Microsoft to provide tech, not cash, to Republican Convention

Microsoft will provide Office 365, Azure and Surface technologies to the Republican and Democratic conventions this year, but no cash to the Republicans.

Microsoft will be providing technology but no cash donations to the Republican National Convention this year.

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In 2012, Microsoft provided $1.5 million in donations to the Republican party, half of which came from direct contributions, according to the Huffington Post. (The original source of that information isn't clear, however). I haven't been able to find information on how much Microsoft contributed to the Democratic convention that year.

Microsoft announced its plans in an "On The Issues" blog post on April 29.

This year, Microsoft plans to provide both technology and "some sponsorship of host committee activities" for the Democratic National Convention, according to the company's blog post.

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The technology Microsoft plans to provide for both conventions this year includes Office 365, Azure, Surface and other unspecified products. In 2012, Microsoft Services and Premier support managed "a good portion" of the Convention IT at both conventions, according to the company. Microsoft provided Xbox Live, Skype, displays from Perceptive Pixel, plus 100-plus Microsoft employees' time.

Fred Humphries, Corporate Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs for Microsoft in Washington, blogged that Microsoft wasn't changing its planned activities for the convention, saying that Microsoft decided last Fall that it wouldn't provide a cash donation to the Republican Committee.

A variety of activist organizations have been advocating publicly and behind the scenes for companies to withdraw funding from the Republican Convention, as its leading candidate has alienated many of their constituents. Companies like Microsoft who have donated to both parties' campaigns have insisted they are bipartisan and don't endorse either party.