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Microsoft pledges $1 billion of cloud computing support for worthy causes

Microsoft has issued a pledge that will see it giving away $1 billion (£700 million) worth of cloud computing resources to worthy organisations.

The phrase Microsoft is using is “putting the Microsoft Cloud to work for the public good,” and it will involve donating $1 billion in cloud services to nonprofits and university researchers over the next three years.

“Our goal is to support 70,000 nonprofits through this initiative during that time,” said Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith in a recent blog post. Some 900 university  research projects will also be reached.

Microsoft sees cloud computing as key to offering new insights into data for reaching breakthroughs on scientific, technological, economic, and social issues.

By offering up the power of cloud computing, Microsoft will provide smaller projects with access to the kind of raw processing power they wouldn’t ordinarily have.

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The motivation behind this, Smith says, is to “reinvent [Microsoft’s] corporate philanthropy for the next decade,” ensuring that the company helps “empower people and organisations the cloud is not yet serving.”

Besides these research initiatives, Microsoft will also invest in “last-mile” internet connectivity to help bring the internet to countries and areas that don’t currently have it, starting from this year.

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