Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella praises tech’s reaction to COVID-19

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella applauds tech's response to COVID-19
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Microsoft’s Satya Nadella began the business’s all-digital designers conference on Tuesday.


James Martin/CNET

For the most current news and info about the coronavirus pandemic, check out the WHO site.

Tech has actually lagged a few of the most high profile reactions to the coronavirus up until now, whether it be the commonly pointed out Johns Hopkins University & Medicine map that’s aggregated the variety of reported infections and deaths around the globe, or the programs developed to examine the coronavirus and assist discover a treatment. The NBA has actually utilized computer game consoles to play virtual video games, providing fans a various experience. And the NFL’s live-stream for the very first day of its draft occasion drew in 15.6 million audiences, 37% over the typical audience for in 2015.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella started a keynote address for his business’s Build designer occasion by indicating all the methods tech business have actually been supporting healthcare, science, home entertainment and work throughout the crisis.

“I’m proud of how all of you have raised the game and been there when the world needed you the most,” Nadella said. “Already, we’ve seen something like two years’ worth of digital transformation in just two months.”

For Microsoft in particular, that’s meant quick uptake of its Teams virtual meeting and communications software, which the company said is now being used by 75 million people daily around the world, a 70% increase in the past two months. The company has also begun working with organizations like the Folding@home project, which asks people to install software that uses their idle computer’s processing power to help researchers better understand the coronavirus.

“We’ve seen how critical digital technology is in the three phases of this crisis, from emergency response to the recovery phase to reimagining the world going forward,” Nadella said.

Nadella’s comments come as governments around the world continue their struggles to combat and contain the coronavirus, which has killed more than 319,000 patients worldwide and infected nearly 5 million people since it was first detected in December. Hundreds of millions of people have been placed in isolation and widespread lockdowns in efforts to slow further spreading the virus and reduce the pressure on hospitals, many of which have been overrun with patients.

The worldwide fight against the virus has also led to the widespread cancellation or delaying of events, including the 2020 summer Olympics; reduction in airline traffic; and even the indefinite closure of Disneyland.

Microsoft decided to hold its annual Build developer event online, rather than cancel it all together, making it the first of the major tech giants to attempt holding its event entirely over the internet. Apple is planning to hold its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) online as well, starting June 22. CNET’s global team is covering Build and WWDC, as well as other conferences that have shifted online, just as we always do — by providing real-time updates, commentary and analysis you can only get here.

For Microsoft, the shift online hasn’t changed its effort to announce new updates to products like its Edge browser, HoloLens headset and Azure server technology. The company also said it’s supporting efforts to combat the coronavirus, including by dedicating some of its computers to help the Folding@home project.

“We are at an inflection point. As developers you have that opportunity as well as a responsibility to define what should be rebuilt, what should be reimagined and what should be left behind,” Nadella said. “And we are already seeing developers have this impact.”

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