Microsoft Defends HoloLens Deal With Military


Satya Nadella has defended Microsoft's $479-million contract to supply augmented reality systems to the US military that has been

The CEO said Monday that while he would continue to engage with employees and consider Microsoft's role as a corporate citizen, the company would not "withhold technology" from democratic governments.

"We made a principled decision that we're not going to withhold technology from institutions that we have elected in democracies to protect the freedoms we enjoy," he said at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona,

"We were very transparent about that decision and we'll continue to have that dialogue [with employees]," he added during an interview.

Microsoft was awarded the contract to supply "Integrated Visual Augmentation System" prototypes to the US military in November. The company could eventually deliver over 100,000 headsets under the contract.

Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality technology allows users to see the world around them, but with virtual graphics overlaid.

The Israeli military, which has taken delivery of some HoloLens headsets, says the technology can be used to help commanders visualize the battlefield and field medics to consult doctors.

According to procurement documents, the US military is seeking a single platform that provides its forces with "increased lethality, mobility and situational awareness" in combat.

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