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Microsoft pledges to give public cloud resources to researchers and nonprofits to the total value of $1 billion; critics say a major impetus is to extend the span of its users.

"It’s a lobbying and market-share play too

"Microsoft has pledged to donate $1 billion worth of public cloud resources to university researchers and nonprofits over the next three years.

"The resources will be doled out via the Microsoft Philanthropies wing of the firm, which launched last month. They will include tools for letting users develop and run applications in Microsoft’s Azure cloud and use its storage and computing facilities, as well as managing their devices and even their relationships with donors and beneficiaries."--David Meyer, Fortune

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