Contxto – Microsoft announced it will spend US$1.1 billion in Mexico within the next five years, according to an announcement made on Thursday.
Perhaps the biggest ticket item for these funds is the creation of a new cloud data center in this country. Other projects are of an educational nature, such as opening three innovation labs and a virtual classroom, in collaboration with Mexican universities.
The tech giant also added that it’s providing a grant to México Azul—an NGO for species conservation—. Specifically, Microsoft will help the organisation develop and deploy artificial intelligence (AI) software to monitor shark populations in Cabo San Lucas.
The Microsoft cloud and inbound data center
The data center will provide cloud infrastructure for public organizations as well as private ones. Among its hosted services are Microsoft’s well-known line of products including Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365.
And Microsoft already has a big customer in its hands: the government. For example, one specific branch currently using the company’s cloud services is the Mexican Internal Revenue Service.
If that’s not a big customer account, I don’t know what is.
Related article: Google selects Uruguay to host second Latin American data center
Education and innovation
In addition, Microsoft will team up with Mexico’s Ministry of Education to develop innovation labs in three universities. Moreover, the tech giant developed a training and content proposal for teachers to apply with their students so they better develop the skill sets the job market needs.
Public universities will be sought out to participate in a virtual classroom. However, in the press release, it wasn’t entirely clear just what this virtual classroom will do. But it’s a sure bet it’ll likely use Microsoft’s tech.
This paints a promising picture for more student learning in STEM for the medium term. Not to mention position the Microsoft brand among the population.
Albeit, I do think targeting younger learners at an elementary school level can offer a more meaningful impact in the long term.
Somebody had a good 2019
In late January, Microsoft presented its quarterly report for 2019. And interestingly enough, it surpassed expectations for how much money it raked in during the final leg of last year. So, that may have helped its budgeting plans for Mexico.
On a final note, this writer is getting tired of hearing the word “invest” when one of these huge companies tags funds for a country. It’s not an investment per se. It’s just them tagging funds for a specific purpose.
Technicalities aside, these “investments” do benefit the population by creating jobs, access to technology, and education.
But let’s not forget they’re not running a charity.
It’s part of the game of Risk the likes of Amazon, Alphabet, and Microsoft are playing for the cloud infrastructure markets in Latin America.
If you want charity, look into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. That’s a charity.
Otherwise, buckle up, buckaroos, because the cloud-computing competition continues.
Related articles: Tech and startups from Mexico!