Windows Azure is an upcoming operating system for the cloud from Microsoft, announced on October 27 at PDC. Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage Web applications on the Internet through Microsoft data centers. Azure goes beyond what other providers, such as Rackspace's Mosso or Amazon's EC2, offer. First, it will be available with a complete suite of tools and technologies for building your next big cloud application. Second, the Azure platform's goal is to support all developers and their choice of IDE, language, and technology; meaning that you can use your favorite tools for all kinds of development as well as Python, PHP, Ruby, Eclipse and so on. It supports popular standards and protocols including SOAP, REST, and XML. Using the Windows Azure tools, developers can build, debug, and deploy to Windows Azure directly from their existing development environment.
I have written an article "Building applications for Windows Azure" which will walk you through the steps to build an application from scratch on the recently released Windows Azure CTP, Microsoft’s answer to cloud computing. This application will let users add tasks into their Todolists and track them at a later time. The objective of this application is not to use any local data storage like SQL database. Instead, it will store and retrieve data from the cloud which means no matter which language/platform you write your application on, it will be able to access the data. For instance, if you would like to develop an iPhone application which will be able to play with your saved tasks on the go, you will be able to do so. Hope you will enjoy the article.