by STB Blogger

Today Microsoft released new features and functionally for Windows Azure, including  new open source capabilities, SQL Azure Database improvements and a simplified Windows Azure billing and management experience. Developers that are partial to open source development will benefit from the first Windows Azure software development kit (SDK) that includes language libraries for Node.JS, with support for hosting, storage and service bus. Also, as discussed at the PASS 2011 conference, Microsoft is delivering an Apache Hadoop based service for Windows Azure to bolster the platform’s big data functionality, helping customers take advantage of advanced data analytics. These changes will help developers build applications on Windows Azure using the languages and frameworks they already know.

In addition to the interoperability improvements, we’ve been working hard to make the experience of getting started and managing applications on Windows Azure even easier for new and existing customers. Today’s update offers a truly free 90-day trial and spending caps that simplify the sign-up process. Also, customers can check out the new Windows Azure Management Portal to view real-time usage and billing details that put them in control of how much they spend and use on the cloud platform.

Lastly, the updates offer customers greater flexibility for scaling and managing databases. In addition to tripling the maximum database size for SQL Azure from 50GB to 150GB, we are also introducing a price cap which lowers the effective cost per GB for customers with large databases. This change allows customers with 50 GB databases and larger to continue to grow without additional costs. 

Simple, affordable and open, the Windows Azure Platform continues to evolve based on the unique needs of customers and developers as they create and manage applications on the cloud.

For more specifics on the platform updates, visit the Windows Azure blog. Also register here for the Learn Windows Azure event on December 13 to listen online for insight on getting started building applications for the cloud. The event will include talks from Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie, Dave Campbell and Mark Russinovich.