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Microsoft Joins the White House’s Consortium to Stop Coronavirus

Microsoft will donate its sizeable compute power and software resources to aid the fight against coronavirus, alongside IBM, Google, AWS, and HP.


is one of several companies to join a White House effort that will use tech to aid the battle with . Named the High Performance Computing Consortium, its aim is to aid medical researchers and providers.

To do so, tech giants are donating their compute time and software. The effort is led by IBM, but also includes AWS, , and HP. On the research side of things is MIT and Rensselaer Polytechnic Insitute, propped up by the US department of energy, NASA, and the National Science Foundation.

The effort marks a major collaboration between big tech and government, blending private and public in a manner rarely seen. A Whitehouse statement says the full capacity of the US' “world-class” supercomputers will be thrown at the problem to advance research for treatments and vaccines.

“Microsoft, as part of the¬†AI for Health¬†program, will provide grants to ensure additional access for researchers to our Azure cloud and high-performance computing capabilities,” said a spokesperson. “Our team of AI for Health data science experts, whose mission is to improve the health of people and communities worldwide, is also open to collaborations with COVID-19 researchers as they tackle this critical challenge.”

Meanwhile, Microsoft is also working with Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit to cut down on coronavirus misinformation and surface official resources. It has canceled its physical Build 2020 conference and provided Microsoft Teams to the UK's NHS for free.

Though cynics would say companies see as an opportunity for positive press, the end result is positive either way. The lingering question is what other measures the US government is planning to implement, with 100 related deaths yesterday and only a third of states ordering citizens to stay at home.

A cure, according to researchers' best guess, could be more than a year away. The US appears to be doing its part to accelerate that effort, but it's unlikely anything will be done in time to prevent thousands of deaths in the country.

Ryan Maskell
Ryan Maskellhttps://ryanmaskell.co.uk
Ryan has had a passion for gaming and technology since early childhood. Fusing the skills from his Creative Writing and Publishing degree with profound technical knowledge, he enjoys covering news about Microsoft. As an avid writer, he is also working on his debut novel.

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