Together with my colleague Michel Heijman I was at the keynote speech of the PDC 2008.

I’ve to admit the name has been kept very well a secret, of course you could expect that Microsoft would  do far more with BizTalk Services / Workflow Services.

So what is Windows Azure?

Windows Azure is the collection of "Cloud Services" It’s included: Live Services, Microsoft .NET Services (BizTalk- and Workflow Services), Microsoft SharePoint Services, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Services


The Cloud Computing and Services Platform Diagram

This was certainly to expected but it’s cool to see how this vision gets more and more concrete.

What is a Cloud Service?

A Cloud service gives you the opportunity to host your (custom)application/process) in a hosted environment. Software+Services (SAAS) vision has been there for a while. In my opinion it kept for a long time as ‘vaporware‘. Why? Because it’s going to give a lot of added value to Businesses. (See the possibilities to get a Exchange online as a smaller company, connect that with Windows Mobile and you could go endless with the possibilities.)

Why host your application?

No more data centers, putting much efforts in managing servers etc etc etc.
The technical preview of Windows Azure has been released as we speak.
It promises to be some interesting time.

The final launch might take some time. But Microsoft has the intention to continuously give new bits to the community. But the want to exceed ‘beta quality”, so the first preview will not be a playing ground. 🙂

Some other cool remarks:
Azure will support the following languages:

  • .NET
  • Native code(not in CTP)
  • PHP(not in CTP) (I never expected this, but it extends the interoperability by far.)


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