Microsoft’s Mistral deal beefs up Azure without spurning OpenAI

1 month ago 25
Illustration of a robot brain. The Verge

Microsoft’s multiyear deal with French AI company Mistral signaled that the company wants longevity in the space.

The company invested €2 billion ($2.1 billion) into Mistral and announced it would bring Mistral’s newest AI model, Mistral Large, to Azure. But the investment into Mistral, mainly a developer of open-source AI models, doesn’t mean Microsoft lost faith in its first AI child, OpenAI. Instead, Microsoft is laying the groundwork to build Azure as a model garden and give itself a foothold in Europe.

Arun Chandrasekaran, an analyst at Gartner, tells The Verge the deal emphasizes the managed services business of AI, one in which Azure can play a role.

“Even before the Mistral announcement, Microsoft has been talking about...

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