The Media Guru
Oct 27, 2008

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Windows Azure

Microsoft’s cloud OS has finally been unveiled – & that’s Windows Azure! But before you get confused between the real Windows & Azure, let me point out that Azure is not a “normal” OS – you won’t get a virtual desktop hosted somewhere, with virtual apps running on it. Azure is just a cloud services platform like Amazon’s Cloud Computing Services.


Microsoft.com/Azure

Straight from the horse’s mouth… Azure’s Website.

What is the Azure Services Platform?

The Azure™ Services Platform (Azure) is an internet-scale cloud services platform hosted in Microsoft data centers, which provides an operating system and a set of developer services that can be used individually or together. Azure’s flexible and interoperable platform can be used to build new applications to run from the cloud or enhance existing applications with cloud-based capabilities. Its open architecture gives developers the choice to build web applications, applications running on connected devices, PCs, servers, or hybrid solutions offering the best of online and on-premises.

Windows Azure Services Platform

Azure reduces the need for up-front technology purchases, and it enables developers to quickly and easily create applications running in the cloud by using their existing skills with the Microsoft Visual Studio development environment and the Microsoft .NET Framework. In addition to managed code languages supported by .NET, Azure will support more programming languages and development environments in the near future. Azure simplifies maintaining and operating applications by providing on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage web and connected applications. Infrastructure management is automated with a platform that is designed for high availability and dynamic scaling to match usage needs with the option of a pay-as-you-go pricing model. Azure provides an open, standards-based and interoperable environment with support for multiple internet protocols, including HTTP, REST, SOAP, and XML.

Microsoft also offers cloud applications ready for consumption by customers such as Windows Live™, Microsoft Dynamics™, and other Microsoft Online Services for business such as Microsoft Exchange Online and SharePoint® Online. The Azure Services Platform lets developers provide their own unique customer offerings by offering the foundational components of compute, storage, and building block services to author and compose applications in the cloud.

Find more info here – Windows Azure.

Microsoft Azure Service Platform

According to this slide, Azure is like a highly-customizable cloud hosting solution which allows developers greater flexibility since it’s centered around an open OS, which they can modify to enhance end user interaction. So there won’t really be an OS or GUI, but the underlying platform will be the same. I’m disappointed that my dreams of having a real cloud OS has been dumped, but who knows… maybe someone will come along & use Azure itself to host an OS! :P

Update:
Office Web Applications

Microsoft have also announced they'll be launching an online version of the next Microsoft Office. Lightweight version, but rich in functionality as Google Docs. The whole suite is going to be called Office Web Applications, ad-funded or via a subscription basis. I guess Microsoft is taking the Cloud very seriously indeed...

Office Web Apps
Office Web Apps
Office Web Apps

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Anonymous said...

Cool post!
I've created a test project on the Azure Services Portal. Very eager to download the SDK for visual studio (Web) and host my first online service!
Keep it up, nerd :D

carrotmadman6 said...

@Ashesh

Thanks! I'll be eager to try out your online service when it goes live! :P

Anonymous said...

wow.. the online office looks very nice! on top, we have >230KBps from microsoft in MRu. i think thats gna be a very reliable service!

carrotmadman6 said...

@s4ndeep
Yeah, I almost forgot about Akamai! Office Web Apps will be very speedy!! :D

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