Microsoft says it'll throw €3.2B at AI ops in Germany

What's the wurst that could happen?

Microsoft has promised to splash €3.2 billion (£2.7 billion, $3.4 billion) on AI infrastructure and datacenters in Germany over the next two years.

The spend represents Redmond's largest single investment in the Euro nation since the MS-DOS giant opened there in 1983, and will go toward expanding cloud capacity in Frankfurt and constructing datacenters in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Microsoft president Brad Smith claimed demand for compute is rising in Germany as more and more industry sectors take an interest in artificial intelligence.

"We see increasing demand for AI applications in key economic sectors such as manufacturing, automotive, financial services, pharmaceuticals, life sciences and medical technology. Because these industries are fundamentally changing due to economic change, it is important to equip companies in Germany with world-leading technology," he declared in a statement. 

Several top German businesses, such as Siemens, are apparently already using Microsoft's Azure OpenAI services to write code. Pharmaceutical and biotech giant Bayer is using Microsoft's 365 Copilot to help workers summarize text in emails or draft reports, while Commerzbank is reportedly planning to develop a virtual AI banking avatar. 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz predicted the investment will boost AI development and underscored his nation's open economy. "Microsoft's billion-dollar investment in Germany announced today is very good news for Germany as a business location," he gushed.

"Microsoft is thus promoting the necessary structural change in the Rhineland region, advancing the computing infrastructure in our country and strengthening the German ecosystem around artificial intelligence. Such projects show how attractive the location and the trust of investors in Germany."

The Windows maker also pledged to help more than 1.2 million workers develop digital skills by the end of 2025. That program will educate workers on how AI works, and promote building and using the technology in a responsible and safe manner. This would include earning the first professional certificate for generative AI in the country, Microsoft said. 

Microsoft's huge bet on OpenAI has helped boost its AI and cloud computing business, sending the IT titan's market cap beyond $3 trillion. In December it promised customers the ability to store and process all personal data – even if it has been pseudonymized – on servers within Europe to comply with the EU Data Boundary. 

It's not the only big cloud provider looking to expand its footprint in Europe. Amazon is planning to spin up its AWS European Sovereign Cloud to comply with the same rules too – though that hasn't yet announced where it will build its datacenters. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like