Microsoft continues multibillion-dollar cloud and AI sprinkle in Malaysia

Satya reaches once more into his wallet

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced a $2.2 billion investment to advancecloud and AI infrastructure in Malaysia.

The latest gift from Satya's sack comes days after the company announced plans to pour $1.7 billion into expanding its presence in Indonesia.

Microsoft has been in Malaysia for 32 years, but the investment announced this week is the company's largest in the country. Spread over four years, it will be spent on building cloud and AI infrastructure, creating AI skilling opportunities for another 200,000 people in the country, and supporting the growth of Malaysia's developer community.

Microsoft said the money will also go toward "strengthening its partnership with the Government of Malaysia to establish a national AI Centre of Excellence and enhance the nation's cybersecurity capabilities."

In its post on the subject, Microsoft cited research by Kearney that reckoned AI could contribute nearly $1 trillion to Southeast Asia's gross domestic product by 2030, with Malaysia set to capture $115 billion of that figure.

Malaysia is Nadella's latest stop on his tour of countries in the region that aren't China. While Malaysia does not have Indonesia's 3.1 million-member GitHub community, nor its population, the number of the nation's developers who have used GitHub grew to 680,000 in 2023, a 28 percent year-on-year rise.

Microsoft is keen to "drive AI adoption across key industries" and encourage the public sector to use the technology. "The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and the Malaysia Energy Commission … will adopt Copilot for Microsoft 365 to enhance workplace productivity," the company said.

Investing in countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia makes a good deal of sense considering the tensions between the US and China. Microsoft already announced plans in 2021 to establish its first datacenter region in the Greater Kuala Lumpur area.

Nadella said: "We are committed to supporting Malaysia's AI transformation and ensure it benefits all Malaysians.

"Our investments in digital infrastructure and skilling will help Malaysian businesses, communities, and developers apply the latest technology to drive inclusive economic growth and innovation across the country." ®

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