Microsoft to give priority to first responders during coronavirus outbreak

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Microsoft announced over the weekend that it will prioritize first responders for its cloud services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Microsoft is working with first responder organizations, governments, and monitoring its service demands to ensure needs are met. If demand causes capacity constraints, Microsoft will prioritize first responders. Additionally, Microsoft could adjust free offers to make sure existing customers have support.

An Azure blog post states how Microsoft is prioritizing first responders:

We are working closely with first responder organizations and critical government agencies to ensure we are prioritizing their unique needs and providing them our fullest support. We are also partnering with governments around the globe to ensure our local datacenters have on-site staffing, and all functions are running properly.

Many people have had to switch to remote working during the coronavirus outbreak. As a result, demands for Microsoft’s cloud-based services continues to increase. Microsoft Teams surged to 44 million daily active users during the outbreak. Microsoft explains which types of workers will receive priority in its post:

As demand continues to grow, if we are faced with any capacity constraints in any region during this time, we have established clear criteria for the priority of new cloud capacity. Top priority will be going to first responders, health and emergency management services, critical government infrastructure organizational use, and ensuring remote workers stay up and running with the core functionality of Teams. We will also consider adjusting free offers, as necessary, to ensure support of existing customers.

Over the weekend, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke about how Microsoft is responding to the coronavirus pandemic, including assisting governments, helping schools, donating to organizations, and allowing employees to work from home. Microsoft also made Microsoft Teams premium features free for six months earlier this month.

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