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Microsoft to donate $1B cloud resources to NGOs, researchers

Posted: 22 Jan 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cloud  non-profits  cloud computing  cloud services 

Microsoft plans to donate $1 billion in cloud-computing resources to non-profits and university researchers over the next three years, according to the company's CEO Satya Nadella.

With additional support from Microsoft Research and Microsoft Business Development, the donation will be coursed through the company's philanthropic arm, Microsoft Philanthropies, a month-old organisation that aims to drive digital inclusion.

Nadella said the programme has a three-pronged commitment: first, to bring the cloud to 70,000 non-profits over the next three years; second, to serve 900 university researchers with Microsoft Azure; and, finally, to expand broadband for 20 communities in 15 countries.

Microsoft, however, did not disclose the countries that will receive this programme.

"Microsoft is empowering mission-driven organisations around the planet with a donation of cloud computing services—the most transformative technologies of our generation," said Nadella, according to Live Mint.

NGOs will have access to the full suite of Microsoft's cloud services.

Specifically, this includes Microsoft Azure, so they can access the company's data centres around the world; Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), so they can manage devices, applications and data on a cross-platform basis; CRM Online, so they can use Microsoft's new cloud solution for managing relationships with donors and beneficiaries; and the expansion of Office 365 Non-profit programme, so they can use the company's business intelligence and data analytics.

University researchers, meanwhile, will get free Azure storage and computing resources to help accelerate their studies.

To date, the programme has provided free cloud computing resources for more than 600 research projects on six continents, and this will be expand by 50 per cent, with a focus on reaching important new research initiatives around the world, according to Brad Smith, Microsoft president and chief legal officer in his blog post.

Finally, the programme will merge investment in new technologies for last-mile connectivity access with donated access to Microsoft's cloud services.

Peggy Johnson, executive vice president for Business Development, announced in the Philippines part of the company's focus on funding new connectivity access for underserved communities. This builds on such work as Microsoft's TV White Spaces project to bring low-cost connectivity to rural Kenya through the Mawingu project, said Smith.

- Stephen Padilla

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