Microsoft and the National Science Foundation announced on February 4 that they are teaming to provide NSF-selected researchers with free cloud computing resources built around Microsoft's Windows Azure public-cloud operating system.
Under the terms of the new program, the NSF chooses individual researchers and research groups who will get free access to Microsoft's cloud-computing resources for three years. The NSF is charged with awarding and managing the projects. More details for those interested in applying are available on the NSF's Web site.
The winners get free Azure compute/storage time, access to Microsoft support to help them figure out how to integrate Microsoft's cloud technology into their research. Microsoft also will provide the winners with "a set of common tools, applications and data collections that can be shared with the broad academic community, and also provide its expertise in research, science and cloud computing," according to the company.