Microsoft has announced that during the coronavirus pandemic it will be closing all its retail stores around the world.
As Windows Central reports, Microsoft sent an email to all customers explaining it is “closing Microsoft Store locations to help protect the health and safety of our customers and employees. During this unprecedented time, the best way we can serve you is to do everything we can to help minimize the risk of the virus spreading.”
For all of its employees who will be unable to work during this time, Microsoft said that it will be continuing to pay Microsoft Store workers for their regularly scheduled hours.
Following those statements, Microsoft also tweeted a joint announcement alongside Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube that said the companies were “working closely together” on response efforts, as well as fighting misinformation and disinformation on their platforms (such as the conspiracy theory that it’s caused by 5G) and promoting authoritative sources.
Google has also launched a website for coronavirus tests and asking businesses to update Maps with the latest information, while Microsoft has developed a coronavirus-tracker using Bing.
Microsoft is not the only major company to close its retail stores in the wake of the pandemic; Apple initially closed all stores outside of China until March 27, but overnight announced that they will remain closed until further notice.
Other companies have taken action in an attempt to fight the virus. Nvidia asked gamers to dedicate GPU power to discover ways to prevent a greater spread of the virus, while ISPs are lifting data caps, and Pornhub is offering free premium content to viewers in Italy.