Microsoft Turns Down The Pentagon
Not many people say no to the Pentagon. Especially not while they are fighting two wars, but Microsoft did. Though I am not a fan of Microsoft I have to give them credit for taking a stand, especially when Google is teaming up with the National Security Agency.
You probably won’t see this story in your newspaper any time soon, but it is big news that one of the most powerful corporations in the world said no to the world’s most powerful military. The reason it is not front page news is that the matter at hand is video games.
Today Wired.com reported that the Army wished to replace their $1,000 training computers with $300 Xbox 360s, which are made by Microsoft. Microsoft politely, I assume, said “No.” They gave three reasons behind their decision. The first two reasons were financial, but the third reason is why I am writing this post.
I would like to quote Roger Smith, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation; who recounted his conversation with a Microsoft representative, “The third reason was around the question of, ‘do we want the Xbox 360 to be seen as having the flavor of a weapon? Do we want Mom and Dad knowing that their kid is buying the same game console as the military trains the SEALs and Rangers on?'”
Microsoft didn’t want their product associated with the military. I only hope more companies follow their lead.