Microsoft Offers Cloud-Computing Tools in Fight Against Ebola

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. "In addition we have some tools that Microsoft researchers built to be able to do vaccine discovery, so we want to take all of that and make it available for the research community," said Nadella. Microsoft’s research division is soliciting cloud computing proposals for projects that are working toward “developing a better understanding of the spread and cure of the Ebola virus,” according to the company announcement. “Qualifying proposals will be awarded allocations of Microsoft Azure compute and storage resources.” Ebola has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa.

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— Reuters and NBC News staff