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Jan152011

Debunking a couple of Azure Myths

After about three months in the field talking with ISV partners, enterprise developers and developers in general, I’ve noticed a couple of Azure misconceptions that seem to be recurring, so I thought I’d post something here for people to find to try to correct that.

Myth #1: “Azure is from Microsoft so it’s something that only .NET developers can use”

Actually, anything that runs in Windows will run on Azure. Microsoft’s goal is to provide the best cloud platform, PERIOD, regardless of your choice of languages or development tools. It was announced at PDC the the JRE would be present in Azure worker/web roles and that Java would be a first class citizen. Sure, the Visual Studio integration is great, but we also just released Eclipse integration for the latest V1.3 SDK. In fact, my very first project when I started my Azure Architect Evangelist role was running Tomcat and Google Web Toolkit, migrating Postgress to SQL Azure. That’s pretty far from the typical .NET stack! As you can see below, we support Java, PHP, Python, Ruby, Tomcat, Zend and more! So, if you use any of those, you can take advantage of our near $3 billion dollar (so far) investment in 6 Azure datacenters worldwide, as well as other capabilities like our on-prem/off-prem bridging, federated security model (supporting oAuth 2, Google ID, Facebook , LiveID and more).

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Microsoft is making significant investments in interoperability. If you want to see more about Azure interoperability (as well as other interoperability initiatives), I suggest you check out the Interoperability Bridges site.

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Myth #2: “Azure is not done because they keep releasing new stuff”

Frankly, I was surprised the first time I heard this. Then I heard it a few more times. At PDC 2010 we released/announced probably more than a dozen new Azure capabilities. However, the reality is that we (Microsoft) are investing BILLIONS into our cloud initiatives, which includes Azure. The strong stream of announcements and releases is the realization of our vision, and the fruits of our investments. If you look back, the only REALLY fundamental shift that happened was SQL Azure (where the team responded incredibly quickly to customer feedback). All other announcements and releases have been aligned with the vision and path that we have been on for many years now. Azure is absolutely done and in use by thousands. Will there be more pieces to come in the future? Absolutely! We embarked on the Platform-as-a-Service path 4 years ago, we have not and will not deviate. On a related theme, we are also being very open about our plans, and actively soliciting customer feedback. Got an idea for something you’d like added, or would you like to provide feedback on proposed features? Go to http://www.mygreatwindowsazureidea.com.

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