I continue to be really amazed at the speed of adoption of Windows Azure and its continually expanding services. Microsoft has recently reported that Azure is being used by over 50% of the Fortune 500 companies. Windows Azure currently breaks down as follows:
- Compute – Web Sites, Virtual Machines, Mobile Services, Cloud Services
- Data Services – Data Management, Business Analytics
- App Services – Media Services, Messaging
- Network – Virtual Network, Traffic Manager
With Azure software sales hitting $1 billion Microsoft’s target is clearly Amazon and its deep position in the corporate world is providing excellent leverage with the ingrained Windows groupies. Where I believe Microsoft will continue to struggle is for the affection of startups that traditionally have not had access to the tools that corporations use.
I have developed my first app and integrated it with Azure Mobile Services and it literally took minutes, check out this video:
Azure updates are coming thick and fast and as a developer in the .NET stack I think it behooves us all to be prepared. You can certainly check out the services with the free trial, but if you have an MSDN subscription you get a non trivial amount of compute hours. Additionally, if you are a lone developer you can always consider applying for a BizSpark membership, it has fantastic value!