Microsoft today announced the availability of the Windows Azure platform at the Professional Developers Conference.  In his opening keynote, Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s Chief Software Architect, described Windows Azure and SQL Azure as core elements of the company’s cloud services strategy.  The company also announced a set of new Windows Azure features, Windows Server capabilities, and marketplace offerings that make it easier for developers to build profitable businesses from their Microsoft-based solutions.

Bob Muglia also announced today the company’s plan to offer Windows Server virtual machine support on Windows Azure, enabling customers to more easily support virtualized infrastructure across the continuum of on premises and cloud computing, and the release to manufacturing of Windows Identity Foundation, enabling developers to provide more secure, simplified user access to both cloud and on-premises applications with open, identity-based claims.

For more information about today’s announcements at PDC visit www.microsoftpdc.com and follow the latest on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pdc09 and www.twitter.com/ch9live.