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Microsoft to open four data centres in France

Microsoft Reuters/Pichi Chuang/Files

Microsoft is to open four data storage centres in France to meet growing customer demand for cloud computing.

"There's a strong demand from our clients. A lot of them prefer to have cloud computing infrastructures and their data in their home territory," Carlo Purassanta, the head of the software giant's French operations told the AFP news agency on Tuesday.

Three centres in Paris, one in Marseille

Purassanta did not reveal the size of the planned investment, but said that three of the centres will be located in the Paris region and the fourth in Marseille.

France will become the fourth European country -- after Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands -- to host Microsoft cloud data storage facilities.

Cloud computing

The centres will be opened by the end of this quarter, Purassanta added.

Companies that hadn't yet moved into cloud computing "are those which were waiting for the arrival of data storage facilities in France".

Artificial intelligence startups

Microsoft, which opened its "AI Factory" at the Station F startup campus in Paris last year to mentor young companies specialising in artificial intelligence (AI), said that six more startups had joined the programme.

The group said it was also planning to open a college specialising in AI at its French headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux, just outside Paris.

Other hi-tech firms, such as Google and SAP have also announced major investments in France, particularly in the areas of AI and startups, this week.

- with AFP