Microsoft has donated $1bn (£700m, €908m) in cloud services to what it calls the public good. The cloud computing resources will be available to 70,000 non-profits and 900 university researchers over the next three years.

Brand Smith, president and chief legal officer of Microsoft, said, "Cloud services can unlock the secrets held by data in ways that create new insights and lead to breakthroughs, not just for science and technology, but for addressing the full range of economic and social challenges and the delivery of better human services."

Microsoft has planned three initiatives. One part of it is Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing platform, using which nonprofits can develop applications. It will also add Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) and CRM Online for the researchers.

The Office 365 nonprofit programme includes cloud-based versions of Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPont, besides Microsoft Power business intelligence for researchers. Finally, the company wants to provide internet connectivity and cloud services to the news communities in as many as 15 countries by the middle of 2017.

In an official blog post, Microsoft said: "Providing nonprofits with better access to Microsoft Cloud Services, including the powerful Microsoft Azure platform, builds upon Microsoft's long-time commitment to making cutting-edge technology available at no or low cost to organisations working on solving some of society's toughest problems."