In a historic move, Microsoft has committed its largest-ever investment in Australia, announcing a substantial $5 billion (US$3.2 billion) investment with a strong focus on cloud computing and artificial intelligence. This significant investment is set to bolster the Australian economy and enhance the nation’s cybersecurity measures. The details of this substantial deal were collaboratively crafted by Microsoft and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, during his four-day official visit to the United States, expressed his enthusiasm for the investment at a press conference held at the Australian Embassy in Washington. Albanese underscored the importance of Microsoft’s partnership with the Signals Directorate, which promises to fortify Australia’s capabilities in identifying, preventing, and responding to cyber threats.
As part of the investment, Microsoft has outlined plans to expand its cloud computing and AI infrastructure within Australia over the next two years. Notably, the company has already added 20 data centers strategically located in Canberra, Sydney, and Melbourne.The move comes in response to the growing concern over cybersecurity in Australia, with a reported 76,000 cybercrimes to the Australian Cyber Security Center in the previous year. While some experts caution against over-reporting, Microsoft’s commitment to collaborate with Australia’s cyber espionage agency, the Australian Signals Directorate, on a ‘Cyber Shield’ initiative aims to safeguard the nation from evolving threats.