Last updated: February 5, 2010 - 9:10am
The National Science Foundation and the Microsoft Corporation have agreed to offer American scientific researchers free access to the company's new cloud computing service.
A goal of the three-year project is to give scientists the computing power to cope with exploding amounts of research data. It uses Microsoft's Windows Azure computing system, which the company recently introduced to compete with cloud computing services from companies like Amazon, Google, I.B.M. and Yahoo. These cloud computing systems allow organizations and individuals to run computing tasks and Internet services remotely in relatively low-cost data centers.
The government has traditionally supported a group of scientific computing centers at universities and laboratories around the country. These centers have typically housed supercomputers capable of solving scientific and engineering problems quickly. In recent years, however, increasing emphasis has been placed on computing systems capable of storing and analyzing vast amounts of data.
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