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Microsoft Unveils 'Azure' Cloud Computing Platform

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It may not be Midori but Windows Azure is one major step towards the future for Microsoft...

Unveiled by the software giant late yesterday evening, Microsoft Windows Azure is the company's first major commercially available move into producing a cloud based software platform capable of hosting and running applications and programmes.
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Perhaps predictably Azure will be developer rather than consumer focused but in the words of the Microsoft itself: "provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage internet (sic - capital I people, it's a noun) or cloud applications. Windows Azure supports a consistent development experience through its integration with Visual Studio. In the early stages of CTP, .NET managed applications built using Visual Studio will be supported. Windows Azure is an open platform that will support both Microsoft and non-Microsoft languages and environments. Windows Azure welcomes third party tools and languages such as Eclipse, Ruby, PHP, and Python."

Interestingly Live, SQL, .NET and - in future - SharePoint Services and Dynamics CRM Services are all to be part of Azure and it represents an exciting future where apps can be deployed worldwide at the touch of a button and stored and run remotely.

Of course Azure paves the way for Midori (or whatever it ends up being called once out of very, very early internal testing) and while Cloud Computing en-mass certainly won't be ready for mass user take up in 2009, 2010 or possibly longer the future is coming people and it's hosted...

Link:
Microsoft Windows Azure

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