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Microsoft offers Azure cloud platform free of charge to two academic projects

Posted by Lawrence Bonk as Microsoft, News, Press Releases


Horizon, a research project run by University of Nottingham, and Inria, a French computer science collaboration, will use Azure for three years without charge, Microsoft recently said. The deal will see the projects use Azure for scalable computing, storage, and web management. Did we mention there will be no charge?

Microsoft has deemed that both projects can be used to benefit society, thus the lax pricing.

One of the aims of the Microsoft researchers will be to develop desktop software that can handle interfacing with back-end high-performance computing systems.

“Excel is a killer app for researchers, and very popular as a desktop tool,”  said Dan Reed, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of the eXtreme Computing Group. “We want to create a capability for desktop tools to scale and power… [and] run computations that are far more complex. People want a simple, easy way to use interfaces.” Reed said that during the three years, Microsoft was “hoping to stimulate models [of computing] that researchers and agencies can acquire on an ongoing basis”.

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