The recently formed Microsoft Philanthropies will donate $1 billion of Microsoft Cloud Services, measured at fair market value, to serve nonprofits and university researchers over the next three years.
This is part of a new three-part initiative, announced by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, to ensure that Microsoft’s cloud computing resources serve the public good.
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 Nadella. “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 full range 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.