Microsoft on Monday announced it will provide free cloud-computing and research applications to medical researchers working on the Ebola virus. “One of the things tomorrow morning we’re going to do is make available Azure computer power to the research community,” CEO Satya Nadella said at a presentation in San Francisco. Azure is the name of Microsoft’s cloud-computing platform, essentially a group of data centers that allow users to access large amounts of information and computing power remotely over the Internet.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella seems like an unlikely player in the fight against Ebola. But Microsoft’s top executive unveiled a new Azure-powered research initiative aimed at furthering Ebola research along with other updates to its cloud platforms during a press event in San Francisco on Monday. During the enterprise-focused event, Nadella again reiterated Microsoft’s commitment to being “cloud first and mobile first,” which has become the CEO’s mantra since taking over Microsoft earlier this year. “Mobility comes about because of the cloud,” Nadella said. “It’s very important to us that we support every business in every industry in every geography.” Nadella said the company is opening up Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-based platform for businesses, to assist with Ebola research and disaster relief. The company is now accepting proposals for projects that “are working towards developing a better understanding of the spread and cure of the Ebola virus and its associated factors.” Those that qualify for the award will be provided with Azure resources to help power their project.