In a keynote speech at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2008 (PDC2008), Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's chief software architect, announced Windows Azure, the cloud-based service foundation underlying its Azure Services Platform. The Azure Services Platform is a tool to help developers build applications that will span from the cloud to the enterprise datacenter and deliver compelling new experiences across the PC, Web and phone.
"Today marks a turning point for Microsoft and the development community," Ozzie said. "We have introduced a game-changing set of technologies that will bring new opportunities to Web developers and business developers alike. The Azure Services Platform, built from the ground up to be consistent with Microsoft's commitment to openness and interoperability, promises to transform the way businesses operate and how consumers access their information and experience the Web. Most important, it gives our customers the power of choice to deploy applications in cloud-based Internet services or through on-premises servers, or to combine them in any way that makes the most sense for the needs of their business."
Key components of the Azure Services Platform include the following:
- Windows Azure for service hosting and management, low-level scalable storage, computation and networking
- Microsoft SQL Services for a wide range of database services and reporting
- Microsoft .NET Services which are service-based implementations of familiar .NET Framework concepts such as workflow and access control
- Live Services for a consistent way for users to store, share and synchronize documents, photos, files and information across their PCs, phones, PC applications and Web sites
- Microsoft SharePoint Services and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Services for business content, collaboration and rapid solution development in the cloud