Why Microsoft’s self-driving car strategy will work

So, Cruise will get the much-needed funds to conduct research and (possibly discounted) access to Microsoft’s cloud computing resources and move closer toward its goal of launching a purpose-built self-driving car.

But in the long run, Microsoft stands to gain more from the deal. Not only will it get two very lucrative customers for its cloud business (Azure will also become GM’s preferred cloud provider, also per the announcement), but when seen in the broader context of Microsoft’s self-driving car strategy, “Cruise’s deep industry expertise” will possibly give Microsoft a solid foothold into the future of the still-volatile self-driving car industry.

At a time where most major tech companies are interested in acquiring self-driving car startups or launch their own initiatives, Microsoft’s hands-off approach can eventually turn it into an industry leader.