50 Microsoft Activists Whinge + Moan Over New Product Initative
At least 50 Microsoft employees are trying to flex their socialist muscle by demanding that Microsoft back out of a deal with the US military to provide augmented reality technology.
The employees have demanded the company back out of a deal claiming that the firm’s headset, HoloLens, must not be used to “help people kill”.
Maybe someone forgot to tell them that Microsoft Server software is also used by the US Military and many other Western armies to plan their military games. They also use Microsoft messaging, SQL and a host of other Microsoft software in their military operations.
In what appears to be a left-wing publicity stunt the employees have got their knickers in a right twist claiming that Microsoft who cut a $479m deal to develop a platform that would involve soldiers using about 100,000 headsets should now walk away from the contract.
A letter sent around Microsoft on Friday has been backed by employees across multiple departments.
“Microsoft must stop in its activities to empower the US Army’s ability to cause harm and violence,” it reads.
“We did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used.”
One Microsoft executive said “I don’t know what these people work at Microsoft for. It appears that they prefer being activists than getting on with their job”.
The BBC said that it’s not the first time that Microsoft employees have spoken out against the firm’s work with government entities.
In June, with the Trump administration mired in controversy over family separations on the US-Mexico border, staff demanded the firm cease providing services to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).
According to the contract, the goal is to “increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy”.
Microsoft is understood to have outbid rival augmented reality developers, such as Magic Leap.
Microsoft’s president and top lawyer Brad Smith has said employees who are not happy with the nature of the firm’s military work would be allowed to work in other departments. However, in the latest letter, employees said that suggestion was flawed.
Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos said his firm would enthusiastically work with the military.
“This is a great country – it needs to be defended,” he said during an on-stage interview recently.