Hi All,

During a keynote speech at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2008 (PDC2008), Ray Ozzie, Microsoft Corp.’s chief software architect, announced Windows Azure, the cloud-based service foundation underlying its Azure Services Platform, and highlighted this platform’s role in delivering a software plus services approach to computing. The Azure Services Platform is an industry-leading move by Microsoft to help developers build the next generation of applications that will span from the cloud to the enterprise datacenter and deliver compelling new experiences across the PC, Web and phone.

Ozzie described how this platform combines cloud-based developer capabilities with storage, computational and networking infrastructure services, all hosted on servers operating within Microsoft’s global datacenter network. This provides developers with the ability to deploy applications in the cloud or on-premises and enables experiences across a broad range of business and consumer scenarios. A limited community technology preview (CTP) of the Azure Services Platform was initially made available to developers in attendance at PDC2008, giving them a chance to try out its features and functions and plan for their own future development.

“Today marks a turning point for Microsoft and the development community,” Ozzie said. “ We have introduced a game-changing set of technologies that will bring new opportunities to Web developers and business developers alike. The Azure Services Platform, built from the ground up to be consistent with Microsoft’s commitment to openness and interoperability, promises to transform the way businesses operate and how consumers access their information and experience the Web. Most important, it gives our customers the power of choice to deploy applications in cloud-based Internet services or through on-premises servers, or to combine them in any way that makes the most sense for the needs of their business.”

Empowering Cloud Development With the Azure Services Platform

Unlike many of today’s service-based solutions, the Azure Services Platform provides developers with the flexibility and ability to create applications while taking advantage of their existing skills, tools and technologies such as the Microsoft .NET Framework and Visual Studio. Developers also can choose from a broad range of commercial or open source development tools and technologies, and access the Azure Services Platform using a variety of common Internet standards including HTTP, representational state transfer (REST), WS-* and Atom Publishing Protocol (AtomPub).

Key components of the Azure Services Platform include the following:

Windows Azure for service hosting and management, low-level scalable storage, computation and networking

Microsoft SQL Services for a wide range of database services and reporting

Microsoft .NET Services which are service-based implementations of familiar .NET Framework concepts such as workflow and access control

Live Services for a consistent way for users to store, share and synchronize documents, photos, files and information across their PCs, phones, PC applications and Web sites

Microsoft SharePoint Services and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Services for business content, collaboration and rapid solution development in the cloud

Watch an on-demand Webcast of Microsoft chief technology officer Ray Ozzie's keynote speech at Microsoft's PDC 2008, where he introduced Windows Azure, the "Windows in the cloud" service foundation underlying the Azure Services Platform, Microsoft's end-to-end software-plus-services approach to computing. Los Angeles, Oct. 27, 2008. Watch in stand-alone player.

More information about the Azure Services Platform and Microsoft’s software plus services offering can be found at http://www.azure.com.

Many thanks,

Nick.