Microsoft is closing all of the company's global stores until further notice due to COVID-19 health concerns. The company made this announcement following a recommendation by the US government to limit social gatherings.
"We are closing Microsoft Store locations to help protect the health and safety of our customers and employees," Microsoft said in an email. "During this unprecedented time, the best way we can serve you is to do everything we can to help minimize the risk of the virus spreading."
— Microsoft Store (@MicrosoftStore) March 17, 2020
Microsoft will continue paying all its hourly service providers
Earlier in March, the Windows maker had assured that the company will continue to pay all its vendor hourly service providers for their regularly scheduled hours during this period of reduced service needs. "This will ensure that, in Puget Sound for example, the 4,500 hourly employees who work in our facilities will continue to receive their regular wages even if their work hours are reduced," Brad Smith, President Microsoft, had said.
While the work to protect public health needs to speed up, the economy can’t afford to slow down. We’re committed as a company to making public health our first priority and doing what we can to address the economic and societal impact of COVID-19. We appreciate that what’s affordable for a large employer may not be affordable for a small business, but we believe that large employers who can afford to take this type of step should consider doing so.
The Redmond tech giant had to cancel its annual Build 2020 conference due to the growing concerns.
The company released a coronavirus tracker last night to help people track the pandemic in their region. Additionally, Microsoft has also committed to combat fraud and misinformation around coronavirus with the help of other technology giants, including Google and Facebook. Apple is currently one of the only major tech companies lacking in its response to the global pandemic.