A beautiful late autumn day in LA and thousands of developers descend once again on PDC. You may have heard something about cloud computing over the last year or so – well, there’s no escaping the next computing application model here at PDC, on day one anyway.

Ray Ozzie kicked off the keynote with the expected announcement about Windows Azure general availability (in brief: selected customers live from today, CTP continues until 31st December 2009, commercial launch 1st Jan 2010, billing starts February 2010). Last year was about whipping the covers off and showing the brand new baby that was Windows Azure, while this year Ray and Bob Muglia both took a more pragmatic approach – making the case for cloud computing and taking attendees on a tour through the ever increasing set of technologies that live behind and support Azure. Bob in particular covered the platforms, services and tools – the componentry – that constitute Azure, and may well have a place in your enterprise.

BTW in case you’re wondering what the cloud looks like here is one small piece of it (one of the Azure Data Centre “containers”):

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