The following is a post from Satya Nadella, President of the Server & Tools Business at Microsoft.


As the worldwide demand for cloud computing continues to grow, so does Windows Azure. Microsoft is the only at-scale global public cloud provider to deliver a hybrid cloud advantage and we’re excited to announce plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the Windows Azure footprint in Asia – specifically in China, Japan and Australia.

On Wednesday in Shanghai, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that a Public Preview for the Windows Azure service, operated by 21Vianet in China, will be available for sign-up starting June 6. The announcement in China builds on the agreements we signed November 1, 2012, with the Shanghai municipal government and 21Vianet. We are excited to be the first multinational organization to make public cloud services available in China, and encourage customers to sign up for the free trial at http://www.windowsazure.cn starting June 6.

Today, Steve also announced our intent to open a new major region in Japan, with two local sub-regions— Japan East in the Tokyo area and Japan West in the Kansai area. And earlier this week, we announced our intent to open a new major region in Australia, with two sub regions in New South Wales and Victoria. These new regions will offer Japanese and Australian customers all the benefits of Windows Azure plus the disaster recovery, data sovereignty and improved performance benefits of local deployments. Customers in Australia and Japan can get started using Window Azure today knowing that they will have the ability to use the same resources locally when the new regions come online.

With IDC forecasting that Asia's cloud computing market will reach US$16.3 billion by 2016 (excluding Japan), we’re working hard to bring these new Windows Azure regions and Windows Azure in China, operated by 21Vianet, online and we’ll have more to share closer to launch. Together with our global network and existing locations in Singapore and Hong Kong these new locations will help us satisfy the enormous cloud computing needs of the Asia region and the world. It’s been an exciting week, and I encourage you to learn more about each announcement at the links below:

• Public Preview of Windows Azure, operated by 21Vianet, in China
• Windows Azure Australia Expansion
• Windows Azure Japan Expansion