Microsoft is bringing Office 365 and its Windows Azure cloud computing service to China, in what it termed a "landmark" deal.
Microsoft will collaborate on delivering services with Chinese data centre services provider 21Vianet and has signed a memorandum of understanding with the city of Shanghai, the company announced Thursday.
"We’re excited to soon be able to satisfy the enormous appetite in China for a public cloud platform with the security and reliability features that customers demand from Microsoft," Doug Hauger, general manager, Microsoft server and tools division, wrote on Microsoft's Azure blog.
"We have signed a landmark agreement to license Microsoft technologies to 21Vianet, who will offer Windows Azure services in China from local datacenters."
Microsoft cited Forrester Research projections that the public cloud market in China will grow from $US297 million in 2011 to $US3.8 billion in 2020.
"Although we've offered Microsoft productivity software in China for decades, this represents our first, big step towards making multi-tenant public cloud services available to millions of businesses in China," Julia White, general manager, Microsoft Office Division, wrote in Microsoft's Office 365 blog.