Trying to keep up with the latest and greatest SDK's is sometimes a dizzying task but such as life when dealing with technology. That said, SDK v2.1 of the Windows Azure SDK for .NET was recently released. This is a major refresh of the Windows Azure SDK and it includes some great new features and enhancements. These new capabilities include:

  • Visual Studio 2013 Preview Support: The Windows Azure SDK now supports using the new VS 2012 Preview
  • Visual Studio 2013 VM Image: Windows Azure now has a built-in VM image that you can use to host and develop with VS 2013 in the cloud
  • Visual Studio Server Explorer Enhancements: Redesigned with improved filtering and auto-loading of subscription resources
  • Virtual Machines: Start and Stop VM’s w/suspend billing directly from within Visual Studio
  • Cloud Services: New Emulator Express option with reduced footprint and Run as Normal User support
  • Service Bus: New high availability options, Notification Hub support, Improved VS tooling
  • PowerShell Automation: Lots of new PowerShell commands for automating Web Sites, Cloud Services, VMs and more

All of these SDK enhancements are now available to start using immediately and you can download the SDK from the Windows Azure .NET Developer Center. Visual Studio’s Team Foundation Service has also been updated to support the SDK v2.1 release, and the SDK v2.1 features can now be used with it (including with automated builds + tests).

Additional information can be found here.