Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has a foolproof plan to break into the Indian market: attract sports fans! The tech giant recently launched a new platform that helps developers improve the accuracy of predicting target scores in cricket matches even under severe weather interruptions. This platform is not designed to keep tabs on cricket games alone, it can be used by sports administrators to manage other sports related activities in the country. Microsoft’s new platform features AI that learns and allow developers to integrate various parameters – such as playing conditions, nature of cricket ground and weather – to predict target scores.
“We believe the possibilities for machine learning in sports are vast – from monitoring player condition on the field to predicting injuries and taking early preventive actions,” said Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of Data Group at Microsoft.
During a panel discussion, former India cricketer Javagal Srinath said the new platform is more accurate than the old system because the latter focuses too much on the strength of the batsmen from top position. When the order is reversed, the old system becomes confused, generating inaccurate data.
He further said, “Similarly, a bowler who has been in the form in the last six months to a year will have a better impact on the game. The best part of this tool is that it can be updated with this information, making it more accurate.”
Apart from winning over sports fans in India, Microsoft is also funding various government projects to expand its reach. The US-based tech company has teamed up with different organizations, including a deal with Punjab, to widen its education pilot in Andhra Pradesh. The pilot, which uses AI to learn, analyze, and predict dropouts and take preventive actions, initially rolled out in the Chittoor district of AP in August 2015.
Last June, Microsoft teamed up with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics to create a sowing app for farmers. The app provides crucial information and insights to increase yield and reduce crop failures.
According to Anil Bhansali, Microsoft India’s research and development managing director, the firm is using its machine learning journey to improve education, agriculture and healthcare in the country. The Microsoft is now looking into other sectors such as public safety, transportation, and fraud detection to enhance public service.
“We have great opportunities in public and private sectors. These technologies enable private sector companies to be significantly more efficient by growing their revenues and reducing expenses to compete better in the global market,” said Sarosh.
Microsoft’s good deeds did not go unnoticed. Analysts predict that Microsoft will outperform the market. In 2016, Microsoft Corp reported a dividend of $1.44, which represents a 16.13% increase over last year. Analysts tracking the company expect dividends of 1.54 USD for the upcoming fiscal year, an increase of 6.67%. Microsoft also owes its “strong buy” rating to a positive second-quarter PC data last month.