Windows Azure: Microsoft’s Cloud Schedule
Microsoft’s has disclosed the official timeline for the launch of Windows Azure, their cloud-based operating system, over at one of their official blogs. The software giant hopes VARs and managed services providers will transition customer applications into the Azure cloud. Here’s what you need to know.
First, a little background. Microsoft is striving to get existing Windows Server ISVs and new ISVs — including open source ISVs — to write applications for Windows Azure in the cloud. Some of Microsoft’s top developers and managers, including Windows NT and VMS veteran David Cutler, have been assigned to the Azure efforts. Meanwhile, rivals such as Red Hat are warning potential customers not to get locked into Azure and Microsoft’s cloud strategy.
Eager to keep the Azure buzz growing, Microsoft offers up the following new key points:
- At PDC 2009, on November 17th, 2009, Microsoft will make available many new Azure features for the first time, letting current Community Test Preview users test them freely until December 31st, 2009. Microsoft is encouraging feedback on the new features during that timeframe.
- Beginning January 2010, new customers will have the chance to sign up for one last chance to test Azure for free through the end of the month, with an eye towards testing how much usage you’ll need once it becomes public.
- On February 1, 2010, Windows Azure will become available to all paying customers.
The end of the CTP and the launch of Windows Azure signals the end of a year-long gestation period. The only question remaining is: Will VARs and managed service providers transition their customers’ applications to Azure?