M�decins Sans Fronti�res health workers dealing with Ebola in Liberia

Microsoft offers free cloud-computing to Ebola researchers

Microsoft will provide free cloud-computing and research applications to researchers working on the Ebola virus, says CEO Satya Nadella.

The move will give qualified medical researchers access to Microsoft's cloud-computing platform Azure – essentially a group of datacenters that allow users to access large amounts of information and computing power remotely over the Internet.

Access to Microsoft's vast web of datacenters could be helpful to researchers looking to store and analyse large sets of data that would be difficult to study using only local computers and networks.

"One of the things tomorrow morning we're going to do is make available Azure computer power to the research community," Nadella said at a presentation in San Francisco last night.

"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.”

According to the company's website, Microsoft's research unit is "soliciting cloud computing proposals for projects that are working towards developing a better understanding of the spread and cure of the Ebola virus."

Qualifying proposals from researchers affiliated with academic institutions "will be awarded allocations of Microsoft Azure compute and storage resources," it said.

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