In a blog post earlier today, the corporation announced through its president and chief legal officer that it would be donating US$1 billion over three years to researchers and not-for-profit organisations through its Microsoft Philanthropies division.
According to Microsoft's Brad Smith, cloud computing isn't just a vital part of the global computing infrastructure but also "a vital resource for addressing the world's problems". "Cloud services can unlock the secrets held by data in ways that create new insights and lead to breakthroughs, not just for science and technology, but for addressing the full range of economic and social challenges and the delivery of better human services," he wrote.
The company wants to help 70,000 non-profit organisations over the next three years. NGOs will be allowed to access Microsoft's Azure data centres "to develop and run their applications", while the Enterprise Mobility Suite will be offered to non-profits to manage their apps, data and devices over multiple platforms.
The Office 365 Nonprofit program will also be expanded under this latest move, while organisations that receive help under the program will also get the benefit of CRM Online for "managing relationships with donors and beneficiaries". Microsoft also wants to help connect communities with better broadband with their TV White Spaces Project, which the group has already used to improve internet connectivity in rural Kenya, Namibia, Ghana and Botswana.
The plan for the latter is to support at least 20 projects that extend internet connectivity in 15 countries by the end of next year, working with nonprofit groups and local governments along the way.
Smith finished by writing that Microsoft would launch "additional programs through Microsoft Philanthropies" in the coming months for further public benefit. "We’re committed to being part of a broad discussion and a comprehensive response, built on partnerships across civil society and around the world."