By Yihan (Bradley) Tian
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced today that it will be permanently closing all of its physical retail units all around the world. This transformation will result in a pre-tax charge of 450 million USD, or $0.05 per share, to cover asset write-offs and impairments. Microsoft has confirmed that this transaction will be displayed in its Q2 earnings report.
Microsoft is planning to transform its operational platforms online to provide more comprehensive, frictionless customer service. According to David Porter, Vice President of Microsoft Corp., "Our sales have grown online as our product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and our talented team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location." Microsoft’s physical storefronts have been closed since the beginning of the COVID lockdown; during this period, a considerable portion of its employees have shifted towards remote work, and the company began to employ greater focus on its online sales platforms and virtual workshops.
“Retail team members will continue to serve customers from Microsoft corporate facilities and remotely providing sales, training, and support,” Porter stated in Microsoft’s latest blog release. Currently, Microsoft has stated that all employees will have the opportunity to continue their work online.
Sources: CNBC, Financial Times, Seattle Times
By Eric Liu
Yesterday, NASA and SpaceX announced on social-media that SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon 2 manned spacecraft have passed their final flight inspection, ready to send two astronauts - Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken - to the International Space Station.
If the launch plan is successfully completed, the space exploration field will enter the era of commercialization for the first time in history. SpaceX currently plans to effectively implement space travel by 2021.
Today, the two astronauts entered the spacecraft at around 1:50 pm EST despite the tropical storm of South Carolina that could potentially distract the flight. President Trump also flew to Florida in Air Force One to watch the historic launch.
Fueling process of Falcon 9 was initiated at around 4:00 pm EST. However, at 4:16, the SpaceX launch director announced that the launch of Crew Dragon will be postponed due to weather concerns.
With the latest update, the launch is rescheduled to Saturday, May 30th.
Source: New York Post, CNBC
By Shivam Shah
During this pandemic, many businesses have been hit hard. From the restaurant industry to the retail industry, this pandemic has had a far-reaching impact on the economy; businesses are stalling, and some have to shut down or file for bankruptcy - due to the lack of customers from these governmental restrictions.
One such company, Hertz, sets the precedent of the COVID-19’s far-reaching impact. After this crisis, it will be the first company to seek Chapter 11 Protection, otherwise meaning that it will file for bankruptcy. Due to the restrictions on ground travel, Hertz is not able to rent out its vehicles sufficiently, meaning that business remains stagnant as the weeks of shutdown stretch into months. In economics, this pandemic has hit small businesses hard, but this will be the first of the top-profile companies to go down in history as being significantly affected by this crisis. Overall, this reiterates the impact that the crisis has had on a multitude of industries, and we will have to see how it may continue to affect the rest of the rental and transportation industry - from Hertz to Delta.
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