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Microsoft Cloud Services Becomes Reality

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — 18 Nov., 2009 — Today at the Professional Developers Conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft announced the availability of the Windows Azure cloud computing platform.

In his opening keynote, Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s Chief Software Architect, described Windows Azure and SQL Azure as core elements of the company’s cloud services strategy. The company also announced a set of new Windows Azure features, Windows Server capabilities, and marketplace offerings that make it easier for developers to build profitable businesses from their Microsoft-based solutions.

“Customers want choice and flexibility in how they develop and deploy applications,” Ozzie said. “We’re moving into an era of solutions that are experienced by users across PCs, phones and the Web. Built specifically for this era of cloud computing, the Windows Azure and SQL Azure platforms will give developers what they need to build great applications and profitable businesses.”

Representing New Zealand among presenters at the conference, Chris Auld, director of strategy and innovation for Intergen, led a session on developing software applications for the Azure platform. His company has been at the forefront of cloud computing both at the local and international levels, recently helping Dunedin-based TicketDirect scale their online ticketing service to accommodate peak demand using the Azure platform.

“We’ve used the new version of SQL Azure to build an infrastructure that will support TicketDirect with scalable computing power that creates a consistent and reliable customer experience,” said Auld. “The Azure platform delivers the flexibility we need in terms of computing power and resources to support TicketDirect, and based on my experience at this conference, others are starting to realise the benefits of this platform as well.”

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Attending the event on behalf of Microsoft New Zealand was Scott Wylie, director of Developer & Platform Strategy. He sees the Azure platform as an opportunity for developers to get the support of a software specialist company in the cloud.

“The technology industry is in the midst of a computing transformation as more applications are being delivered over the Web and through the browser. With Azure, Microsoft has staked its claim in the cloud computing arena.”

In the conference keynote, Ozzie described Microsoft’s “three screens and a cloud” vision, where software experiences are seamlessly delivered across PCs, phones and TVs, all connected by cloud-based services. Underscoring the IT industry’s shift towards a hybrid approach of online services combined with on-premises software, Ozzie described the programming model for a powerful new generation of applications for both businesses and consumers, enabled by new Microsoft development tools and technologies. He also demonstrated customer and partner commitment to Microsoft’s development platform with Seesmic, WordPress and Cheezburger Network.

Microsoft also made several announcements today related to additional features for the Azure platform, including:

* Microsoft Pinpoint, an online marketplace for Microsoft partners to market and sell their applications.

* A new information and brokerage service codenamed “Dallas” built on the Windows Azure platform that enables developers and users to access premium commercial and reference data sets and content.

* Windows Server AppFabric Beta 1, a set of integrated on-premises application services that enable developers to more easily deploy and manage applications spanning the server and cloud.

* Windows Server virtual machine support on Windows Azure, enabling customers to more easily move existing applications from on-premises to cloud computing

* Windows Identity Foundation in Ready to Manufacture form, enabling developers to provide more secure, simplified user access to cloud and on-premises applications with open, identity-based claims.

* The new release of ASP.NET MVC beta 2, a free, fully-supported framework that enables developers to rapidly build standards-based Web applications through rich AJAX integration and enhanced extensibility. ASP.NET MVC beta 2 is available today on http:// .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.


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