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Microsoft (MSFT) to Extend Azure Cloud to Verily's Terra Platform

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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Free Report) recently announced its collaboration with Verily and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to foster biomedicine research through Terra platform.

Microsoft will extend its Azure cloud services, data and AI solutions like Azure Machine Learning, Azure Synapse Analytics, and Azure Cognitive Services to the Terra platform to make it simpler for data scientists, researchers and doctors to work together to advance biomedicine research and augment patient care.

The deployment of Terra on Azure cloud platform will facilitate secured access to data stores through collaborative workspaces, added Microsoft. The deployment will also offer access to an ever-increasing suite of open and proprietary standards-based tools as well as application programming interfaces (or APIs) and best practices workflows, noted the tech giant.

The partnership will enhance Terra’s reach to 168,000 additional health and life sciences organizations across the globe that are associated with Microsoft.

Terra platform was jointly developed by Verily and Broad Institute. It is an open source and scalable platform aimed at helping biomedical scientists and researchers to gain access to data and work together. Verily is Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) life science division.


Microsoft’s Efforts to Gain a Larger Share of Healthcare Sector

The deal with Verily underscores Microsoft’s efforts to grab a larger share of the lucrative healthcare industry. Coronavirus crisis is driving the digital transformation of the entire healthcare system. This is forcing healthcare companies to rapidly digitize their operations to ensure business continuity.

Per MarketsAndMarkets report, global healthcare cloud computing market is projected to witness a CAGR of 18.1% between 2020 and 2025 and reach $64.7 billion. The increasing usage of big data analytics in healthcare industry as well as rise in telehealth and adoption of innovative technologies like AI and internet of Things (IoT) will be the key drivers of this market, added the report.

In fact, worldwide spending on cloud services will reach more than $1 trillion by 2024 at a  CAGR of 15.7% between 2020 and 2024, per an IDC report.

These opportunities bode well for cloud service providers like Microsoft. Microsoft has rapidly gained a significant ground in the cloud space with its Azure cloud service. Azure’s market share trails only Amazon’s (AMZN - Free Report) Amazon Web Services (“AWS”).

According to a report from Synergy Research Group, Azure cloud’s global market share in the third quarter of 2020 stood at 18%, while AWS’ share was around 33%.

Microsoft is rapidly increasing Azure data center regions to bolster its competitive stance against AWS. The company currently has 66 Azure data center regions including Austria, Brazil, Greece, and Taiwan.

Microsoft’s cloud endeavours are anticipated to help it capitalize on attractive growth prospects and boost its financial performance in the coming days.

Zacks Rank and Key Pick

Microsoft currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A better-ranked stock worth considering in the broader sector is Micron Technology (MU - Free Report) , which flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth rate for Micron is currently pegged at 12.7%.

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