Microsoft is selling off some of its assets from its Bing division to the car-sharing service Uber. Specifically, Uber is acquiring 100 of Microsoft's employees that were involved in image and data collection from Bing, along with certain assets.
Neither company has issued statements to the press but TechCrunch reports that the deal is moving forward:
"The companies informed TechCrunch in the wake of the deal that 'assets' will transfer, as well as the workers. The firms both declined to elaborate on what those assets are. We can guess, however. If your work involves image collection, and you are hired away, that some of your work would follow isn't beyond the pale."
"The official comments from the firms are of the massaged variety, with Uber saying that it's "excited about the talent and technology this acquisition brings." Microsoft is similarly banal, saying that it has "taken many actions to focus the company's efforts around our core business strategy" in the last year."
Specific financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. This news comes in the wake of last week's email that was sent by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to all of his company's workers, where he stated in part that Microsoft will "make some tough choices in areas where things are not working" in the near future.
Update: A Microsoft spokesperson has now sent over this official statement to Windows Central:
"Over the past year, we have taken many actions to focus the company's efforts around our core business strategy. In keeping with these efforts, we will no longer collect mapping imagery ourselves, and instead will continue to partner with premium content and imagery providers for underlying data while concentrating our resources on the core user experience. With this decision, we will transfer many of our imagery acquisition operations to Uber."
Update 2: An Uber spokesperson has also sent over a statement:
"We're excited about the talent and technology this acquisition brings. Mapping is at the heart of what makes Uber great. So we'll continue to work with partners, as well as invest in our own technology, to build the best possible experience for riders and drivers."
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