Microsoft Awards First Grants to Help Expand Global Internet Access

Microsoft has largely stood by as other technology giants like Facebook and Google have begun work on grand plans for balloons, satellites, drones, simplified apps and even bicycle hot spots to deliver Internet access to the four billion or so people around the world who are not yet online.The venerable software company, still best known for the Windows software that runs most of the world’s personal computers, did buy the handset business of Nokia, the Finnish cellphone maker, in 2014 — a platform that could have been the basis of a mobile access strategy — only to write off most of the business a year later and sell the low-end side of it last week.

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