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How Sochi Is The Most Digital Winter Olympics Ever

Microsoft Brings Cloud to Sochi

Microsoft's involvement in the games extends far beyond the broadcasting realm. The tech giant's Windows Azure technology supports the official Web sites for the Winter Olympic and Paralympic games, which take place in Sochi between March 7th and 16th.

The deal between Microsoft Russia and the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee was signed at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2012. During peak traffic times, the software maker will use its Azure cloud to allocate resources to the Web sites via data centers around the world.

Launched in 2009, Windows Azure forms the cornerstone of Microsoft's corporate cloud services strategy. In 2011, Microsoft and Toyota (TM) teamed up to develop in-car applications on the Azure platform. Other Windows Azure users include BMW Latin America, Harris Corporation (HRS) and Herbalife (HLF), which tapped the technology to support distributor Web sites.

Samsung and Maria Sharapova

An official partner of Sochi 2014, Samsung is providing wireless equipment to support the games - the tech giant's Galaxy Note 3 is the official phone of the games.

The Apple (AAPL) rival is seizing the marketing opportunity offered by the Winter Olympics. Samsung has opened four 'Galaxy Studios' in Sochi where visitors can sample the company's wares, compete like an Olympian in the Sport Interactive Zone and support their favorite athletes through the ChatON app in the Studio's Cheering Zone.

Earlier this week, Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova launched the Galaxy Studio within the city's Olympic park, which forms the centerpiece of Samsung's Winter Olympics campaign. Sochi native Sharapova is Samsung's "brand ambassador" for the games.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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