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A lot of my posts have been focused on the IT Pro story of Microsoft Technologies. This post will be slightly different, and hopefully will help enhance communication with the developers in your organization. Some of you may be aware that we've been talking about Windows Azure as an application platform. In fact, Windows Azure is the first general purpose Cloud Platform - it is blurring the lines between your developers and your infrastructure. We've already talked about this in regards to Windows Server 2008 R2: : Windows Server 2008 R2: the Cloud is in Your Datacenter.

Your servers run your company's mission critical applications, and your developers are writing applications that run on those servers. In most cases your company's developers are going to be way ahead of you with Windows Azure. We've already discussed the benefits Windows Azure offers developers: Microsoft Pumps Windows Azure as Top Cloud Choice for Developers 

Your developers have most likely already started looking to the Cloud as the next platform for development. There are choices. Are they going to use Azure, Google or Amazon for their services? For me, and most likely for your company, it will come down to manaegeability, agility and flexibility. The eWeek article I linked to above has an interview with Amitabh Srivastava, Senior Vice President of Microsoft's Server and Cloud division. In it explains Microsoft's position in the cloud versus its competitors:

“Google is a platform as a service, but it’s only restricted to two languages – Python and Java. You have to fit in with the way they do things. We’re being general purpose. Amazon is an infrastructure as a service; they provide no tools support. How you develop your applications is your concern. You’re on your own. We support any language and multiple frameworks. We provide a rich ecosystem of technology or you can use open source software like MySQL or Apache. Our approach is we don’t put any shackles on the developer.”

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So if your developers haven't started to target Windows Azure, have them take a look at the articles in this post. For the IT Professional in all of us, we're excited to announce a great new platform for your world.

Microsoft announced the Windows Azure platform appliance, the first turnkey cloud services platform for deployment in customer and service provider datacenters. Dell, eBay, Fujitsu and HP are early adopters of a limited production release of the appliance, Microsoft said.

The appliance is an enabler for developers...

Whether your applications target the cloud or the appliance, Windows Azure lets your developers work better.