MICROSOFT HAS announced an intention to counter its Doctor Evil routine concerning Windows 10 with a dedicated philanthropic venture.
Microsoft Philanthropies will report directly to Brad Bird, president of Microsoft, who explained on the Official Microsoft Blog that the new venture is a direct extension of Satya Nadella's cub scout motto nouveau: 'Empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.' Dib, dib and indeed dib.
The initiative will contribute in "new and more impactful ways" to bring the benefits of technology by bridging the gaps where there's no tech and providing access where there is none adding its insights.
The digital inclusion programmes will include investment of cash and technology in non-profit partnerships that benefit the wider community, from access to the public cloud through to equipping educational establishments. The company has already committed $75m towards the provision of computer science education over the next three years.
Microsoft has also promised to help employees with their own community outreach work, with everything from hackathons to marquee data science projects.
The company will also expand its Affordable Access Initiative designed to help businesses in remote areas grow and access the cloud. Bird explained: "We’ll do this because we recognise that connecting to the cloud is not enough: it takes skills and knowledge to leverage this connection and derive true benefit from it.
"Therefore, we’ll invest in the coming year in digital education programmes for the people in those communities to ensure not only their inclusion in new opportunities but their empowerment to make the most of those new opportunities."
In other words, more people using the cloud, more potential customers.
The company will also look for the root causes of digital exclusion through partnerships with non-profit organisations, such as seen recently in the Upgrade Your World campaign in which $10m was given to 100 non-profits. Google operates a similar scheme as part of the firm's social responsibility programme.
Mary Snapp, a long-standing Microsoft executive, is to head up the division that brings together a number of existing programmes while giving us all a warm fuzzy Christmassy feeling which might divert attention away from its megalomania for five minutes. µ
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