Satya Nadella talks Microsoft's coronavirus response in email to employees

Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent an email to employees covering the company's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Nadella highlights how Microsoft is working with "governments, health providers, schools, food suppliers, and other commercial customers."
  • Nadella says he is "proud of how we are adopting a first responder mindset across the company."

In a new LinkedIn post, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shared an email he sent to employees today. The email covers Microsoft's response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including the work Microsoft employees are doing to assist governments, schools, and other commercial customers.

"'I'm proud of how we are adopting a first responder mindset across the company, working with so many customers on the front lines, including governments, health providers, schools, food suppliers, and other commercial customers critical to the continuity and stability of services in every country," Nadella said. "Our responsibility is to ensure that the tools we provide are up to the task."

Nadella highlighted some of the ways the company is currently bolstering critical infrastructure with technology solutions. A major part of this effort providing telemedicine tools for healthcare providers around the country through Microsoft Teams.

Earlier in March, Microsoft began offering Teams premium features for free for six months as more companies started switching to remote work. That move has led Teams to surge to 44 million daily users, a rise from 20 million in November.

In education, Nadella says that Microsoft has seen a broad switch to Teams for remote learning. "A professor at University of Bologna in Italy shared how the school moved 90 percent of courses for its 80,000 students online to Teams within 3 days – certainly a first in the university's 900-plus year history," Nadella said. He also highlighted an elementary school in Japan that hosted a virtual graduation in Minecraft.

Beyond Teams' use in healthcare, schools, and other industries, Nadella highlights the use of Microsoft's healthcare service bot by the CDC for assessing symptoms and risk factors for people concerned about being infected by COVID-19. "Using AI, the bot suggests a next course of action, such as contacting a provider or, for those who do not need in-person medical care, managing the illness safely at home," Nadella says. "Other health providers in the U.S. and Europe are also using the service, fielding more than 1 million messages per day."

Other areas where Nadella highlighted Microsoft's efforts include a push to stop spear-phishing attacks seeking to take advantage of the crisis, attempts to map the immune system's response to COVID-19, and moves to work together with other industry giants to fight misinformation about the virus.

"These are just a few examples – and are by no means comprehensive – of the heroism across the company, and I want to thank you for your hard work and commitment during these tough times," Nadella said. "One truth that brings me comfort is just as this virus has no borders, its cure will have no borders. We are all in this together as a global community."

For more, you can see Nadella's full email on LinkedIn.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl