Microsoft Windows Azure

Microsoft Windows Azure and the Azure Services Platform is here..the actual name for Red Dog, Strata et al is with us.

LIve Services, .NET Services, SQL Services, Sharepoint Services & Dynamic CRM Services all sit on top of Windows Azure and support the Online versions of Microsoft’s key software including Live, Exchange Online, Sharepoint Online and CRM Online.

The Azure Platform
The Azure Platform

Azure will enable people to build and use completely new services in the Cloud, at a lower price point than before.

Pay as you grow and reduce costs. Pay for the services you use and reduce the capital costs associated with purchasing hardware and infrastructure. Reduce operational costs by running applications on the services platform and decrease the need for maintaining on-premises infrastructure. Increase business efficiency and agility by dynamically adding and subtracting capacity in real time. Envision building an e-commerce Web site that you can scale at the click of a mouse to meet seasonal demands or spikes in traffic based on sales and promotions. The Azure Services Platform helps reduce IT-related costs, freeing up time and capital to focus on your core business. runs atop Windows Azure.

I’m really excited about this, both as a Microsoft “Enthusiast”/Fanboy (depending who you ask!) and a Microsoft Partner. I get the impression that Azure is going to take us to some pretty amazing places; as business partners, customers and web users we’re witnessing something special!

A big shout out to Steve Clayton for breaking this news to us 🙂

If you’re a developer and want to try out Azure for yourself, you can register for the Community Technology Preview (CTP) here.

Mary Jo Foley has got a nice breakdown of how Azure is composed. She also mentions that MS have committed to delivering Microsoft Hosted versions of all it’s Enterprise apps; she mentions that she’s heard rumours of ForeFront Online & System Center Online already!

Microsoft are really making a big push on Software+Services and as a Gold Partner actively looking into S+S, these PDC announcements are very interesting.

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