One of our primary goals with developer tools is to ensure we enable developers to be very productive while targeting Microsoft platforms.  This includes delivering the relevant tools on the same cadence as the platforms, meaning that the tools should ship along with or in the same general timeframe as platform advances, so that developers can be productive immediately.  This effort should be evident from all of the work we’ve been doing for building Windows 8 Metro style apps with Visual Studio 2012, releasing the Developer Preview, Beta, and Release Candidate builds of Visual Studio 2012 in sync with the corresponding Windows 8 releases.

Today, Windows Azure unveiled its June 2012 updates.  This is a significant release for Windows Azure, delivering new services that simplify building applications that span cloud and on-premises servers.  This includes adding support for a continuum of compute containers, ranging from Windows Azure Virtual Machines (IaaS) to Windows Azure Web Sites, and support for new developer services, like Windows Azure Caching.  For a more detailed exploration of what’s new this spring in Windows Azure, see Scott Guthrie’s blog.

In conjunction with today’s release, and in line with the aforementioned goal, I’m excited to announce that the June 2012 release of the Windows Azure SDK for .NET is now available.  This SDK includes tooling support for Visual Studio 2012, such that you can use Visual Studio 2012 RC released last week to build your applications and services on Azure.  And with the solution round-tripping support in Visual Studio 2012, you and your teams can work on the same Azure projects in both Visual Studio 2010 SP1 and Visual Studio RC.  Additional productivity enhancements are also included in this SDK release, such as an improved publishing experience for Web Sites and Cloud Services.  For a more in-depth tour through the new Azure tools for Visual Studio, see Jason Zander’s blog.

Another area we’ve been focusing on heavily across developer tooling is the application lifecycle.  You can see this in the work we’ve done in Visual Studio 2012 around advancing Team Foundation Server and ALM tooling, as well as with the Azure-based Team Foundation Service.  Today, I’m excited to share that Team Foundation Service now integrates with Windows Azure to support continuous integration and deployment of both Windows Azure Web Sites and Windows Azure Cloud Services.  With this, you can streamline your development and operations processes by configuring to deploy automatically after you check-in.  For more information on what’s new in Team Foundation Service and on its integration with Windows Azure, see Brian Harry’s blog.

All in all, this is very exciting set of releases for cloud-based development.  Take it all for a spin and let us know what you think.

Namaste!