Microsoft Philanthropies, Microsoft's charity arm, is set to donate $1 billion in cloud computing services over the course of the next three years to non-profits worldwide.
On Tuesday, Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella said that the initiative was a part of the company's pledge to ensure that Microsoft Cloud's services can be used for public good.
Through the program, Microsoft aims to offer support for over 70,000 NGOs worldwide on its cloud platforms such as Power BI, Office 365, Azure and CRM online in the coming three years
Microsoft Philanthropies will be pushing out the free Microsoft Cloud services to the non-profits by spring 2016.
"Microsoft is empowering mission-driven organizations around the planet with a donation of cloud computing services - the most transformative technologies of our generation. 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," revealed Nadella.
Moreover, the company also has plans of extending its program that offers free access to its Azure storage, as well as resources for computing to university researchers. Presently, this program has 600 research programs and Microsoft intends to grow this further by another 50 percent.
So what has prompted Microsoft to make this announcement? The fact that cloud computing is emerging as a major resource in addressing several issues facing the world.
Cloud computing enables users to access programs, data and store content in the cloud instead of using the precious space on their PC's hard drive. Access to data is easy and on-demand, making the tool utilitarian and uncluttered.
"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," says Brad Smith, Microsoft's Chief Legal Officer and President.
To fulfil its ideals, Microsoft has plans of reaching out to new communities and investing in Internet access technologies that are low cost in developing countries. With a focus on use of projects such as TV white space to gain Internet access in Africa, Microsoft Philanthropies aims to support nearly 20 such projects in over 15 countries worldwide by next year.
With the Microsoft Philanthropies donating $1 billion worth of cloud computing services in the next three years, it is on track to furthering its goals of digital empowerment and inclusion.