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This article was published on October 27, 2008


Windows Azure: A Clear Perspective on Cloud Computing

Windows Azure: A Clear Perspective on Cloud Computing
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Story by

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

CEO and co-founder, TNW

Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

Cloud computing is Internet-based development and use of computer technology. The cloud is a metaphor for the Internet and is an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it conceals It is a style of computing in which IT-related capabilities are provided “as a service”, allowing users to access technology-enabled services from the Internet (“in the cloud”) without knowledge of, expertise with, or control over the technology infrastructure that supports them.

Today Microsoft’s top software executive, Ray Ozzie, announced in a speech at the company’s Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles their new cloud computing product. Only sparsely available during its preview stage, Windows Azure will be available to developers, for free. Yes, really.

By making it free it will surely wake up some people, and their lawyers, at Amazon Web Services, Google App Engine, and Salesforce.com’s force.com.

Once Windows Azure launches commercially pricing will be based on use of CPU time (hourly), bandwidth (gigabyte), storage (gigabyte) and number of transactions. Fee structure will be “competitive with the marketplace” which sounds to me like “Cheaper than those other services that we have to compete with”.

This is what Microsoft has to say:

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 … Windows Azure welcomes third party tools and languages such as Eclipse, Ruby, PHP, and Python.

The support for anything “Not invented here” by Microsoft is kind of surprising. Or maybe it isn’t. There is more information at Microsoft’s Azure site and in this technical white paper.

So, now it is time for a little Poll. Let us know what You think!

[polldaddy poll=”1049719″]