It’s the (long) weekend! As you shut down for the next three days (seriously, it’s nice outside), let’s take a minute to review some of the biggest tech stories of the week that you might have missed, including hints of a massive Windows revamp, OpenAI’s mysterious new initiative, and Jeff Bezos giving a firm date for his retirement as Amazon CEO.
OpenAI Wants to Fund Your A.I. Project
OpenAI was created as a nonprofit designed to prevent A.I. from being used in terrible and unethical ways. It released papers and open-source software tools for A.I. research. It warned constantly about the threat of unsupervised A.I.
Now it also wants to make a lot of money.
OpenAI has announced the launch of a $100 million startup fund that will invest in early-stage A.I. companies. The organization claims that the fund will invest in a very limited number of companies that are taking on critical issues such as climate change. Microsoft is a partner in the effort, and will give selected startups access to Azure (in addition to new OpenAI systems).
Head over to openai.com if you feel that you have a good idea for all that cash. In the meantime, it will be interesting to keep an eye on how OpenAI evolves. It started out as a watchdog, but now it’s clearly becoming… something else.
Biggest Windows Update in a Decade
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claims that Windows will undergo a huge refresh at some point soon. Whether that includes an all-new UX remains to be seen, but he seemed to hint that the new Windows will include an improved app storefront.
“I’ve been self-hosting it over the past several months,” Nadella told the virtual audience, “and I’m incredibly excited about the next generation of Windows. Our promise to you is this: We will create more opportunity for every Windows developer today and welcome every creator who is looking for the most innovative, new, open platform to build and distribute and monetize applications. We look forward to sharing more very soon.”
It’s been six years since Windows 10, the operating system version designed to reinvigorate the Windows franchise after the unmitigated disaster of Windows 8. While Microsoft has regularly updated Windows 10, it hasn’t engaged in any sweeping overhauls. If that’s about to change, it’s probably because the company’s decided it needs to figure out how to better integrate apps and cloud services into the traditional Windows “flow.”
Jeff Bezos Has a Date
Everyone’s known for some time that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos planned to step down from his position sometime this year. Now we have an exact date: July 5th, which coincides with the 27th anniversary of the company’s incorporation.
Bezos’s replacement as CEO, Andy Jassy, previously headed up the company’s money-printing AWS efforts. Jassy now has a full plate of issues to handle, including government probes into Amazon’s potentially anti-competitive processes, as well as increased competition in the cloud arena from Google and Microsoft. If that wasn’t enough, he has to apply his own leadership stamp to the company’s sprawling infrastructure.
As for Bezos, he’ll remain executive chair of Amazon’s board, and plans to focus on his other endeavors including Blue Origin, his spaceflight company. Plus, Amazon just purchased MGM for $8.45 billion, so maybe he can use some of his freed-up time to watch the entire James Bond series.
That’s it! Have a great weekend, everyone!