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In the Zone

How tech companies are stepping up to fight coronavirus

Peter Krass's picture

by Peter Krass on 03/23/2020
Blog Category: advanced-technologies

To help fight the coronavirus pandemic, tech companies are doing their part. Here’s some of who’s stepping up:

Intel says it will continue to pay all contractors and employees who have been asked to work from home or self-quarantine, and it will reimburse employees for up to 15 days of care services. Also, the company plans to continue paying all service partners worldwide for at least the next 2 months.

HP is donating millions of dollars in tech and support to help students, families and communities. This includes extending by 30 days all of its consumer-product warranties originally set to expire between March 1 and April 30.

If Microsoft’s Teams collaboration platform faces constraints, the company says it will prioritize service for first responders, emergency services and critical infrastructures. Microsoft is also partnering with biotech company Adaptive Biotech to decode the COVID-19 immune response. They hope this work will help lead to solutions for diagnosing, treating and preventing the disease.

Samsung has closed all its U.S. retail stores. To pick up some of the slack, the company has extended customer service on both Facebook Messenger and Twitter.

Speaking of Facebook, the company will reportedly donate 720,000 surgical masks and 1.5 million pairs of gloves to healthcare workers worldwide. Facebook accumulated this large inventory of masks and gloves after last year’s California wildfires.

IBM, Amazon, Google and Microsoft have partnered with a U.S. White House/Energy Dept. coronavirus task force. As part of this work, IBM will provide 330 petaflops of compute power for projects in epidemiology, bio-informatics and molecular modeling.

IBM is also partnering with Cisco to facilitate remote training in Spain’s Madrid region. More than 100,000 teachers in the area now have personal accounts with the service, and they’re said to be ready to tech virtual classes. Separately, IBM has also launched a Weather Channel map to track the coronavirus’ spread.

Google has added a search service that shows COVID-19 statistics and a map of the disease’s prevalence in countries worldwide.

T-Mobile, to help people stay affordably connected during the pandemic, launched a low-cost smartphone plan earlier than originally planned. The plan, called T-Mobile Connect, will cost just $15 a month. T-Mobile has also partnered with YouTube to offer customers who are staying home 2 free months of YouTube Premium.

Amazon temporarily stopped shipping all nonessential products to consumers in Italy and France. The company says the move comes in response to 2 factors: a spike in orders, and the need to respect workplace-safety measures.

Enterprise software vendor Everbridge launched COVID-19 Shield. This purpose-built software has been designed to help organizations protect the safety of their employees and customers, maintain business operations, safeguard supply chains, and lower the cost of responding to the pandemic.

 

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