Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt at a 2010 news confere Alex Wong, Getty Images
<p>Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt at a 2010 news conference.</p>

Microsoft Lands Enormous GE Cloud Contract

General Electric turns to Microsoft to supply more than 300,000 employees in 170 countries with cloud capabilities because of unique geographical and industrial needs, among other reasons.

Even after shedding some of its divisions, General Electric remains so large that few other companies are monolithic enough to understand its scope and needs. Microsoft, which has also dropped departments during recent reconstruction, is one of them.

GE and Microsoft announced Monday that the tech giant will supply more than 300,000 GE employees in at least 170 countries with its Office 365 cloud suite, a massive contract finalized just days after the annual Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.

In a release, Microsoft touted its team collaboration abilities, security capabilities and line-of-business applications enhancements, in addition to regular updates.

“We wanted to get out of an environment where upgrades were a point-in-time decision,” GE CTO Larry Biagini said, “and that cadence of being able to take advantage of new functionality is something that we believe we’re going to get a huge advantage from.”

The companies mentioned Microsoft’s ability to “work equally well with varying local infrastructures, from an office building in North America, to a wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa, to an oil rig in the middle of the North Atlantic,” as well as GE’s compliance “with myriad government regulations that vary … from country to country” and “across highly-regulated industries, like healthcare and aviation.”

Microsoft stock was up 0.73% to $46.96 in mid-afternoon trading, while GE stock was down 0.51% to $27.10.

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