Microsoft on Tuesday was the first tech company to formally announce plans to open up its data to the public.
The announcement comes on the heels of Google and Amazon announcing plans to make it easier for the public to get the company’s data, which is often under-used and subject to data retention laws.
The move will mark Microsoft’s first move toward public access, and comes after the tech company, along with Amazon and Google, unveiled plans last year to let users access its data through their own services.
Microsoft has been lobbying for transparency in its data and data storage practices.
The new announcement follows an initial push from the company to give users access to the data by early 2019.
Microsoft said it would begin making available data in the coming weeks, starting with its cloud computing platform.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the company is working with other companies on the public availability of its data, though it would not provide specific details.
Nadella, who is also the chief executive officer of the cloud computing company Azure, said that the company was “very pleased” with how quickly its data is being made available to the general public, adding that the release of data was “a very exciting day for us.”
“The ability to see data that has been held in an encrypted form, with a few keystrokes, is one of the key innovations that made our world possible,” Nadellasaid in a blog post.
“This is one thing that the cloud is supposed to do.”
Microsoft and its peers like Amazon and Facebook have long made the effort to make their data available to users in a public, cloud-based way.
The companies said earlier this year that they would also start letting users download data, and it was a step toward that goal.
The public data release will not impact the way that the companies sell and distribute the data, Nadeellasaid, who also serves as chief operating officer of Microsoft, said in a statement.
Microsoft also plans to work with other technology companies to make the data available through open source software and other platforms.
“Microsoft will continue to work toward the goal of providing users access of data to enable them to benefit from its cloud services,” Nadesllasaysaid.
The companies announced their plans on Monday.
Microsoft, along of Amazon and Twitter, announced plans to release data on Tuesday, but it was not immediately clear how much of that data would be publicly available.
Google, meanwhile, will release its own version of its online data collection and storage service in 2019, Nadesellas said.
The company plans to use OpenStack to manage the data and will not be releasing the data on a public website.
Facebook said it was also working on a plan to let the public use the company s cloud data.
Facebook is releasing its own data collection tool and is looking into ways to make that public, but no firm date has been set.
Nadesellaysaid that the decision to release the data was a “critical milestone” for Microsoft.
“We’re now seeing a significant increase in our customers’ use of the Microsoft cloud services and it’s critical that we are able to meet that demand,” he said.
“This new openness will enable Microsoft to continue to build a strong ecosystem for cloud computing and open up more data, including for all of our partners,” he added.