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Tech

Microsoft is Reportedly Planning a Six-Phase Re-opening of Its Offices in US on January 19, 2021

Image for Representation
(Photo: Associated Press)

Image for Representation
(Photo: Associated Press)

With Covid-19 Crisis hardly showing any sign of slowing down, many tech giants like Google and Apple have extended their work from option until next year.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: August 1, 2020, 10:56 AM IST

Microsoft has reportedly chosen January 19, 2021, as the date for reopening its US offices. According to The Verge, the tech giant is planning a “hybrid workplace” for a six-phase reopening of its offices. “Stage six will be when offices are ready to fully reopen for employees to return to work,” the report said on Friday. The six stages are: Closed; Mandatory working from home; Working from home strongly encouraged; Soft opening; Open with restrictions and finally, Open. “In the US, we have established that the earliest possible date for Stage 6 is now January 19, 2021,” read an internal memo from Kurt DelBene, Microsoft’s head of corporate strategy.

“Our goal for Stage 6 is to return to normal operations while being prepared to back off to an earlier stage if a significant resurgence in the virus occurs,” the memo added. Google is planning to keep its employees working remotely until July 2021 while Apple employees will not return to offices until early next year. With the COVID-19 pandemic hardly showing any sign of slowing down, Google said it would allow employees to work from home till the middle of next year if their roles permit.”To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we are extending our global voluntary work from home option through June 30, 2021, for roles that don’t need to be in the office,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email to employees, according to a CNBC report.

In May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg laid out a detailed remote-working plan to make half of his 50,000-strong workforce work from home by 2030. According to him, about half of Facebook employees would work from home five to 10 years from now. While Amazon and Apple expect their employees to return to their respective offices in January, most other tech companies have also allowed work from home till the end of the year.


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Categories
Tech

Microsoft to Open New Campus in Uttar Pradesh, Will Employ 4,000 People

Representative Image. 
(Reuters)

Representative Image.
(Reuters)

Microsoft currently has two campuses, with capacities of 5,000 and 2,000 each, in its headquarters in Hyderabad and in Bengaluru.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: June 30, 2020, 10:45 AM IST

Microsoft India will set up its campus in Uttar Pradesh, giving a major boost to the state’s efforts to bring in investments. This will ensure employment to about 4,000 persons in the state. An agreement through a virtual discussion has been reached between Microsoft India managing director, Rajiv Kumar, and UP MSME minister Sidharth Nath Singh.

The Microsoft team will soon make a site visit. According to the minister, “The government had earlier said that it will make it simpler for investors willing to acquire land within 1 km distance on each side of the state’s expressways. The company has said that they want to move their North India campus to Greater Noida. The next step will be a site inspection by the team both in Greater Noida and along the Yamuna Expressway and this will be followed by their proposal which the state government will examine.”

The software major currently has two campuses, with capacities of 5,000 and 2,000 each, in its headquarters in Hyderabad and in Bengaluru. Uttar Pradesh, meanwhile, plans to develop an electronics manufacturing park near the Jewar International Airport.


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Categories
Tech

Microsoft Replacing Journalists with AI is Our Nightmare Coming True

Image for Representation
(Photo: Associated Press)

Image for Representation
(Photo: Associated Press)

These news production contractors work with Microsoft News, the company’s news content arm that operates MSN.com and other properties

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 30, 2020, 3:29 PM IST

Microsoft is reportedly laying off at least 50 news production workers and replacing them with artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithms to perform their editorial duties. According to a report in the Seattle Times on Saturday, the roughly 50 employees — contracted through staffing agencies Aquent, IFG and MAQ Consulting — have been notified “that their services would no longer be needed beyond June 30”.

These news production contractors work with Microsoft News, the company’s news content arm that operates MSN.com and other properties. A Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement that like all companies, they evaluate the business on a regular basis.

“This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time to time, redeployment in others. These decisions are not the result of the current pandemic,” said the Microsoft spokesperson. Some employees told Seattle Times that “MSN will use AI to replace the production work they’d been doing”.

The work includes using algorithms to identify trending news stories from dozens of publishing partners, rewrite headlines or adding better photographs or slide shows. Besides the production work, the contract employees also planned content, maintained the editorial calendars of partner news websites and assigned content to them.




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Categories
Tech

Microsoft Reportedly Lays Off Dozens of Editorial Workers and Replace Them With AI

Image for Representation
(Photo: Associated Press)

Image for Representation
(Photo: Associated Press)

These news production contractors work with Microsoft News, the company’s news content arm that operates MSN.com and other properties

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 30, 2020, 11:47 AM IST

Microsoft is reportedly laying off at least 50 news production workers and replacing them with artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithms to perform their editorial duties. According to a report in the Seattle Times on Saturday, the roughly 50 employees — contracted through staffing agencies Aquent, IFG and MAQ Consulting — have been notified “that their services would no longer be needed beyond June 30”.

These news production contractors work with Microsoft News, the company’s news content arm that operates MSN.com and other properties. A Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement that like all companies, they evaluate the business on a regular basis.

“This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time to time, redeployment in others. These decisions are not the result of the current pandemic,” said the Microsoft spokesperson. Some employees told Seattle Times that “MSN will use AI to replace the production work they’d been doing”.

The work includes using algorithms to identify trending news stories from dozens of publishing partners, rewrite headlines or adding better photographs or slide shows. Besides the production work, the contract employees also planned content, maintained the editorial calendars of partner news websites and assigned content to them.




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