Microsoft to provide massive Indian cloud package at no charge

| April 14, 2012

Microsoft won what is reportedly its biggest cloud computing deployment yet, sealing a contract to supply its software and services to some 7.5 million students and professors across technical colleges at All India Council For Technical Education.

As part of the deal, Microsoft will supply its Live.edu suite of services, which includes Outlook Live, Office Live, and 25 GB per user of SkyDrive cloud storage.

The cool thing about the deal is that all the services will be provided at no charge for AICTE. Sounds a bit counter-intuitive, but the deal also drew the interests of Google and IBM, according to online reports. What I’m wondering is what business model will Microsoft adopt for the deal.

Google would at least have its advertising to supplement providing its email and productivity suites for free – in fact, that has been its business model all along. How will Microsoft recoup the vast expense of hosting all those servers and the fact that it is giving away its software has yet to be revealed.

But one thing is abundantly clear, AICTE students and professors will benefit from the deal, with many getting access to these services for the first time, the reports said.

Microsoft plans to host the AICTE users from data centres around the world. Whether or not it has infrastructure in India, or close by, is not clear.

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Category: Cloud computing, Data centres, Green ICT

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