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Microsoft calls for cross-industry collaboration to create ‘responsible and inclusive’ clouds

Software giant launches A Cloud For Global Good campaign in a bid to get the industry focused on creating off-premise environments that are accessible to all

Microsoft is calling on the IT industry to help its bid to create cloud technologies that are trusted, responsible and accessible to all, as part of its A Cloud For Global Good campaign.

Speaking at an event in Dublin, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said cloud stood to benefit everyone on the planet, but achieving this would require intervention from a variety of stakeholders.

“It is incumbent on companies like Microsoft and the broader tech community and governments to have that dialogue where we look at this new technology and ask ourselves: is this technology really going to benefit everyone on the planet?” he said.

“Is this technology helping to solve some of the pressing issues, whether in education or healthcare?”

In response to this, Microsoft has published its A Cloud For Global Good book, which is billed as the software giant’s contribution to ensuring the cloud market continues to grow and evolve in a way that benefits everyone, not just the fortunate few.

The tome sets out 78 recommendations about the steps the government, the tech industry and society at large should take into account when creating new cloud products or rolling out related legislation.

Microsoft’s recommendations cover considerations about data sovereignty, privacy, security, safety, skills, the environment and sustainability, and should provide stakeholders with a framework to follow when introducing new laws governing the use of cloud.

“That is a concrete step we are taking to propose a set of ideas, a set of policy considerations for a broader discussion so we can come up with ways these disruptive technologies can help global growth in a way that is more trusted, responsible and inclusive,” said Nadella.

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In a blog post announcing the book’s launch, Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer at Microsoft, shed further light on why the company is keen to involve as many people as possible in its push to create an all-inclusive cloud.

“We don’t have all the answers,” he said. “No single person, enterprise or organisation does. The issues are too important and the stakes are too high.

“But, as a company at the forefront of the cloud computing revolution, we recognise that we have a responsibility to address these issues directly and with candour.

“We also recognise that this isn’t just about ideas. We understand that we also need to act. We are committed to continued steps as a company through concrete commitments to transparency, privacy, sustainability, affordable access, digital literacy, education skills, and more.” 

The launch of A Cloud For Global Good follows Microsoft’s disclosure that it has spent more than $3bn to date on building out its European cloud and datacentre capacity.

This investment has paved the way for the company to double its available cloud capacity in Europe over the next 12 months, and will see the creation of a French datacentre region some time next year.

On 29 September, Microsoft’s cloud rival, Amazon Web Services (AWS), outlined similar plans to build a datacentre region in Paris. .........................................

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