You might have heard rumblings of secret projects at Microsoft called Red Dog, or Strata on various blog posts or Twitter feeds.  Today at PDC, the covers came off these codenames to reveal Windows Azure:

WindowsStrata

Originally called Windows Strata, Windows® Azure is “a cloud services operating system that serves as the development, service hosting and service management environment for the Azure Services Platform. Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage Web applications on the Internet through Microsoft® data centers”

Some describe this as a cloud-based OS, or an OS in the cloud, and they wouldn’t be wrong.  The ability for applications to address scalability and reliability needs in today’s competitive environment can create interesting challenges for IT pros.  Windows Azure helps to address those needs by providing a flexible, easy-to-use OS environment that allows administrators to effectively manage their cloud resources.  For developers, this just extends our ability to write applications that scale better than ever before.  Tooling will become available starting today at noon for you download and try out on your local machine with a Cloud Simulation environment, as well as tools to deploy your application to the cloud once you’re ready. 

Check out the following links for more information: