Following a magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal over the weekend, Microsoft is making Skype calls in and out of Nepal free to landlines and mobiles. Skype is one of the most widely used online telecommunications tools across the world, so Microsoft's efforts are significant. It’s part of an initiative by Microsoft to donate $1 million in cash, technology, and services to assist in the rescue and recovery efforts in Nepal. The massive earthquake has already claimed 4,000 lives, and rescue operations continue to assist the thousands of injured people along with aid to help with disaster recovery efforts.
Microsoft isn’t the only technology company to assist with the Nepal earthquake recovery efforts. While Google has opened its Person Finder tool to aid earthquake relief efforts, it's charging 1 cent instead of 19 cents to phone numbers in Nepal through Google Voice. Google says this is "to prevent spammers from abusing our systems and possibly adding more load to the already stretched Nepalese telephone network." T-Mobile and Sprint have both made texting and calling free to numbers in Nepal. Apple has launched a partnership with the American Red Cross to encourage iTunes users to donate, and Facebook has activated its Safety Check feature.