Microsoft boss Nadella defends HoloLens contract with the US military

Microsoft boss Nadella defends HoloLens contract with the US military

Satya Nadella has publicly defended Microsoft's $479m deal with the United States Department of Defense.

Speaking to CNN Business, the Big M boss said that he saw providing this tech to the military was part of Microsoft's responsibility as a corporate citizen. This contract has been controversial among employees as the company, many of whom signed an open letter to Nadella (below).

"First of all, we welcome dialogue with our employees on a continuous basis," he said.

"When this first came up, we had the dialogue, we deliberated and we made a principled decision that we are not going to withhold technology from institutions that we have elected in democracies to protect the freedoms we enjoy. We were very transparent about that decision and will continue to have that dialogue. We are also clear-eyed about the responsibility we have as a corporate citizen on the unintended consequences of technology. We have done this with privacy, we have done this with cybersecurity - even calling for a Geneva Convention - and the same thing for AI and ethics."

Last year, Microsoft also came under fire for its Azure cloud tech being used by American Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

The Big M isn't the only company that writes about regularly that has dealings with the US Department of Defences. SpatialOS firm Improbable signed a $5.8m contract with the American military at the end of 2016 via its Defense Innovation Unit.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.