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(Reuters) – Microsoft Corp (O:) is partnering with billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk-led SpaceX and others because it expands its cloud-computing platform into area, the software program large stated on Tuesday.

The partnership would permit Microsoft to attach its Azure cloud computing platform to SpaceX’s community of low-Earth orbiting satellites, providing the software program firm an edge in its battle with the rival cloud platform from Jeff Bezos’ Amazon.com Inc (O:).

Cloud firms have seen a surge in demand this yr as extra companies use their providers for switching to work at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Microsoft in current months has examined its Azure cloud with satellites in area, and in September unveiled its Azure Area enterprise, tapping into the demand for data-heavy area providers.

The providers embody “catastrophe prediction and monitoring, elevated visibility of provide chains and financial exercise, and plenty of others,” the corporate has stated in U.S. regulatory filings.

“The place it is sensible, we are going to work with you, co-selling to our mutual prospects, co-selling to new enterprise and future prospects, and mainly deliver the ability of the Starlink connectivity to the Azure infrastructure,” SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell instructed Tom Keane, Microsoft’s company vice chairman of Azure International, in a promotional video.

SpaceX, identified for its reusable rockets and astronaut capsules, is ramping up satellite tv for pc manufacturing for Starlink, a rising constellation of a whole bunch of internet-beaming satellites that Musk hopes will generate sufficient income to assist fund SpaceX’s interplanetary targets.

Earlier this month, SpaceX received a $149 million contract to construct missile-tracking satellites for the Pentagon, its first authorities contract to construct satellites.

Bezos, whose area firm Blue Origin is aiming for a debut launch of its New Glenn rocket in 2021, plans to deploy a satellite tv for pc constellation rivaling SpaceX’s Starlink dubbed Undertaking Kuiper, a proposed community of three,236 satellites.

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