If you’re a follower of technology, you will have seen all of the news from Microsoft’s PDC Conference in the States last month, where there were the first insights into Windows 7 and the launch of our new Internet strategy with Windows Azure, Live Mesh etc.

Much of the coverage focused on the technology, but what made me sit up and take notice was that UK customers have been some of the first to start using these new technologies. For example, the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute) were featured for their use of Windows Azure to help them grow their search and rescue systems. I’ve met the RNLI IT team a couple of times, and I know that they run a very sophisticated IT system, but it was a surprise to see that they were so involved in such leading edge technology.

They have been building a new system for lifesaving on Windows Azure. At PDC delegates saw this short video explains what the MOB Guardian system is all about and why they’re looking at Windows Azure as the next step forward to help them widen the use of the system.

<a href="http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?vid=efed47e0-1b7a-4c44-9af5-8e603470c981" target="_new" title="RNLI and AWS Mob Guardian Windows Azure Testimonial">Video: RNLI and AWS Mob Guardian Windows Azure Testimonial</a>

(Video link)

In a nutshell, MOB Guardian is a device that sits on a seagoing vessel and fires an alarm to a monitoring centre should the crew get in to trouble. Scaling this system was the challenge and that’s where Azure comes in with compute power on tap and the potential for huge cost savings.