Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees, nearly 5% of its workforce, in what the tech company calls a “response to macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities,” according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Wednesday. The workers will be laid off by the conclusion of the third fiscal quarter this year, the company said.Read More
Federal Trade Commission Sues Microsoft to Block Activision Blizzard Deal
The Federal Trade Commission filed suit Thursday against Microsoft Corp. to block it from acquiring Activision Blizzard Inc., publisher of the “Call of Duty” games.
The FTC alleges the largest acquisition in the video gaming industry would allow Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its subscription content and cloud-gaming business.Read More
Microsoft Retires Internet Explorer After 30 Years of Service
Internet Explorer, the longtime web browser that led countless users onto the early Internet on Microsoft operating systems, is officially no longer compatible with Windows, the company announced this week.
In a blog post on Microsoft’s website, Sean Lyndersay—the general manager to the Windows web browser Microsoft Edge Enterprise—explained the decision by nothing that “the web has evolved and so have browsers.”Read More
Corporations Stay Quiet on Abortion After Disney’s Disastrous Tangle with DeSantis
Corporations previously outspoken about hot-button social issues have stayed quiet on the likely overturning of Roe v. Wade after a dramatic fight between Disney and Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis over the company’s political activism.
Following the leak of a draft opinion indicating the Supreme Court is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats are trying to ram through a bill legalizing third trimester abortions; however, corporations are largely staying out of the fray, following Disney’s disastrous battle with Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that ended with the company losing its special tax privileges.Read More
Google Accuses Microsoft of ‘Carving Out’ Exception in Anti-Big Tech Bill
Google’s Chief Legal Officer and President of Global Affairs Kent Walker accused Microsoft on Friday of “carving out” an exception to a bill targeting app stores operated by Google and Apple.
The Open App Markets Act, introduced by Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn and Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in a near-unanimous vote Thursday. Microsoft president Brad Smith applauded the passage of the bill in tweet shortly after, writing that the legislation “would promote competition, and ensure fairness and innovation in the app economy.”
Walker responded to Smith’s tweet accusing the software company of “carving out” an exception in the legislation favoring Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console and service.Read More
Amazon and Facebook Spent More Money Than Ever Lobbying in 2021
Amazon and Facebook parent company Meta spent more money in 2021 lobbying lawmakers and officials than any year before, according to lobbying disclosure filings.
Amazon spent $20.3 million on lobbying while Meta spent $20.1 million in 2021, according to a review of lobbying disclosure filings by MarketWatch. The figures are record totals for both tech companies, who spent $18.9 million and $19.7 million on lobbying in 2020, respectively.
Google’s lobbying spend for 2021 clocked in at $11.5 million, while Microsoft spent $10.3 million and Apple spent $6.5 million, according to MarketWatch’s review.Read More
Tech Giant to Buy Video Game Company for Almost $70 Billion
Microsoft agreed to purchase video game giant Activision Blizzard for almost $70 billion, its largest acquisition in company history, multiple sources reported.
Microsoft announced Tuesday that it agreed to purchase Activision Blizzard in an all-cash deal, further broadening the tech giant’s video game portfolio. Upon completion, the deal w0uld make Microsoft the world’s third-largest gaming company, behind Tencent and Sony.
“Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms,” Microsoft chairman and chief executive Satya Nadella said in a press release. “We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all.”Read More
Gates Calls for ‘New Way of Doing’ Vaccines Since They Don’t ‘Block Transmission’ of COVID
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has called for a “new way of doing the vaccines” against viruses like COVID-19 given that they do not “block” transmission.
Gates said the “economic damage” and death toll from COVID-19 was “completely horrific.”
Gates expects the world’s experience with COVID-19 to lead to larger research and development budgets to better prepare for a future pandemic.Read More
Microsoft Draws Jeers for ‘Utterly Bananas’ Introductions Highlighting Pronouns, Race and Hairstyles
Microsoft was ridiculed on social media Thursday for including land acknowledgments, pronoun statements and references to hairstyles in its corporate introductions.
While giving presentations during the Microsoft Ignite 2021 conference on Tuesday, Microsoft employees recognized that the land they were currently standing on previously belonged to Native American tribes.Read More
Russian Hackers Behind SolarWinds Attack Are Targeting the Supply Chain, Microsoft Says
The same group of Russian hackers behind the December 2020 SolarWinds attack are targeting companies in the U.S. technology supply chain, according to a Monday report released by Microsoft.
Russian hacking group Nobelium is targeting cloud infrastructure companies and information technology software resellers in an attempt to gain access to these companies’ customers, according to Microsoft’s research. Microsoft believes Nobelium to be the same group responsible for the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 that affected multiple Cabinet-level agencies, federal contractors and critical infrastructure companies.
“This recent activity is another indicator that Russia is trying to gain long-term, systematic access to a variety of points in the technology supply chain and establish a mechanism for surveilling – now or in the future – targets of interest to the Russian government,” Tom Burt, Microsoft’s vice president for customer security and trust, wrote in the report.Read More
Big Tech Profits Continue to Surge, Latest Earnings Show
Big Tech companies reported massive, record-breaking earnings figures as their sales continued to surge amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Google, Apple, Microsoft and Twitter all beat earnings estimates and showed large revenue growth, executives for the tech companies said during earnings calls Tuesday evening. The four companies’ earnings reports suggested that the growth experienced by Big Tech during the pandemic will continue apace.
“Our long-term investments in AI and Google Cloud are helping us drive significant improvements in everyone’s digital experience,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement Tuesday, explaining his company’s strong performance.Read More
Whistleblower Document Appears to Show Microsoft Helped Write Big Tech Bills
Microsoft was given an advance copy of major antitrust legislation, a document given to Republican Rep. Thomas Massie by a whistleblower appeared to show.
The document is the original version of the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act, one of Democrats’ six pending antitrust bills targeting Big Tech, according to Rep. Thomas Massie. Every page of the document, which the Daily Caller News Foundation obtained on Wednesday, is watermarked with the text “CONFIDENTIAL – Microsoft.”
“I just came into possession of a document that everyone needs to know about,” Massie said during the Judiciary Committee markup of the legislation on Wednesday. “It’s marked ‘CONFIDENTIAL – Microsoft.’ A whistleblower provided this. It’s the first draft of one of these bills that would’ve covered Microsoft. This begs the question: did Microsoft have this bill and the other bills that we are voting on today before I had this bill?”Read More
Microsoft Blocks Images of Tiananmen Square Protests on Massacre Anniversary
Microsoft’s search engine Bing appeared to censor images of the protester who stood in front of a Chinese tank during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
A Bing Images search of “tank man” yielded no results and a prompt for the user to check their spelling as of Friday afternoon. However, an identical search on Google Images produced hundreds of results including many of the iconic moment.
The famous “tank man” photo was taken on June 5, 1989, one day after the 1989 massacre in which Chinese troops fired indiscriminately upon civilians demonstrating against the government, killing hundreds. The photo showed a Chinese protester, who has since become known as “tank man,” standing in front of a procession of Chinese tanks rolling through Tiananmen Square.Read More
Bill and Melinda Gates Announce Divorce
Bill and Melinda Gates announced in a statement on Monday that they will be divorcing after more than a quarter century of marriage.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives,” the former couple said in a statement. “We continue to share belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”Read More
Big Tech Employees Donated More to Biden’s Campaign Than Any Other Sector
Employees at Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, donated at least $15.1 million to President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, according to Open Secrets.
The donations eclipsed the amount given from employees in the banking and legal sectors, according to The Wall Street Journal. The five companies were also the largest fundraising sources for Biden’s campaign.Read More
Microsoft Attempts Takedown of Global Criminal Botnet
Microsoft announced legal action Monday seeking to disrupt a major cybercrime digital network that uses more than 1 million zombie computers to loot bank accounts and spread ransomware, which experts consider a major threat to the U.S. presidential election.Read More
Trump’s DOD Delivers Another Big Blow to Bezos, Gives $10 Billion Cloud Project to Microsoft Instead of Amazon
The Pentagon reaffirmed its decision Friday to give a $10 billion cloud computing project to Microsoft instead of Amazon, marking the second time in one year that the Trump administration bypassed the online giant’s attempt to secure the program.
The Trump administration’s decision comes amid a legal battle Amazon Web Services initiated in 2019 after the Department of Defense (DOD) selected Microsoft in 2019 for the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud computing contract, media reports show. Amazon previously stated that President Donald Trump’s dislike of CEO Jeff Bezos contributed to the move.Read More
Tiktok to Fight Trump Over His Pending Order to Ban Its App
Video app TikTok said it will wage a legal fight against the Trump Administration’s efforts to ban the popular, Chinese-owned service over national-security concerns.
TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance, insisted Monday that it is not a national-security threat and that the government is acting without evidence or due process. The company said it will file suit against the government later Monday in federal court in California. A copy of the complaint could not be obtained.Read More
Commentary: Why Isn’t ‘Cancel Culture’ Canceling Corporations?
If you haven’t gotten your fill of “cancel culture” yet, tell you what: I have over 80 companies you can cancel right now. Nike, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google among others should be facing the wrath of the social justice warriors, but I’ve barely heard a peep from them about these corporations.Read More
Commentary: ‘High-Skilled Immigrants Act’ Is a Sop to Big Tech
by Rachael Brovard In a rare moment of bipartisanship last week, Democrats and Republicans joined hands to make a small, but fundamental change to our immigration system. Not to provide critically needed updates or wholesale reforms, but, rather, to toss a sop to the billionaires of Big Tech. Thanks…Read More
Microsoft Ignored Numerous Cases of Sexual Harassment, Employees Say
by Tim Pearce Microsoft leadership is conducting a review of numerous employee sexual harassment claims the company’s HR department did not address, according to a string of employee emails reviewed by Quartz. After one woman employee emailed several of her colleagues looking for advice on how to move up…Read More
Google, Microsoft, Facebook And Twitter Reveal ‘Data Transfer’ Partnership
by Eric Leiberman Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook are teaming up to provide users with the capability of transferring data across platforms and services, the latter two social media giants announced Friday morning. After heightened concerns over data utilization (even exploitation and manipulation), companies appear to be trying to…Read More
Gates Foundation Pushes Back On Report Saying $215 Million Education Investment Was A Flop
by Rob Shimshock Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates’ $215 million investment in education was a colossal failure, according to a report by the RAND Corporation and the American Institutes for Research. But the foundation emphasized Friday some of the initiatives “important outcomes.” The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated the…Read More