Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has defended the company’s million dollar investment after an employee protested against it. Microsoft has invested in $479 million in the Pentagon program to supply augmented reality headsets. Last week, a group of employees publicly criticized the same contract and demand company to end its ties with the US military.
An open letter released on Friday in which a group of about 50 Microsoft workers demands that the company pull out of it’s nearly $480 million contracts to supply as many as 100,000 HoloLens devices to the US military, a special tool designed to help people killed. The company beat out its other competitors like Magic leap last November, and win it bid to provide the defense department with the headsets.
Nadella told CNN in an interview, “withhold technology from institutions that we have elected in democracies. “It’s really about being a responsible corporate citizen in a democracy.”
The Pentagon program is described as a project method of increasing and enhancing the ability to detect and engage before the enemy with the use of AR. It is like the US military will enhance the headsets which to be used by the soldiers with support from Microsoft. The company workers in the letter ask Nadella and Microsoft President Brad Smith to terminates the company’s plans to give AR headsets to the US military which they can use on borders.
“We are very excited with HoloLens,” Nadella said. “When we first launched HoloLens, we knew this was a new medium and it had to find its new expression.”
In an interview with CNN at the Mobile world congress in Barcelo on Monday, which is the day after unveiling its second generation Hololens.
“We made a principled decision that we’re not going to withhold technology from institutions that we have elected in democracies to protect the freedoms we enjoy,” he said. “We were very transparent about that decision and we’ll continue to have that dialogue [with employees].”
In the letter, employees argued that Microsoft is crossing its line in weapon development by agreeing to the terms of supplying weapons to the military. The employees further said that the misuse of technology is not acceptable.