Ray Ozzie opened the Microsoft PDC ’08 this morning with a keynote speech. In it he announced Windows Azure, Microsoft’s “Windows in the cloud”. It is a new service based operating environment. He described it as a massive highly scalable service platform. What is being released today is just a fraction of what it will become. It will be Microsoft’s highest scalable system enabling people and companies to create services on the Web.
On the new webpage for Windows Azure, it is described as follows:
Windows® Azure is a cloud services operating system that serves as the development, service hosting and service management environment for the Azure Services Platform. Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage Web applications on the Internet through Microsoft® data centers.
To build these applications and services, developers can use their existing Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2008 expertise. In addition, Windows Azure supports popular standards and protocols including SOAP, REST, and XML. Windows Azure is an open platform that will support both Microsoft and non-Microsoft languages and environments.
Use Windows Azure to:
* Add Web service capabilities to existing packaged applications.
* Build, modify, and distribute applications to the Web with minimal on-premises resources.
* Perform services (large-volume storage, batch processing, intense or large-volume computations, etc.) off premises.
* Create, test, debug, and distribute Web services quickly and inexpensively.
* Reduce costs of building and extending on-premises resources.
* Reduce the effort and costs of IT management.
Also a good read from the NY Times: Microsoft Azure Aims to Re-define the OS