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October 6, 2016updated 25 Oct 2016 1:21pm

Microsoft donates $5m Azure credits to Alan Turing Institute

Over 1000 customers have signed up to use Microsoft's cloud computing services in the UK since new data centres were launched in September.

By Alexander Sword

The Alan Turing Institute will get access to cloud computing services from Microsoft worth $5 million as the IT giant launched a new sales pitch of its cloud computing services to developers.

Microsoft will train researchers at the Institute, the UK’s national centre for data science founded in 2015, in data science to encourage them to use the benefits of the cloud.


Satya Nadella outlined Microsoft’s pitch to developers at Transform.

The news came as CEO Satya Nadella revealed that since launching new data centres in the UK at the beginning of September, over 1000 customers have signed up to use Microsoft’s local cloud services.

The Institute has four main missions, to establish the research foundations for data science, to translate this research into practical impacts, training future data scientists and leading the public conversation on data science.

Azure will be used to undertake activities requiring high amounts of computing power, including data analytics, natural language processing, machine learning and data visualisation.

“Azure cloud services will provide our data scientists with an easily accessible platform where they can prototype ideas with a fast turnaround of results, complementing local computing facilities available in the Institute’s five founding universities, and national resources such as the supercomputer ARCHER supported by EPSRC,” said Professor Andrew Blake, Director of the Alan Turing Institute.


Andrew Blake is the Director of the Alan Turing Institute.

Microsoft’s donation of the services was announced by Blake and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at the Transform conference in London.

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At the event, Nadella outlined his company’s pitch to developers, supported by a range of speakers including Ben Medlock, co-founder and CTO at SwiftKey, who demonstrated how the predictive typing app was using machine learning in the cloud to power its app. The event showed the numerous ways that companies could use cloud resources to power their apps, with Nadella describing these capabilities as “the power we want to put into the hands of developers.”

There were demonstrations from other speakers such as Dan Marsh of International Alert, a company which used data to predict the outcome of the Nigerian elections in 2015, as well as a speech by Matthew Gould, Director General for Digital and Media in the Department for Culture, Media & Sport outlining the government’s current digital strategy.

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