Azure: Nothing but Blue Skies From Now On

“O Cloud! O Cloud!” Microsoft is banging the drum, pulling out the stops, and advancing full speed ahead toward the cloud. At the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2010 Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave a shout out that this is the year of the transition to the cloud. “There’s no question,” Ballmer said, “that the path is clear and inevitable. The cloud will create new opportunities and new responsibilities.” Microsoft is elbowing into an already crowded field, so the echo of the often-invoked saying “In crisis is opportunity” seems apt. Across Microsoft there is a concerted effort to drive to the cloud. In a recent conversation with Microsoft Senior VP Ted Kummert, he noted that “cloud computing can enable our customers to focus more on the needs of their business because they don’t have to spend time and effort managing the infrastructure part of the equation. If they’re buying Azure from us, we’re doing that part of the problem for them. They can think more about their applications, their data, and how to solve their business problems. Cloud computing really says, ‘IT becomes delivered more and more like a service.’ That’s going to be transformational for our customers in the future.”

About half of the applications in the world are built on the Microsoft platform, according to Ballmer, and he says “there’s nobody better to bet on than Microsoft” for developing for the cloud. So, if you’re betting on the cloud and Azure you’ll want to check out the cover story by Azure expert Michele Leroux Bustamante. Bustamante, a frequent speaker at Connections conferences and a very regular contributor to this magazine, gives you some great context to get started with Azure development. Her article focuses on accessing your application path, some common load-balancing problems, working with certificates, PowerShell cmdlets, and automating deployment and cleanup.

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 Spring Forecast: Cloudy with Mobile

Mark your calendars: You won’t want to miss Spring DevConnections—featuring Visual Studio, ASP.NET, Silverlight, SQL Server, and SharePoint. The conference is back in Orlando March 27-30 at the JW Marriott.

If you’re a BDM or if you’re currently developing/planning to develop for the cloud, for mobile devices, or for virtualizing your environment, you’ll need to attend the new platform-agnostic Connections conference coming to the Bellagio in Las Vegas April 17-20. There will be 3 separate co-located conferences featuring experts on mobile, cloud, and virtualization, so you can maximize your learning.

 Are You at the DevConnections Conference Nov 1-4?

Hey, so are we. If you picked up this magazine at the November DevConnections stop by our booth and give us feedback about the magazine. If you’re a Gen Y dev: is reading a print magazine an arcane experience for you? Would you like it better if you were reading this on your Droid or your iPhone or Phone7? TELL US. We’re at the DevProConnections magazine booth on the show floor. And we’re always on Twitter @DevProConnect. We’re tweeting now.

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