As expected from the Microsoft PDC 2008 Conference, there is a new cloud framework on the block and its going to run on a new Cloud Operation System – Windows Azure. The Azure services platform would be hosted on Microsoft’s data centers and provide a range of services that developers can use to create applications that will be available via the internet. Microsoft’s Chief Software Architect, Ray Ozzie also mentioned how the shift to cloud services fit the time line of computing from individual machines to the cloud based computing ( and hence Microsoft’s new product).
The list of services that would be available are :
Windows Azure will be the operating systems on which the cloud services would be available. While currently only Microsoft’s .NET framework and Visual Studio support writing applications to run on the cloud operating system, there are plans to support other frameworks (like Eclipse) and languages ( such as Python and Ruby ) in future. More options would lead to wider adoption.
While Amazon may have had a head start in making cloud based computing services, Microsoft has had experience in managing large content based networks. Moreover, Microsoft development tools are widely used by enterprises, a prominent reason to expect wide adoption among enterprises and developers. How well the services will scale up to demand and manage outages is yet to be seen. There are videos and SDKs available at the Windows Azure website.