Microsoft will open first Middle East data centers in 2019

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Microsoft said the addition of more datacentre facilities means Azure now has the largest global presence of any public cloud provider. The giant has deepened their expertise in the Middle East particularly in Abu Dhabi and in Dubai. Microsoft is opening its first datacentres in Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. Initial availability is expected in 2019.

The data centers would be Microsoft's first in the region, making the US tech giant the latest cloud service provider to invest in the digital infrastructure in the Arab world. "I am excited about HCL's strong commitment to our cloud alliance as their Lab 21 will provide a platform for building and showcasing industry vertical and horizontal solutions with the Microsoft AI Platform and Microsoft Azure", said Michael Angiulo, CVP, Microsoft Corp. The Microsoft Cloud has also opened for business in France at three data centres in Paris and one in Marseilles, offering Azure and Office 365 services.

Microsoft's cloud expansion has been full-steam ahead for several years with the company having 38 regions online with 12 additional regions announced.

The race to open new markets in the Middle East is pegged to the region's pursuit of change, including the UAE's Vision 2021 to become a knowledge-based economy and Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 for economic growth. "The strength of Microsoft's cloud combined with Etisalat's own advanced infrastructure and reliable connectivity will be instrumental in accelerating cloud adoption in the UAE and the Middle East", said Anglada. Approximately 4,000 start-ups have been supported through programs like the Microsoft Virtual Academy and Microsoft's Cloud Society initiative.

Microsoft has unveiled their plans to deliver an intelligent, trusted Microsoft Cloud from its very first datacenters located in the Middle East. Microsoft aims to use these datacenters to empower organizations, governments, and businesses to achieve more with what they have and truly take the next step towards bringing their workings into the digital age.