Microsoft will offer its cloud services, including Azure and Office 365, from data centers in France from next year.
Speaking at an event in Dublin, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the company had doubled its cloud capacity in Europe in the last year, and spent over $3 billion on building out cloud services in Europe so far.
Microsoft said it would offer Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 from multiple data center locations in France from next year.
"We are building out the hyperscale cloud so that it can address the legitimate digital sovereignty needs, and other compliance needs, of European countries It's that real-world understanding of customer needs, and needs of operating in various countries, that has even led us to build out our German cloud with a model where we have a German trustee -- in this case Deutsche Telecom -- operating that cloud infrastructure," said Nadella.
Microsoft has been making a major push with its cloud services into Europe, but has had to do this by building local infrastructure because of European fears about US surveillance.
As a US company, there have been concerns that US law enforcement can request access to Microsoft customer data even if it's stored outside the US: by keeping data local, Microsoft hopes to reassure customers.
The company recently opened data centers offering cloud Azure and Office 365 in the UK and and Germany (Microsoft Azure, with Office 365 planned for early 2017). The German model is unusual in that the customer data in the data centers is under the control of a 'data trustee', T-Systems International, which is an independent German company and subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, and not Microsoft.
Microsoft also has existing data center hubs in the Netherlands and Ireland along with centres in Austria and Finland
Cloud customers in Europe include the UK's Ministry of Defence, which plans to use Office 365 and Azure cloud, while the Renault-Nissan Alliance is working with Microsoft on connected services for cars.
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