Today, during a keynote at the  Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2008 (PDC 2008), Ray Ozzie, Microsoft Corp.'s chief software architect, announced Windows Azure, the cloud-based service foundation underlying its Azure Services Platform, and highlighted this platform's role in delivering a software plus services approach to computing. The Azure Services Platform is an industry-leading move by Microsoft to help developers build the next generation of applications that will span from the cloud to the enterprise datacenter and deliver compelling new experiences across the PC, Web and phone.

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 Data 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 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Services for business content, collaboration and rapid solution development in the cloud.

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