Microsoft is making a major investment in the UK by opening data centres in Britain for the first time, the company’s chief Satya Nadella has announced.
The new data centres will enable users of Microsoft’s cloud services, Azure and Office 365, to keep their data in the UK at all times. The announcement all comes just days after Amazon, a major Microsoft rival in cloud services, confirmed they too would be building centres in the UK in 2016.
Speaking at the company’s Future Decoded conference in London, Nadella said: “At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more.
“By expanding our data centre regions in the UK, Netherlands and Ireland we aim to give local businesses and organisations of all sizes the transformative technology they need to seize new global growth.”
Nadella added that the new centre would be open by early 2016.
The news also comes after the European Union’s Court of Justice last month declared Safe Harbour – the treaty that enabled data to be transferred to the US from Europe for storage – invalid, raising questions of where and how personal data is stored.
Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s executive vice president of cloud and enterprise told the Press Association that the reassurance of UK-based data centres would increase cloud service uptake, as well as reduce data privacy fears.
“We can guarantee customers that their data will always stay in the UK”, he said.
“Being able to very concretely tell that story is something that I think will accelerate cloud adoption further in the UK.”
Nadella added that expansions to existing data centres in Ireland and the Netherlands had also been completed, and that the work would “fuel the next generation of cloud computing.”
“Digital technology in your hands, right here in the UK, can transform the world as you see it,” he said.
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