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Microsoft President Brad Smith invokes JFK in climate tech ambitions dialogue

Brad Smith
Brad Smith (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has been putting an increased focus on climate tech in recent years.
  • Microsoft President Brad Smith commented on how said technology isn't just a focus for his company, but also others, and will define the tech rockstars of 2050.
  • He compared the current climate technology ambitions to those of U.S. President John F. Kennedy's moon goals.

Microsoft is no stranger to eco-friendly and sustainability-focused initiatives. Take a look at the company's recent geoexchange field endeavors or its experiments with giving servers baths to reduce the resources needed for proper hardware cooling. And now, Microsoft President Brad Smith is commenting on where those ambitions are ultimately leading to.

"When I look at carbon removal, carbon capture and storage, sustainable aviation fuel, long-duration battery storage — the companies that unlock the secrets to those innovations, they will become unicorns if they don't exist today," he told CNBC. "They will be the household names in the year 2050."

He then compared the current race to adopt ecologically friendly technology as being akin to the 1960s push by JFK to get a man on the moon, in the sense that the technology for certain goals may not be there yet, but the means to make the technology is.

To see more of what Microsoft is doing in the sustainability space, look no further than its Cloud for Sustainability. It's a cloud package that enables companies to keep an eye on carbon emissions and track their progress (or lack thereof) toward sustainability goals.

However, Redmond is not without flaws. For an example of that, its position on the right-to-repair movement has been seen as counterproductive to sustainability goals by many parties.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to

  • This is a worldwide game changer. I can't believe it. Did he really alluded to JFK? Gosh, just make a big statue of him and place it in front of the Capitol.
  • I mean, he's right. It's great we have startups and companies that are thinking decades into the future. (It's a great feature of having lots of investors with deep pockets.) No need to be snarky. That of course doesn't mean it's enough. Governments have to step up a lot more than they have so far, particularly ones in the most carbon-intensive economies.
  • Wish we didn't have a three-word minimum sometimes, because all I have to say is "agreed."
  • I believe we should invest in clean air, water, get the plastics out of the oceans, get off fossils because they are a limited source of energy, recycle because we have limited resources here on Earth (till we start economically mining space), etc. But the CO2 farce is BS. The Earth has been on a warming pause for almost 30 years now. The email hacks from the people measuring global temps manipulated the data to "hide the pause" (their words via their emails). As far as recent warming, we are actually in a inter-glacial period, the Earth on a billion year average is actually much warming. And there is nothing unprecedented about the ups and downs and "extreme" changes in global temps for a inter-glacial period, its the norm. If you want to reduce carbon, go nuclear. Also figure out a way to reduce emissions from concrete. Did you know that China has used more concrete in the last 3 years then the US has the entire 20th century?