Most of Microsoft's $10bn investment in OpenAI has gone on cloud

Satya Nadella
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Much of Microsoft’s $10 billion investment in OpenAI is actually tied up in cloud compute, according to Semafor, citing people familiar with the agreement. 

Redmond’s famous multibillion-dollar investment was confirmed in January, barely a couple of months after the startup unleashed the public preview of ChatGPT.

Now, it has been rumored that OpenAI received just a fraction of this heavy investment as usable cash.

Does Microsoft influence OpenAI?

While the division of Microsoft’s funding remains unclear, the truth is that the $10 billion investment has awarded Microsoft with a considerable (yet unconfirmed) say in how OpenAI may operate.

Semafor notes that, as part of an ongoing agreement, Redmond has some rights to OpenAI’s IP, which means it would still be able to use models like GPT-4 on its own servers in the event of a relationship breakdown.

As the world prepared for a weekend of relaxing, OpenAI’s board late last week revealed that CEO Sam Altman would be fired. Subsequently, co-founder Greg Brockman also resigned.

It is believed that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has suggested that Altman’s firing was mishandled. Nadella has since confirmed on X that “Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, together with colleagues, will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team.”

Nadella also noted: “We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI.” Still, with Redmond’s acquisition of two of the startup’s co-founders and ongoing queries about the board’s decision, not only is the future of the partnership and investment being questioned but also the stability and security of OpenAI more generally. 

Neither Microsoft nor OpenAI has responded to TechRadar Pro’s request to confirm or provide more context about the report on the split of the $10 billion investment - any comments will be added here. 

More from TechRadar Pro

Via Semafor

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!