Today at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC), Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Server and Tools Business President Bob Muglia showed how the company is advancing the Microsoft platform, spanning the PC, phone, and cloud arenas. Microsoft specifically highlighted the momentum of Windows Azure, Windows 7, Internet Explorer 9 and Windows Phone 7 and the opportunity for developers today and in the future.
“Microsoft is combining the power and reach of the cloud with both Web and local device experiences,” Ballmer said. “There has never been a better time for developers to bet on Microsoft.”
Bob Muglia outlined the roadmap for Windows Azure. Since the commercial availability of Windows Azure was announced earlier this year, Microsoft has seen strong growth with close to 20,000 applications to date.
“Only Windows Azure delivers general-purpose PaaS, which gives developers the breadth of services needed to allow them to focus on their applications and not the underlying infrastructure or virtualizing machines,” Muglia said. “Imagine having all of the IT infrastructure, hardware, OS and tools you need to support an app just a few mouse clicks away — it opens up so many possibilities for developers worldwide. We are looking forward to seeing the amazing things our customers will build on our PaaS offering.”
For existing applications, one option for customers is to move workloads to the cloud, using virtual machines to help lower traditional cost and management burdens. Today Muglia announced two new Microsoft capabilities for Windows Azure to enable customers to get on the path to platform as a service (PaaS): Windows Azure Virtual Machine Role and Server Application Virtualization. Windows Azure Virtual Machine Role gives customers the ability to run an instance of Windows Server 2008 R2 running in Microsoft’s cloud, making it easier for developers to move applications to the cloud. Server Application Virtualization gives developers the ability to transfer application images to Windows Azure, harnessing the underlying management capabilities of the platform. Microsoft introduced the Windows Azure AppFabric Composition Model to speed the process of assembling services by providing critical application deployment and management capabilities. To better connect developers to customers, Microsoft announced the Windows Azure Marketplace including the new DataMarket (formerly “Project Dallas”), offering premium and public demographic, financial, mapping, and entertainment data and other content. Commercially available today, the marketplace features more than 35 providers currently offering data subscriptions.
HTML5 and Internet Explorer 9
At the PDC, Microsoft underscored its continued commitment to HTML5 and showed how developers can fuse the full hardware acceleration and site-centric design in Internet Explorer 9 to tap into the power of PC hardware, transforming their websites to feel more like native Windows applications. As part of the ongoing commitment to standards and “same mark-up” on Internet Explorer 9, the company also announced the availability of Windows Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview 6, available for download today.
Microsoft also highlighted that over 70 partners — including Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon.com — representing more than two-thirds of active Web traffic are building on the capabilities in Internet Explorer 9 and HTML5. Since the launch of Internet Explorer 9 beta in September, there have been more than 10 million downloads, making it the fastest-adopted version of an Internet Explorer beta ever.
Windows Phone 7
The company also highlighted a growing list of companies that are betting on Windows Phone 7, including PopCap Games Inc., Intuit Inc., Amazon.com, and Facebook. Further, Microsoft announced that the Windows Phone Marketplace will open for application submission on Nov. 3. The increasing power and accessibility of rich devices, combined with the ease of application development on Windows Phone 7, has driven more than half a million downloads of the free Windows Phone Developer Tools to date. Many of the same skills, languages and tools used to develop cloud applications on Windows Azure have come to Windows Phone for apps and games.