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If you are an existing Visual Studio Professional, Premium or Ultimate with MSDN subscriber, you get free access to Windows Azure each month, and up to $3,700.00 in annual Windows Azure benefits at no charge.
This offer provides a base level of Compute, Storage, SQL Azure database, Access Control, Service Bus and Caching each month at no charge.
One of the key patterns in building scalable applications is queues. Let’s say you have a Website or Web Service (in your Web Role) that responds quickly to a user request, but there’s another process that takes longer. It might be a long data base inquiry or video encoding or extensive calculation would be in a Worker Role. You may want to spin up more processors to work on those long term items too. The way the Web Role talks to your Worker Role is through queues.
You could choose Windows Azure Queues as a dedicated queue storage mechanism built on top of the Windows Azure storage services. You add an item on the queue, and the Worker Role checks the queue and performs the work.
Of you might choose to use a Service Bus Queue when you want to run process messages in a particular order (guaranteed first-in-first-out. Or maybe you need to hold the item in a queue and store it for a while. Or maybe you need automatic duplicate detection.
The December release of Windows Azure has unveiled a new Windows Azure site and sign-up experience. In the past, one of the biggest concerns and roadblocks was that you could overspend on your free trial.
The new Windows Azure Trial accounts and MSDN Accounts are now completely risk-free given the institution of “spending limits”. By default all new trial accounts and newly provisioned MSDN benefits are created with a spending limit of $0. That means that if you exceed the monthly allotments of gratis services, your services will automatically be shut down and your storage placed in read-only mode until the next billing cycle. Then you can redeploy your services and take advantage of that month’s allotment (if any remains).
Whitewater from Riverbed automates backup for enterprises into Windows Azure. Azure Architect Evangelist Allan Naim talks with Riverbed Marketing Director Bob Gilbert about Riverbed's decision to support Windows Azure for their Whitewater backup appliance.
ISV Video: Whitewater Backup to the Cloud on Windows Azure Storage
System Center 2012 Release Candidate (RC) joins Hyper-V and Windows Server as key building blocks for Microsoft's private cloud strategy.
ISVs are building out their cloud strategy by selling software for deployment to on premises or cloud customer sites, selling subscriptions through their own hosted solution, or by using Platform as a Service offering of Windows Azure, or even hybrid approaches where part of the application and its data is in the cloud, part on premises.
Brad Anderson published a blog post that describes how public and private clouds come together.
A new API lets you show up to three alternative routes on Bing Maps. The new routing engine is called Customizable Route Planning. Also the team announced a brand new algorithm for computing driving-direction queries, include reduced latency and higher performance.
Learn more at Bing Maps New Routing Engine.
Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president in Microsoft's Server and Tools Business division, explains in a new blog post how to sign-up and get started with Windows Azure. He explains the steps how you can get a no-obligation 3 month free trial. This free trial costs nothing and doesn’t obligate you to buy anything at the end of it. It provides an easy way to try out and get started with Windows Azure.
We’ll ask for a mobile phone number and credit card, only to verify that you are who you say you are. The credit card is not billed and during the free trial you’ll have a spending limit on Azure set to $0.
SQL Server 2012 launches March 7. Register now for the Virtual Launch Event. You will have access to over 30+ sessions to learn about the new capabilities of SQL Server 2012 at your own pace, in your own schedule. This event brings together a who’s who of industry experts and executives to tell the SQL Server 2012 story in this unique online launch event. You will also “meet” with partners, experts, and peers in a virtual “Expo Hall” to discuss SQL Server 2012 one-on-one.
Learn more at SQL Server 2012 Launch Event.
Microsoft announced that new Kinect for Windows hardware and accompanying software will be available on February 1. The announcement was made at Starting February 1, 2012: Use the Power of Kinect for Windows to Change the World.
Kinect for Windows will be available in 12 countries (United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom), at a suggested retail price of US $249.
Compact Inspector detects if Internet Explorer platform changes affect your site, according to the IE Blog post IE10 Compat Inspector. Compat Inspector was developed during the course of IE9 to speed up the process of recognizing common issues across different sites and have now updated it for IE10.
Whether you're preparing for IE10 or still updating for IE9, run Compat Inspector on any page experiencing problems. Then watch for messages explaining potential issues and steps you can take to resolve them.
Internet Explorer 6 usage in the US has now officially dropped below 1% according to a blog post on Exploring IE, The US Says Goodbye to IE6.
Roger Capriotti, Director, Internet Explorer Marketing, writes, “IE6 has been the punch line of browser jokes for a while, and we’ve been as eager as anyone to see it go away. In fact, we launched the IE6 Countdown site last March to help accelerate the process. Less than a year later, I’m thrilled to say that the United States has joined the ranks of Austria, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway in dropping below 1% usage of IE6. In addition, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Ukraine, Portugal and the Philippines are also entering the Champions’ Circle.”
Students from Croatia, Ecuador, Jordan and the United States receive funding and other support in the first year of the Microsoft Imagine Cup Grants program.
At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting yesterday in Davos, Switzerland, Microsoft Corp. announced the winners of the inaugural year of the Imagine Cup Grants program, a three-year, $3 million competitive grant program for student technology and social entrepreneurs.
The grant packages include $75,000 (U.S.) for each team, as well as software, cloud computing services, solution provider support, premium Microsoft BizSpark account benefits and access to local resources such as the Microsoft Innovation Centers. Microsoft will also connect grant recipients with its network of investors, nongovernmental organization partners and business partners.
New Windows Phones were announced jointly by Microsoft and partners at CES according to That’s a Wrap: Microsoft 2012 CES Keynote Recap by Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Corporate Communications.
A software engineer's glory so often goes unnoticed. Attention seems to come either when there are bugs or when the final project ships. But rarely is a developer appreciated for all the nuances and subtleties of a piece of code--and all the heroics it took to write it. With Visual Studio Achievements Beta, your talents are recognized as you perform various coding feats, unlock achievements and earn badges.
And have some fun!
See Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer keynote at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show online. Steve Ballmer took the stage at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with Ryan Seacrest.
Watch the address at Microsoft News Center about CES.
And stop by for more materials throughout the week.
Tim O’Brien, General Manager, Developer & Platform Evangelism, has posted details about MIX. He writes, "We have decided to merge MIX, our spring web conference for developers and designers, into our next major developer conference, which we will host sometime in the coming year."
For details, see Thinking About Developer Events on the official Microsoft blog.