Microsoft has unveiled plans to donate $1bn worth of cloud computing services to non-profit organisations and university researchers.
The recently formed Microsoft Philanthropies will make the donation in the next three years to more than 70,000 organisations and 900 university research projects.
The company’s new three-part initiative is focused on ensuring that the cloud can serve the public good.
Microsoft’s cloud services include Azure, Power BI, CRM Online and the Enterprise Mobility Suite.
The company plans to expand an existing programme by 50% that donates Azure storage and computing resources to university projects. The programme currently provides free cloud computing resources for more than 600 research projects on six continents.
Microsoft Philanthropies and Microsoft Business Development will combine donated access to Microsoft Cloud services with investments in new, low-cost last-mile Internet access technologies and community training.
The software giant plans to invest in 20 projects, in at least 15 countries globally, by mid-2017.
Microsoft president Brad Smith said: "We’re committed to helping nonprofit groups and universities use cloud computing to address fundamental human challenges.
"One of our ambitions for Microsoft Philanthropies is to partner with these groups and ensure that cloud computing reaches more people and serves the broadest array of societal needs."