Every chipmaker was all-in on AI in their Computex 2024 keynote and Microsoft was at the center every time

Split view of Satya Nadella's presentations during the Intel, Qualcomm, and AMD keynotes at Computex 2024
(Image credit: Intel/AMD/Qualcomm)

Microsoft was the happy center of the AI universe at Computex 2024, but it got a little offputting eventually. Microsoft partners with most major chipmakers, Windows is the largest computer operating system after all, representing about 68% of the market share per Statista. So it was no surprise to see Microsoft's Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella send videos for AMD, Qualcomm, and Intel's Computex keynote speeches this year.

AMD kicked off Computex 2024 with the first official keynote speech at 9:30 am local time in Taipei, Taiwan on Monday, June 3rd. Qualcomm's keynote followed later the same day at 1:30 pm local time. Intel's keynote kicked off the second day of Computex at 11 am local time on Tuesday, June 4th.

What made Nadella's virtual appearances at Computex noteworthy is the similarity between the videos submitted for all three computing partners. Visually they are identical, as depicted in the image above, it's a spliced image combined from all three presentations. However, the content of the videos was also close enough that it started to tickle the uncanny valley detectors in my brain.

Live. AI. Repeat.

If you watch all three Microsoft videos from the various chipmaker keynotes back-to-back (courtesy of YouTube), you'll get a pretty severe case of déjà vu. Nadella must have felt like he was trapped in Groundhog Day or Live. Die. Repeat, just keep doing it until you get it perfect and can escape the time loop. 

Starting with the AMD keynote, it seems like a very general supporting statement by Nadella with nothing particularly out of the ordinary. With the Qualcomm video, the similarities start to stack up, and by the time you get to the Intel keynote, it almost seems like Microsoft just swapped out partner names in the videos.

Of course, that's not entirely true. The videos do have their differences, but shooting the videos at the same spot, on the same background, with Nadella in the same sweater, with the same "It's great to be with you at Computex" greeting was perhaps not the right decision.

The AMD video includes more specific information about Microsoft's partnership using the MI300X accelerator but the early focus on AI and Copilot+ becomes a template for the later keynote appearances. The Intel and Qualcomm videos are even more alike, as both focus heavily on AI and the Copilot+ platform.

While the words are different, the content is very similar, and the near identical openings with swapped names for the three CEOs do not help.

Why send similar videos to all three chipmakers?

Microsoft works closely with all three companies, so avoiding any partisanship is the smart move. Especially as AMD and Qualcomm have both joined the Copilot+ program and Intel is sure to follow suit with the Lunar Lake chipsets.

However, those of us not trapped in the loop with Nadella were treated to basically the same video clip for all three manufacturers within 26 hours at the start of a major tech conference. On the surface it's not a great look, but Microsoft is at the center of potentially the biggest shift for computing and laptops in at least a decade. One that every chipmaker is naturally heavily invested in as well, so Nadella probably could have just done a Mad Lib-style script with [Insert valuable partner here] and all would have been forgiven. 

Every one of these companies wants to see the AI PC movement succeed and Microsoft has pushed more chips in than anyone (well, metaphorical chips, the chipmakers definitely have more physical chips). All of its branding is focused on AI, even as it faces harsh criticism for some of those features, so we'll cut Nadella some slack. Maybe next time just tell the AI to come up with some slightly more varied presentations and move the camera around the room a little bit.

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Madeline Ricchiuto
Staff Writer

A former lab gremlin for Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, and Tech Radar; Madeline has escaped the labs to join Laptop Mag as a Staff Writer. With over a decade of experience writing about tech and gaming, she may actually know a thing or two. Sometimes. When she isn't writing about the latest laptops and AI software, Madeline likes to throw herself into the ocean as a PADI scuba diving instructor and underwater photography enthusiast.

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