Microsoft is investing billions in Australia in major cloud and computing push

Data center
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Microsoft has announced AU$5 billion in funding that it plans to invest in Australian computing capacity and capability as the country adopts more AI.

The single largest investment Microsoft will have made in Australia since it entered the country 40 years ago, the money will fund hyperscale cloud computing and AI infrastructure.

Redmond also plans to add nine more local data centers in the country and improve the country’s protection against cybersecurity threats.

Microsoft commits billions in funding for Australia

The investment, worth around $3.2 billion, will increase Australia’s computing capacity by around 250% over the next two years. Microsoft reckons that the country’s demand for cloud computing services will almost double between 2022 and 2026, by which point the market is estimated to be worth AU$22.4 billion.

The company has also committed to some significant sustainability goals by the end of the decade, promising that new data centers in the country are carbon negative, water positive, and zero waste.

Data centers are in demand globally, but their environmental impacts have been criticzed. Such sites use extremely high-performance computing components that are power hungry, while also producing large amounts of waste heat.

Beyond investments in infrastructure, Microsoft has also shared that it will support a further 300,000 Australians upskill in order to “succeed in the digital economy.”

Kate Pounder, CEO of the Tech Council of Australia, said: “The Tech Council of Australia (TCA) welcomes this substantial investment in Australia’s digital infrastructure, this investment is critical to creating jobs and opportunity in Australia. The TCA has a shared goal with the Australian Government of having 1.2 million people in tech jobs in Australia by 2030.”

Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, added: “A priority for my Government is to ensure all Australians benefit from economic growth. This means that we need to provide the skills to enable Australians to succeed in the jobs of the future.”

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With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!