 10 Mobile usage has dropped off the charts.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on stage at Microsoft Inspire 2017
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on stage at Microsoft Inspire 2017
Microsoft
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The revised mission indicates Nadella no longer considers mobile to be tech's most important frontier. Microsoft is now focused on enabling the aims of digital transformation by using artificial intelligence to create connected cloud and edge computing solutions.
"We believe a new technology paradigm is emerging that manifests itself through an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge where computing is more distributed, AI drives insights and acts on the user's behalf, and user experiences span devices with a user's available data and information," Microsoft's mission statement explains. "We continue to transform our business to lead this new era of digital transformation and enable our customers and partners to thrive in this evolving world."
Microsoft Campus
Microsoft Campus
Microsoft
Microsoft's new mission also suggests the company could be ready to shut down its mobile business. After years of struggling to compete with Apple and Google, Microsoft might be ready to pull the plug on Windows Mobile entirely.
Nadella has previously stressed his commitment to retaining a foothold in the smartphone industry but the end of his "mobile-first" strategy signals a change in heart. Microsoft is now racing beyond the curve in the bid to develop more powerful artificial intelligence before its industry rivals. As it reallocates resources away from mobile, the company seems to have conceded it's better off looking for the next big thing than forever trying to sell Windows phones.