Before we had Azure and the various bits and pieces that became Azure at PDC 2008 Microsoft had a number of disparate groups working on various ‘cloudy’ projects. these included BizTalk Services, Red dog, Mesh and the Live framework to name a few. Then at PDC 2008 with the wave of a marketing teams wand they all be became Azure or Azure Services or Azure platform or …well anyway the over-arching message was that they were all part of Azure!! Furthermore we were presented with the vision below…
Now I had been in on the game some months earlier as I was attending various ‘Azure’ design reviews. Even then I felt this didn’t sit well. In particular ‘Live services’ seemed to be cobbled onto what, in the main, is a great cloud vision. Live services and the Live framework are from the ‘fun’ side of Microsoft where X-Box and hotmail and consumer driven software lives so this seemed so out of place with the ‘serious’ business and enterprise focus of the Azure Platform.
So it has come as no surprise that Microsoft is announcing they will shutting down the Live Framework Community Technology Preview (CTP). The Live Framework is moving to reside under Windows Live and although it was running under the Azure umbrella moving to Windows Live does not mean that it won’t be available to the Azure Platform, according to information in an email from Angus Logan, Senior Technical Product Manager for the Windows Live Platform:
We launched a CTP of the Windows Azure platform at PDC in October 2008 to collect feedback and input from the community. One of the strongest and most consistent pieces of feedback we’ve received from the community has been around the scope of the Windows Azure platform. Customers and Partners have indicated that they would like clarity around the composition of the platform, and that it should offer operating system, database and connectivity capabilities. We’re acting on this feedback: At this time, the Windows Azure platform comprises Windows Azure, SQL Azure and .NET Services.
Live Services are an integral part of Microsoft’s Software + Services story. While Live Services are not a part of the Windows Azure platform, developers can continue to use Live Services in building rich and compelling solutions on the Windows Azure platform. The same also holds true for SharePoint Services and CRM Services. Customers and partners will continue to have the opportunity to utilize these services, plus the Windows Azure Platform, to meet their business objectives.
So get ready for PDC 2009 in November, Microsoft will begin to talk about how the Live Framework and how it will be integrated into the next release of Windows Live.
It has taken its time but I think we are there now! A clear Azure message – for now!!