Microsoft President Brad Smith isn’t afraid to do what’s right—for his workers, or you

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For standing up for workers’ well-being and consumers’ right to privacy, Microsoft President Brad Smith is one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People of 2020. Well before tech giants instituted moratoriums on selling facial recognition technology to police in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, Microsoft president Brad Smith argued in his 2019 book, Tools and Weapons , that legislation was required to ensure ethical use of the tech. A 23-year Microsoft veteran, Smith also wrote that companies should protect mobile-device privacy, limit government access to customers’ data, and consider the ramifications of AI replacing people’s jobs. As the COVID-19 crisis presented unprecedented challenges to work and business, he has continued to lead by example. Read Full Story

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Satya Nadella: “Absolutely, tech does owe something back to the society.”

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Microsoft’s CEO on AI, social responsibility, broadband for all, the coronavirus, and why he sleeps well at night. When I talked to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella last week, I’d just finished Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott’s excellent book , Reprogramming the American Dream , about AI’s potential to include rural America in the future growth of the economy. Evenly distributing the goodness of technologies such as AI across geography and class lines might go a log way toward healing some of the resentment in less populous states for “the coastal elite” (including tech workers). I asked Nadella how this might happen, and whether big tech companies like his are obligated to make sure the wealth generated by AI benefits everyone. Along with answering my questions, he questioned whether “aggregator” companies (he didn’t name names, though Facebook leaped to my mind) may feel such an obligation. Read Full Story

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Why buying TikTok is a smart move for Microsoft

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As long as the tech giant can appease the Trump administration, acquiring TikTok would give Microsoft a shiny new app and greater connection with younger users. The news late last week that Microsoft has been in negotiations to acquire the short-form video app TikTok was a bit surprising. Hearing business-focused Microsoft mentioned in the same sentence with the dancing and lip-syncing wonder that is TikTok didn’t sound quite right—at first. But upon further reflection, a Microsoft-TikTok tie-up begins to make more sense. In fact, a deal—if both companies are able to appease the Trump administration—could be good news for Microsoft. Read Full Story

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Steven Sinofsky lived Microsoft history. Now he’s writing it

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The man who led the Office and Windows teams on what he’s learned working on a book about his time at Microsoft, and why it may be awhile before you read it. On the 20th anniversary of the unleashing of the ILOVEYOU virus—which infected millions of PCs worldwide and reportedly cost companies billions of dollars as they cleaned up the damage— Fast Company is publishing Steven Sinofsky’s insider account of how Microsoft dealt with the virus as well as two predecessors, WM/Concept.A and Melissa. The piece is an excerpt from his memoir Hardcore Software: Inside the Rise and Fall of the PC Revolution, which is currently a work in progress. Read Full Story

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This is how Big Tech is failing its Black employees

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Lofty promises by large corporations only skim the surface of Big Tech’s problems with educating and recruiting diverse talent. Six years ago , Silicon Valley decided to own up to its diversity problem. Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft all began releasing annual diversity reports, providing public transparency into the stark underrepresentation of Black and Latinx workers at their companies, promising to do better . The move would help hold the industry accountable, so they claimed , in meeting their latest round of diversity goals. Read Full Story

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Microsoft’s new Surface gear is arriving at a WFH moment, and that’s okay

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You might not take a Surface Go 2 or Surface Book 3 to a coffee shop anytime soon. But Microsoft says that they still deliver what people need right now. Last October, Microsoft held a splashy hardware event in New York City at which it unveiled the Surface Neo and Surface Duo, two two-screen mobile devices that it doesn’t plan to ship until the fall of this year. It’s rare for any company to switch on its hoopla machine so far in advance, but the Neo and Duo both aspire to push the boundaries of portable computing, making them a big deal for Microsoft—and, at least potentially, the whole industry. Read Full Story

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Best Video Conferencing Software

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. Video conferencing software has exploded in popularity over the last year. With people working from home and remote work becoming the new normal, businesses rely on video conferencing services to communicate. But not all video conferencing software is the same. The tools you use to video chat with your friends and family across the across aren’t necessarily the best business communication options. Which video conferencing software is the best for you? I’ll break down my top picks in greater detail below. The Top 6 Options For Video Conferencing Software BlueJeans Cisco Webex Lifesize Whereby RingCentral GlobalMeet by PGI How to Choose the Best Video Conferencing For You As you’re shopping around and evaluating different options, there are certain criteria that must be taken into consideration. Keep these factors in …

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13 influential marketing technology leaders

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30-second summary: Following a survey and some editorial research, we have highlighted 13 people we think are either respected industry guardians, or are making some noteworthy contributions to the marketing technology space. Scott Brinker, Tamara McCleary, Ann Lewnes, Des Cahill, Stephanie Buscemi, Tony Ralph and David Encizo, amongst those named in the list. Katrina Lake, Werner Vogels, Max Wessel, Jay Richman, Melanie Deziel and Erin Rowles also honored in the list. With February widely regarded as awards season in the realm of pop culture, we thought we’d get on the act as well and recognize some of the leading personalities in the marketing technology sector. We asked you, our valued readers, to send us your picks and combined that with hours of relentless editorial research, to narrow down our list to 13 deserving people. So without further ado here are our list of 13 (in no particular order) who we …

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