In March, Microsoft was one of the first companies that announced its decision to close all their physical stores around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was made to protect both employees and customers but it did mean that more than 2,000 employees were forced to work from home.

Now while other consumer electronics retailers such as Apple and Best Buy have started to reopen, Microsoft has remained steadfast in their decision to place the safety of their employees and customers first.

“Our approach for re-opening Microsoft Store locations is measured and cautious, guided by monitoring global data, listening to public health and safety experts, and tracking local government restrictions,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “We are prioritizing the health and safety of our employees and customers and have no new updates on store re-openings to share at this time.”

Microsoft has instead offered virtual workshops for clients and switched their employees to offering remote assistance for enterprise, small business, and education customers.

Microsoft also noted that the store employees have “helped school districts teach remotely with Microsoft 365 and are rolling out virtual coding workshops for kids.” Microsoft is continuing to provide regular pay for retail team members regardless of the hours they worked with remote workers earning a weekly bonus.

Microsoft said employees have trained over 65,000 people in government, health care, education and finance on using Microsoft Teams. The company also noted that the demand for “Customer Success Trainings” has surged “among customers wanting to transform their remote work environments with the collaboration tool.

Microsoft has also been selling their devices online, and reports that their Surface Headphones 2, Surface Go 2, and Surface Book 3, have been in high demand at authorized resellers.

Given the massive demand for support for their online collaboration services such as Microsoft Teams, we wonder if the pandemic has not quietly delivered Microsoft an even better formula for success than simply following in the footsteps of Apple.

Via The Verge