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Microsoft is rolling out a new update for its rapidly expanding Azure Space platform. For the latest extension, the company is tapping into satellites to deliver cloud-hosted services to remote regions. This means the company’s Azure Orbital Ground Station is moving to general availability. At the same time, Azure Orbital Cloud Access is reaching preview.

Together, the two services will help to build cloud connectivity in regions where it was previously not possible. Microsoft announced its cloud satellite platform during World Satellite Business Week which is currently ongoing.

How it Works

Using Azure Space through the Orbital Cloud Access service, the company can bring Microsoft Cloud services to internet service providers. Basically, the platform uses satellites to relay cloud data from Azure datacenters to ISP terminals on Earth.

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As for Azure Orbital Ground Station, it provides a fully managed system for ground station services for customers. At the World Satellite Business Week, Jason Zander, executive vice president of strategic missions and technology at Microsoft said:

“First, we are dedicated to democratizing the possibilities of space by unlocking connectivity and data with the Microsoft Cloud. Second, we can also help support the digital transformation for our customers and partners in the space industry by using the flexible, scalable compute power in Azure.”

Microsoft has been expanding Azure Space in recent months, including adding new AI features. Since launching the product in 2020, Microsoft says many partners have already come on board. Among them are manufacturers, data providers, space operators, systems integrators, startups, and more.

The preview for Azure Orbital Cloud Access is currently private. Microsoft is not yet allowing consumer organizations to access the platform. Instead, the company is testing it with government agencies in the United States.

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