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Microsoft intros cloud-based Azure Services Platform

updated 08:00 pm EDT, Mon October 27, 2008

Microsoft Azure platform

Microsoft has introduced Windows Azure, the foundation to its cloud-computing architecture that will allow companies to create software and services that can be accessed from centralized data centers. The platform will directly compete with similar ventures from competitors, including Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Google's library of internet tools. Developers can create applications that exist "in the cloud," accessible from anywhere in the world. The release marks a transition for Microsoft from the reliance on desktop software and further into the realm of Web-based technologies.

The key component of the architecture will be Windows Azure, an operating system that is designed for the cloud environment, providing developers a way to manage their Web applications on the Internet through the data centers. For some businesses that are facing the costs of building and maintaining on-site systems, using Azure-based cloud services on a subscription basis could present another option. The primary storage, computing, and networking tools would be hosted in Microsoft's data centers.

The Azure Services Platform will bring together several of the company's developer services including SQL, .NET, Live, SharePoint, and Dynamics CRM. Applications can be created using the .NET framework, Visual Studio, or other technologies and open source standards such as Eclipse, Ruby, PHP, Python, XML, HTTP, representational state transfer (REST), and Atom Publishing Protocol (AtomPub).

Customers can integrate any existing systems with Azure, spreading the applications across both platforms to suit particular needs. Some potential clients could steer clear of Web-based technology because of concerns with potential down-time. Microsoft claims its Azure Fabric Controller technology is designed to distribute the workload evenly across servers, while instantly rerouting work in the event of a failure.

Microsoft is aiming to jump into the Web-based software-as-a-service segment and take market share from power-players such as Google. As the sales of Vista stagnate, showing just a two percent income growth for the recent quarter, the company could be looking to extend its reach, with products such as Azure, into new areas that could be more profitable in the near future.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ah yes

    Yet another dysfunctional, bug infested, me too app by the world's king of garbage. Good luck to any brave soul willing to be yet another dummy. :-)))

  1. chas_m




    This is exactly what the world needs -- yet another cloud-based batch of bad web apps and lost data.

    Managed by Microsoft. Even better.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Comfort Zone

    I'm sure all Windows users will feel comforted by the Azure Cloud. Heck, it'll be just like that the beloved and trusted Blue Screen of Death.

    Azure is a CLOUDLESS sky. Windows without Walls?

    Could MS throw away more million$ and manage to be even more clueless?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Because they certainly can't do it to the quality, stability, and performance of Apple's MobileMe! Especially once you ignore all the original problems with MobileMe, and the continuing problems it has...

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