Microsoft is playing damage control after an employee accidentally stirred the Brexit beehive. Yesterday, Microsoft UK Government Affairs Manager Owen Larter spoke in a webinar about What Brexit Means for Tech. Unfortunately for Larter, some of his statements about Microsoft’s potential future development have caught the news on fire.
Larter had explained that higher import tariffs would cause the Redmond giant to reconsider their data centers in Britain. According to Microsoft, this just isn’t accurate.
The company issued a public response disclaiming what Larter said as an opinion rather than the company’s view.
As we have said both before and after the EU referendum vote, Microsoft’s commitment to the UK is unchanged. In particular, those customers in our UK data centres should continue to rely on Microsoft’s significant investment plans there.
We have more than 5,000 highly qualified people working in fields including support, marketing, gaming, communications, cybersecurity and computer science research. We’ve built a global centre of excellence for the development of artificial intelligence and other computing disciplines. We’ve also worked in partnership with innovators, entrepreneurs and people with a passion for technology to help to create a thriving partner network of around 25,000 British businesses. Most recently we’ve just launched some of our most innovative technology, HoloLens, here in the UK and established a research group in Cambridge to support its evolution.
To put it simply, the establishment of Microsoft in the UK, including Britain, is highly important to the company’s goals in technology. It’s safe to say that the official response disclaiming Larter’s cautiousness will help Britain employees and business owners rest much easier.