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Microsoft is planning to open its first cloud datacentre region in Taiwan in a major move to expand its footprint in the Asia-Pacific region.
The move includes growing the local Azure hardware systems and infrastructure engineering group, which will establish Microsoft Taiwan as a regional hub for developing advanced cloud software and hardware infrastructure to support artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT) and edge computing applications.
At launch, the new region and its availability zones will deliver Azure first, with Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform services to follow. This will enable local customers to store data at rest in Taiwan and comply with local industry and regulatory standards.
The software giant is also planning “significant investments” in local talent, aiming to train more than 200,000 people in Taiwan by 2024. This builds on Microsoft’s investments in local skilling programmes for students, as well as partnerships with non-profit organisations to reskill social workers.
Citing an IDC whitepaper that it sponsored, Microsoft said its ecosystem and cloud customers together will generate more than $10bn in new revenue and add over 30,000 jobs to Taiwan’s economy over the next four years.
Jean-Phillippe Courtois, Microsoft’s executive vice-president and president for global sales, marketing and operations, said the new investments reflect the company’s faith in Taiwan’s strong heritage in hardware and software integration.
“With Taiwan’s expertise in hardware manufacturing and the new datacentre region, we look forward to greater transformation, advancing what is possible with 5G, AI and IoT capabilities spanning the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge,” he added.
The new datacentre region has been welcomed by Taiwan’s major telcos. FarEasTone president Chee Ching said she hopes it will generate “greater momentum for Taiwan’s innovation, by creating diverse services suitable for a wide range of industry scenarios, connect Taiwan to the globe, and make it a hub for the world’s innovative applications”.
In the first quarter of 2020, Microsoft’s revenue grew by a 12% over last year to reach $37.2bn, thanks to growing demand for its commercial cloud services.
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