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Satya Nadella defends US Army HoloLens contract

(Image credit: Image Credit: Microsoft)

Speaking to the media recently, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has defended the contract his company has with the US military. The contract was previously criticised by Microsoft's employees.

The contract in question is about Microsoft's augmented reality goggles – HoloLens. The company has agreed to supply the US military with these head-mounted wearables, and modify them according to the military's needs.

The US military says these devices can help the soldiers be more lethal, as they will be capable of spotting the enemy before the enemy can spot them.

Some 50 Microsoft employees spoke against the contract, saying the company stepped into weapons production, which was unacceptable.

“We are alarmed that Microsoft is working to provide weapons technology to the US Military, helping one country’s government ‘increase lethality’ using tools we built,” the workers wrote in the letter. “We did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used.”

Speaking to CNN Business (opens in new tab) during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nadella said Microsoft will not back down, but will talk to the employees.

“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.”

According to previous reports, Microsoft should supply the US military with some 100,000 HoloLens devices. The contract is worth $480 million.

Image Credit: Microsoft

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.