Partner or compete? 😤 Why not both?


Microsoft is a great case study of being unafraid to embrace co-opetition. Even if it's uncomfortable, as it’s evident from the body language of both CEOs.



🤝 Increasingly interconnected tech and customer demands to have all in one place, push companies towards partnering and competing at the same time.


MSFT and Meta announced their partnership this week to bring MSFT products to Meta’s Oculus Quest devices.



⚔️ Both companies are in fact ruthless in their approach to competition.

Facebook is notorious for copycatting competitors’ features into WhatsApp, Insta, etc.

Microsoft is openly killing Slack with Teams (now a platform with 270m users and 1k+ apps), Notion with Loop, Canva with Designer, etc.


And both have overlapping offerings:

MSFT was the first who teased the metaverse idea + they announced Activision Blizzard $68.7B acquisition earlier this year. They are shipping their own AR headset (Hololens) with Mesh mixed reality platform, avatars to collaborate remotely, etc.




🙌 BUT Microsoft is amazingly open to partnering with competitors. This is one of the hallmarks of Satya Nadella's strategy.


Microsoft-Meta partnership will include among other things:

Microsoft Teams integration with Meta’s Oculus Quest devices for immersive virtual meetings; as well as Windows 365 and Microsoft 365 integration with Quest.


💡 This is a right approach, as you need to follow customers. And while MSFT is improving its Hololens, they make sure that users of the best VR devices so far will use MSFT products.



💬 How they explained co-opetition:


Mark Zuckerberg in his interview to Stratechery:

“Overall, I think that this is a very natural partnership where I think our strategic interests are pretty aligned….we just really want to make sure that we have the best work tools on there.”


Microsoft’s Jeff Teper, President - Microsoft Collab Apps & Platforms in his post:

The Meta partnership “complements our commitment to HoloLens”.


[sources]

Meta keynote

MSFT announcement



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