Microsoft's next big cloud and AI investment is pouring billions of Euros into France

Microsoft logo outside building
(Image credit: gguy / Shutterstock)

Tech giant Microsoft has declared its intention to invest a massive €4 billion ($4.3 billion) in France as part of the country’s ‘Choose France’ initiative.

Company VC and President Brad Smith confirmed the news in an exclusive interview with Le Figaro.

Microsoft joins the likes of AWS, which has unveiled plans to invest €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) into the country’s AI scene, though Redmond’s hefty investment represents more than one-quarter of the country’s anticipated €15 billion ($16.3 billion) in investments coinciding with the event.

Microsoft France investment

The majority of the investment will be channeled into the blossoming artificial intelligence sector in the country, with plans to establish a leading data center in Mulhouse, near the country’s eastern border with Germany and Switzerland.

Microsoft’s multibillion-dollar cash injection will run over the course of three years and will fund infrastructure, training for French citizens and support for the country’s AI startups.

Over the course of the past couple of years, France has secured itself a position as the top choice for many artificial companies and startups thanks to its strong research foundations, government support initiatives and strategic location.

French startup Mistral AI has already been supported by Microsoft, having received a €15 million ($16.2 million) investment as part of a partnership between the two firms.

The company’s sizeable investment, clearly appreciated by the country’s AI and cloud computing sector, isn’t without an opposing view, though.

Microsoft is under mounting pressure in France and the EU over its unfair business practices that have led it to snap up a significant share of the market. France’s own cloud companies formed part of a group of firms tackling Redmond’s dominance.

Besides this being a routine investment, just like a number of other major companies during the ‘Choose France’ event, many are speculating whether Microsoft’s €4 billion sum could be an effort to pacify antitrust regulators.

More from TechRadar Pro

Craig Hale

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!