Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella announced a new three-part initiative to ensure that Microsoft’s cloud computing resources serve the public good. As part of this initiative the recently formed Microsoft Philanthropies will donate $1 billion of Microsoft Cloud Services, measured at fair market value, to serve non-profits and university researchers over the next three years.
Microsoft’s three-part commitment focuses on ensuring the cloud can serve the public good in the broadest sense by providing additional cloud resources to nonprofits, increasing access for university researchers and helping solve last-mile Internet access challenges.
“Microsoft is empowering mission-driven organizations around the planet with a donation of cloud computing services — the most transformative technologies of our generation,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who on Wednesday will speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “Now more than 70,000 organizations will have access to technology that will help them solve our greatest societal challenges and ultimately improve the human condition and drive new growth equally.”
Cloud computing has emerged as a vital resource for unlocking the secrets held by data in ways that create new insights and lead to breakthroughs not just for science and technology, but for the fullrange of economic and social challenges and the delivery of better human services. It can also improve communications and problem-solving and help organizations work in a more productive and more efficient manner.
In September 2015, 193 heads of state and other world leaders unanimously adopted 17 sustainable development goals to achieve by 2030. This ambitious agenda—which includes ending poverty, ending hunger, and ensuring affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all—will only be achievable with the benefit of significant inventions and technology innovations. The scale and computational power enabled by cloud computing will be essential to unlocking solutions to this list of some of the world’s seemingly unsolvable problems.
“We’re committed to helping nonprofit groups and universities use cloud computing to address fundamental human challenges,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith. “One of our ambitions for Microsoft Philanthropies is to partner with these groups and ensure that cloud computing reaches more people and serves the broadest array of societal needs.”
Providing nonprofits with better access to Microsoft Cloud Services, including the powerful Microsoft Azure platform, builds upon Microsoft’s longtime commitment to making cutting-edge technology available at no or lowcost to organizations working on solving some of society’s toughest problems.
In recent years, as organizations have increased their reliance on cloud computing, Microsoft has worked in partnership with a broad range of organizations focused on big challenges.
“Access to technology is critical to the operations and services of NetHope and its 44 humanitarian nonprofit member organizations,” said NetHope CEO Lauren Woodman. “The power of cloud computing will create exponential value for all we do to serve the millions of people in our communities around the world.”