Microsoft opens first African cloud regions

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Microsoft has announced it is bringing its Azure cloud platform to Africa for the first time.

The computing giant has launched its first two African cloud regions with the opening of two facilities in Cape Town and Johannesburg, making it the first major provider to launch services on the continent.

"The launch of these regions marks a major milestone for Microsoft as we open our first enterprise-grade datacenters in Africa, becoming the first global provider to deliver cloud services from datacenters on the continent," Tom Keane, Corporate Vice President, Azure Global, Microsoft Azure said in a blog post announcing the news. 

"The new regions provide the latest example of our ongoing investment to help enable digital transformation and advance technologies such as AI, cloud, and edge computing across Africa."

Microsoft has already signed up major customers including Nedbank, Peace Parks Foundation, and eThekwini water, with the launch bringing the total number of worldwide Azure regions to 54 - more than any other major cloud provider.

Customers signing up to the new regions will be able to access the complete Microsoft Cloud suite, including Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365, with scalable and resilient options available. 

Microsoft says Office 365 will be available to users in the third quarter of 2019, with Dynamics 365 available the following quarter.