Microsoft is among the many U.S. companies whose operations were impacted by the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Here’s a status report from the company, issued yesterday afternoon and still current as of this morning. We’ll post further updates as they’re available.
Microsoft has activated its Disaster Response protocol and is currently accounting for all of its employees and assessing all of its facilities for any impact. The company is reaching out to its customers and partners to conduct impact assessments. We do know at this time that there is no disruption to Microsoft’s cloud based and hosted services.
Microsoft is starting to reach out to provide free incident support to help our customers and partners impacted by the earthquake to get their operations back up and running. The company provides free temporary software licenses to all impacted customers and partners as well as lead, governments, non-profit partners and institutions involved in disaster response efforts. Exchange Online will be made available at no cost for 90 days to business customers in Japan whose communications and collaboration infrastructure may be affected. Microsoft hopes this will help them resume operations more quickly while their existing systems return to normal.
Microsoft is also contacting customers, local government, inter-government and non-government agencies to support relief efforts. Microsoft has a disaster response cloud based communications portal based on Windows Azure available that governments/NGOs can use to communicate with citizens or intra-agency for information, situational awareness and communication purposes.
Bing Maps currently provides imagery of the area and are working on securing before and after imagery for a disaster response mapping application. On Microsoft’s disaster response site, the company has listed ways for people to help, including links to several non-profit organizations that are offering support to help victims of the Japanese quake.