Microsoft has decided to open its Azure cloud platform to European research projects for three years at no charge.
Speaking during a keynote speech at the Open Grid Forum in Brussels, Dan Reed, a corporate vice president at Microsoft, said that the Azure cloud platform will be made available to VENUS-C (Virtual Multidisciplinary Environments Using Cloud Infrastructures) consortium and France's INRIA (National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control).
The UK's University of Nottingham Horizon Institute will also benefit from the new Microsoft program.
Microsoft explained that the company was already an initiator of the VENUS-C consortium, which aims at deploying cloud computing services for European researchers.
Azure will also benefit the projects being carried out INRIA and University of Nottingham Horizon Institute, which are conducting digital economic research.
Reed said in a statement: “Cloud computing can transform how research is conducted, allowing scientists around the world to explore and share rich, diverse multidisciplinary data sets with their own familiar desktop tools.”