SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp will provide free cloud-computing and research applications to qualified medical researchers working on the Ebola virus, the software company’s chief executive said on Monday.
“One of the things tomorrow morning we’re going to do is make available Azure computer power to the research community,” Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said at a presentation in San Francisco.
Azure is the name of Microsoft’s cloud-computing platform, essentially a group of datacenters that allow users to access large amounts of information and computing power remotely over the Internet.
“In addition we have some tools that Microsoft researchers built to be able to do vaccine discovery, so we want to take all of that and make it available for the research community,” said Nadella.
According to the company’s website, Microsoft’s research unit is “soliciting cloud computing proposals for projects that are working towards developing a better understanding of the spread and cure of the Ebola virus.”
Qualifying proposals from researchers affiliated with academic institutions “will be awarded allocations of Microsoft Azure compute and storage resources,” it said.
Access to Microsoft’s vast web of datacenters could be helpful to researchers looking to store and analyse large sets of data that would be difficult to study using only local computers and networks.
Reporting by Christina Farr and Bill Rigby; editing by Bernadette Baum, Bernard Orr