As America wraps its head around the result of Tuesday’s election, the tech world is taking stock of what’s about to happen to it, both in the short and long term. We’ve heard how Silicon Valley has reacted with disappointment and uncertainty over what President Donald Trump means for tech-related policy. Microsoft on the other hand has gone into a little more detail about the relationship it wants with the president-elect.
In a blog post published the day after the election, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, offered his congratulations to Trump while making it clear that there was a great deal of work ahead for both sides.
Microsoft has a rocky relationship with many government institutions as it stands. It’s currently in the middle of a lawsuit against the Justice Department, challenging gag orders that prevent companies from informing customers when they’re being investigated. The company is also butting heads with the government over search warrants issued for data stored outside the U.S.
Citing a study from Georgetown University on job growth, Smith raises the issues of training, education, and employment for those that have been left behind. He writes that technology companies need to do more to provide educational tools to segments of the population that need the training the most to secure work, especially people without college degrees.
“We also believe that these issues represent the next frontier for innovation in public policy,” he said, calling for labor laws to be brought “into the 21st century,” making a specific reference to gig economy workers like Uber drivers.
Microsoft’s other main point involves improving infrastructure — including highways, bridges, and water networks –and relieving traffic jams through cloud technology and data analytics. Other goals include building out better broadband infrastructure around the U.S, namely in rural areas affected by high unemployment.
“As we think societally about these new opportunities to address those who have been left behind, it’s critically important that we appreciate the continuing national strengths that serve the country so well,” said Smith.
In a likely reference to Trump’s more restrictive views toward immigration, Smith writes that Microsoft employs many people of different races, ethnicities, and religions.
“If there’s a language spoken on the planet, there’s a good chance that it’s spoken by an employee at Microsoft,” he said. “And we’re committed to promoting not just diversity among all the men and women who work here, but the type of inclusive culture that will enable people to do their best work and pursue rewarding careers.”
All of these issues need stronger government policies, he added. “That’s why we’ve not only advocated for clearer and more modern U.S. laws, but have filed lawsuits four times in the past three years against the current administration, standing up for what we believe are the vital rights of people both here and abroad.”
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