With the generative AI wars heating up, Microsoft has threatened to put its foot down when it comes to rivals accessing its internet-search data.

In a statement made on Friday, March 24th, Microsoft threatened to remove its rivals’ access to licensed data if they refuse to stop using it to build the basis of their own AI-driven chat applications.

A Stiff Warning

At least two customers have been warned that using Microsoft’s Bing search index – essentially a real-time map of the internet – for data with which to bolster their own AI chat tools is a violation of the user contract they signed with the tech firm. 

Microsoft also reiterated that it might immediately terminate licenses providing access to the Bing index in the event of another violation.

The company stated that it has gotten in touch with clients who have not complied with relevant stipulations as a way of properly enforcing them and preventing abusive use of their data. Nevertheless, it gave the public the assurance that it would continue to work with these clients directly, supplying the necessary information for all parties to move forward.

Not the Only Player in the Game

Interestingly, Microsoft is not the only company capable of generating a search index, but it happens to be the most accessible. 

As Google’s search engine has been the backbone of its business for years, its search index is formidable. However, Google tends to impose more restrictions on the use of its internet-search data, thus making it less appealing to AI developers.

Power Move

In early February, Microsoft announced that it would be adding AI functionality to the Bing search engine as well as its Edge Web browser. Bing’s revamped engine was officially rolled out to users later in the month.

This move is seen as a powerful one on the part of the company and symbolizes its drive to dominate the consumer technology market once more.