Did your copilot just crash?
  • 26 Jun 2024
  • 3 Minutes to read
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Did your copilot just crash?

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Navigating the Perils of Relying on Big Tech


In the rapidly evolving world of technology, relying on third-party platforms can be a risky proposition. As the recent article in ZDNet highlights, even tech giants like Microsoft are not immune to sudden changes in their offerings, as evidenced by the abrupt cancellation of the CoPilot Pro GPT Builder after just three months. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining control over one's own technology stack.

The Perils of Dependency

History has shown that relying on someone else's platform can lead to significant challenges. In the early days of personal digital assistants, building electronics and data collection software on the PalmPilot platform proved to be a precarious endeavor. As the company frequently changed form factors and obsoleted external modules, developers were left scrambling to adapt. Ultimately, the rise of smartphones rendered the entire platform obsolete.

Similarly, in the PC market, Microsoft's dominance allowed them to absorb innovative ideas from third parties and incorporate them into their own products. Applications like Word and Excel, while not the first of their kind, benefited from Microsoft's control over the Windows operating system and strong relationships with PC manufacturers. This allowed them to outcompete and eventually run their rivals out of business.

The Web as a Lifeline

The advent of the web provided a lifeline for companies seeking to break free from Microsoft's grip. The browser became the new operating environment, offering a multitude of choices such as Netscape, IE, Safari, Chrome, and Opera. This diversity allowed developers to create applications that were no longer dependent on Windows, much to Microsoft's chagrin. As a senior executive at Broderbund, I personally experienced Microsoft's targeting of successful PC apps, making it clear that they intended to capture market share from us.

Microsoft's Competitive Prowess

It is important to acknowledge Microsoft's formidable competitive capabilities. They are relentless in their pursuit of success, continually adapting until they find a winning formula. The recent pricing changes for CoPilot, from $108,000 per year to $360 per year, demonstrate their willingness to adjust in order to gain market share. However, it is likely that prices will rise in the future, and the axing of a popular feature like GPT Builder underscores the risks of relying on their platform.

Controlling Your Own Technology

The key to mitigating these risks is to take control of your own technology stack. Companies like smartR AI offer models that you can own and control, providing the security and stability needed to build your own AI future. Open-source solutions, such as Linux and the emerging AI models, enable you to construct an IT stack that is dependable, stable, safe, and under your control.

The Future of AI

The next 5-10 years will undoubtedly bring significant upheaval in the AI landscape. Some winners will emerge, while others, even big names like Google, may find themselves losing ground. Google's position is particularly ironic, given their role at the forefront of AI development, including the creation of the original GPT. However, their struggles in gaining adoption among Fortune 500 companies highlight the challenges that lie ahead.

While Microsoft is likely to be one of the winners in this AI race, relying on their technology comes with its own set of risks. They will undoubtedly seek to leverage every cent from their customers' hard work, potentially leaving those who depend on their platform feeling crushed or bruised by the end of the journey.


In the face of these challenges, the path forward is clear: take control of your own technology stack. By owning your own AI models and data, you can ensure that your knowledge and efforts are not used against you as the AI landscape continues to evolve. Embrace open-source solutions and partner with companies that prioritize your technological independence. In doing so, you will be well-positioned to navigate the uncertainties of the AI revolution and emerge as a leader in your field.

By Oliver King-Smith, Founder and CEO of smartR AI

Oliver's LinkedIn profile is : https://www.linkedin.com/in/oliverkingsmith/  

smartR AI website: https://www.smartr.ai/ 

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