Posted by Brad SmithGeneral Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
As 2012 draws to a close, we’re starting to see a number of “year-in-review” pieces recapping key developments in the tech industry over the past 12 months. One item that I think deserves to be near the top of these year-end lists is an issue to which we and others have been paying especially close attention.
We continue to strive to put privacy first for our customers, while recognizing that providing consumers with more choice and control of their privacy requires strong collaboration with a number of stakeholders. We often have a unique perspective in these discussions: We have billions of paying customers, as well as a thriving advertising business.
We’re looking ahead to 2013 to continue our efforts to put our customers front and center with respect to privacy, while also working with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), consumer groups, the advertising industry, and government officials to seek a clear path forward. But first, let’s look at some of the progress made this year, and what future success could look like.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a monthly series from Microsoft’s Citizenship team that appears once per month. Pulse on Citizenship provides insight and commentary on topics and trends in corporate citizenship.
Posted by Steve LippmanDirector of Corporate Citizenship, Microsoft
When you think of the groups who express the most interest and questions about a company’s social and environmental commitments who first comes to your mind:
Young people seeking to buy from or work for companies that meet their values?
All of these groups are important and interested audiences for our work. However, one of the groups we hear the most from about social and environmental issues on an ongoing basis might surprise you: investors. A growing number of investors believe the stereotype of a Wall Street banker concerned only with quarterly earnings and balance sheets. Some of these are socially responsible investors concerned about investing in companies acting consistently with their values.
Posted by Anthony SalcitoVice President of Worldwide Education, Microsoft
One of the profound privileges of my job is that, every year around this same time, we host the Partners in Learning Global forum – this is the Olympics of innovative education. All of the participants (nearly 500 educators from more than 80 countries) are remarkable, but it gave me chills Saturday night as I watched a teacher from Pakistan – a woman named Munazza Riaz – take the stage and receive the equivalent of the gold medal for education. She beamed as she held up the flag of her nation.
Consider the enormous challenges and obstacles Munazza must have overcome to reach this moment. And yet, she is just one teacher – an island of excellence amidst an ocean of schools who don’t have these opportunities – due to lack of training and lack of digital access. There is a lot of talk these days about the cloud. While the cloud offers enormous promise, the reality is that, without access, that promise is empty. In countries like Haiti and throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa, 90 percent of rural schools have no electricity. Without power, digital access is a non-starter. And the opportunity divide for young people widens every day.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a monthly series from Microsoft called “The View from Washington State”. The View from Washington State provides insight and commentary on topics and trends of importance to technology, education, corporate citizenship and public policy in Washington State.
Posted by Irene PlenefischGovernment Affairs Manager, Microsoft
Washington’s Governor-Elect Jay Inslee has made job creation his #1 agenda item. He has called innovation the “secret sauce” to creating more jobs, spurring more economic activity, and helping to cure state government’s lingering budget woes.
Governor-Elect Inslee is the one of many elected leaders in our state that takes pride in the size and scope of Washington’s information technology industry. These elected leaders understand that the industry has been a driving force in helping the state weather the recession, continuing to create thousands of new, well-paying job opportunities even as the overall economy has foundered.
Posted by Frank McCoskerGeneral Manager, International Organizations (IO), Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector
Persons with disabilities make up 1 billion of the world’s population, yet they face challenges in equal opportunity and access to society in critical areas like education, employment, healthcare, transportation, information communications technology and justice. Every year on Dec. 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we recognize the importance of providing this underserved community with equal access opportunities and livelihoods. This year’s theme is “removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all” – an area in which technology plays an important role.
Our company was founded on the belief that putting technology in the hands of individuals could enrich and improve their lives, and, for many years, Microsoft has been dedicated to providing persons with disabilities access to technology they can use.
On this day, Microsoft pays tribute to the contribution our United Nations partners are making toward addressing accessibility issues through innovative technology initiatives.