Microsoft's workers yesterday asked the company to terminate the $ 479m contract to give the HoloLens earpiece to the army, calling it corruption of the earlier work of designers and engineers, and offending those who oppose weapons of war. a letter addressed to Microsoft CEO and his president, an employee organization set up at the end of January also required the company to cease developing any weapon technology, to engage in a policy of acceptable use.
Microsoft Workers 4 Good wrote the letter yesterday afternoon; At the end of the night, the group reported that more than 1
In November, Microsoft and the Army reached an agreement to develop an "Integrated Visual Enhancement System" based on the Hololens platform. The army, according to the reports at the time, explicitly stated that the technology was designed to "increase mortality by enhancing the capacity to find, solve, and engage in the enemy."
Hololens was announced in January 2015 and is not yet started as a custom product. A development kit is sold for around $ 3000. The end-2018 reports show that Microsoft has sold around 50,000 devices. The Army itself would have bought twice as much in the contract.
"The application of HoloLens within [Integrated Visual Augmentation System] is designed to help people kill," the officer said. "He will be deployed on the battlefield and will work by turning the war into a simulated video game, such as further diverting soldiers from dark wars and the reality of bloodshed."
In November, Microsoft President Brad Smith defended the company's cooperation with the military, noting that they had been working together for more than 30 years. "We believe in the strong defense of the United States, and we want people who defend it to have access to the nation's best technology, including Microsoft," Smith said. He said employees who oppose the development of military technology could be accommodated by transferring to other projects or working groups in the company.
The employees' group on Friday said they "ignore the problem that workers are not properly informed about the use. The letter notes that "many engineers have contributed to HoloLens before this contract even exists," assuming it will be applied in areas that are different, such as architecture, surgery, automotive design and space exploration. "These engineers have already lost their ability to make decisions about what they are working on instead of acting as military speculators."
Microsoft Workers 4 Good, according to its Twitter page organized so that workers can take Microsoft's responsibility for their requested values . " previously criticized the Commission's Political Action Committee for making contributions" to candidates who do not act in the interests of Microsoft's core values "- conservative or right-wing politicians
The letter from Friday was directed at Smith and Satya Nadela, CEO of Microsoft. A spokesman for Microsoft, The Guardian, did not respond to the group's criticism, but said the company "always evaluates feedback from employees."