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Google Spreads Its Cloud Into Universities

June 22, 2016, 12:51 AM UTC
Photograph by Getty Images

Google is trying to spread its cloud into universities.

The search giant said on Tuesday that it would give university students free access to some of the software tools available on its cloud computing service.

For students to receive access to the cloud services, university computer science faculty and those teaching related courses can apply online. Currently, only U.S.-based faculty members can apply, but Google said people in other countries should soon be able to qualify too.

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Some of the cloud tools that will be available include Google App Engine for building apps, Google BigQuery for storing and sifting through large amounts of data, and Cloud Machine Learning for detecting patterns across big datasets.

Google said students from Carnegie Mellon University and Duke University have been experimenting with some of Google’s cloud tools.

The free credits are one way Google is trying to popularize its burgeoning cloud computing business. If more university students are familiar with Google’s tools, they are more likely to adopt them once they hit the workforce.

Other big technology companies are using similar marketing strategies.

In May, IBM (IBM) made a quantum computing research project available for free to the public on its own cloud service. That move was to spur interest in the experimental field of quantum computing.

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Oracle (ORCL) also said in April that it would donate $200 million over the next 18 months to a federal government program for computer science education. As part of the funding, Oracle said students would get free access to some of its own software tools.