Introduction to The 2018 Update Creating a trusted, responsible, and inclusive cloud

In 2016, Microsoft launched “A Cloud for Global Good,” a book of policy recommendations for governments, industry and civil society to help ensure that the opportunities of technology are evenly shared, and that challenges facing society are identified early and practical solutions applied. In the year since that launch, we have been inspired by the digital transformation journeys of countless businesses, nonprofits and governments.

In every country in which we operate, we see communities with the opportunity to flourish in new ways thanks to the power of the cloud. Cloud-powered technologies are increasingly the foundation for our lives and livelihoods, creating new businesses and business models, as well as changing the way we access services, communicate with each other and entertain ourselves. But the last year has also highlighted real challenges created by the advancement of technology. We continue to witness cyberattacks by nation-states on citizens, critical infrastructure and the institutions of democracy. We read on an almost daily basis about the criminal hacking of companies and governments to steal private and sensitive information of customers. We listen to the concerns about the loss of jobs to automation and the disruptive impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on entire sectors of the economy. And we struggle to find the right balance between freedom of expression and community safety.

There is still much work to do if we are truly going to create a cloud for global good. It is a big responsibility for every government, every business and every technology company. It certainly is a big responsibility for Microsoft.

That’s why we’ve spent the past year engaging with leaders from governments, businesses and civil society to advance the policy framework we outlined in “A Cloud for Global Good.” We have updated this book with our learnings and new ideas, building on our original policy recommendations for building a more trusted, responsible and inclusive cloud. We have also included inspiring stories of our customers who are digitally transforming and the impact they are creating for their customers, citizens and communities.

Above all, what the past year has shown us is that our optimism in the future is well placed and that the cloud will continue to play an important role in creating a better world for everyone. Once again, Microsoft is committed to partnering with stakeholders across the world to build a cloud for global good.

Brad Smith signature

Brad Smith
President and Chief Legal Officer
Microsoft Corporation