Azure Launched, Closer Look at Mars
PDC09 kicked off today with Ray Ozzie, Bob Muglia and their guests outlining how far the Windows Azure Platform has come and where it's going. Ozzie said tens of thousands of developers have downloaded the technology.
Windows Azure and SQL Azure were launched today; .NET Services is apparently getting repackaged and released in 2010. Microsoft also made several new Azure features live today.
A lot of what was discussed in the keynote was already public knowledge. Here's some of the actual news:
Microsoft is very focused on bridging the gap between on-premise apps and Azure services. The Windows Server AppFabric, announced today and released in beta, is an extension to Windows Server that integrates middle tier services. It supports Windows Workflow and Windows Communication Foundation hosting and database caching, basically a combination of the technologies formerly codenamed "Dublin" and "Velocity."
Windows Azure AppFabric, expected in beta in 2010, includes a service bus and access control--formerly .NET Services.
Project "Sydney", which will be introduced in 2010, is technology that connects services running on servers in private data centers with Azure.
The Windows Azure November SDK introduces variable size virtual machines and today Bob Muglia announced support for custom Windows Server VMs in Azure so that companies can use their existing VMs in the cloud. Windows Azure to date has been limited to fixed-size VMs based on a subset of Hyper-V.
A new data-as-a-service project called "Dallas" offers developers access to commercial and public information services through a Silverlight front-end. To date, the datasets in "Dallas" include information from Associated Press, Citysearch, DATA.gov, ESRI, First American Corp., infoUSA.com Inc., NASA, National Geographic TOPO!, NAVTEQ, RiskMetrics Group, the United Nations, WaveMarket Inc. and Weather Central Inc. "Dallas" is currently an invitation-only CTP.
When Microsoft technical fellow Dave Campbell told the audience to put on their 3-D glasses and look at "Dallas" images used in NASA's new Web site, "Be A Martian," which was built on the Windows Azure platform, the keynote started to get interesting. The idea behind the Web site is to get citizens educated and interested in science by perusing reams of Mars data. NASA and Microsoft are sponsoring a programming competition, the 2009 Pathfinder Innovation Challenge . Developers build apps using NASA data and a media API.
In tomorrow's keynote, I expect to hear more about Silverlight 4, ASP.NET MVC 2, Windows 7 and Windows Touch, SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 on-premises and online, and hopefully IE 9. Microsoft released the SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 betas today. The special unnamed guest at tomorrow's keynote is apparently Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live division, so maybe Live Mesh and Live Services are again part of the mix.
Ray Ozzie said during today's keynote that developers will hear more about Microsoft's mobile strategy (Windows Mobile 7) at the company's MIX conference next year.
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Posted by Kathleen Richards on 11/17/2009 at 12:54 PM