Microsoft continues its strategic software transformation. It was during the first keynote of the PDC2008 (Professional Developers Conference, from Oct. 27 to Oct. 30 in Los Angeles) that Ray Ozzie, chief software architect for the company introduced Windows Azure. Windows Azure is a new offering designed specifically for “cloud computing”. Cloud computing is internet based applications and development.

Incorporating a layer of virtualization, it automatically handles the problem of load distribution by distributing and requesting resources between data centers based on volume. In short, the whole infrastructure of datacenters will support applications and emphasize security and high availability. This solutions architecture will be built around SQL Server, Active Directory and .Net technology.

Windows Azure is not an OS. It constitutes the foundation for a platform for broadcasting services in a “cloud”. It is built around Live Services .Net Services, SQL Services, SharePoint Services and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Services. This allows any company to expand services very easily.

The great strength of Windows Azure is the mode of development services. The programmer can use all the languages of the .Net platform to create a service, including Visual Basic .Net. Microsoft is trying to develop cloud computing services for everyone. Note that Windows Azure is open to other development tools and other programming languages (eg Eclipse and PHP).

The Windows platform allows Azure to create services, which range from simple to complex. It also allows companies to extend upon existing online applications. Microsoft Azure is the first step in the progression, evolution and migration of client based applications to web based services.