Slight deviation this week from the usual series on Azure features as I wanted to share some new great news. Infrastructure and platform services provides flexibility to architect, develop, and deploy your applications and IT solutions in a way that works best for your business. Supporting this, I am very excited to announce that Windows Server 2012 has been added to the list of images in the Windows Azure Virtual Machine Gallery. This will allow business to replicate what they will be deploying “on premise” via the soon to be released Windows Server 2012 with their in the cloud solutions.

Windows Server 2012 brings hundreds of new capabilities to customers, and is drawing high praise from product reviewers and industry analysts, such as this CIO Magazine article that outlines what it sees as the top 10 features.  Most exciting is that this addresses what most customers are considering at the moment which is the hybrid cloud scenarios enabled by Windows Server 2012, when used in combination with our newest System Center management solutions.  You’ll be able to deploy and manage applications and workloads both in your own datacenter and on Windows Azure.

For in-depth insights about all that Windows Server 2012 has to offer, be sure to visit the Windows Server blog, where the product’s engineering team describes what they’ve built.  Also, on September 4th, Microsoft will host an online launch event where our executives, engineers, customers and partners will share more about how Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure can help organizations of all sizes realize the benefits of what we call the Cloud OS.  In the meantime, you can be up and running with Windows Server 2012 in less than 15 minutes using Virtual Machines on Windows Azure.  Sign-up for a free trial and take it for a spin!