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Microsoft Announces Windows Azure, Cloud-Based OS 419

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the do-you-feel-azure-after-use dept.
snydeq writes "Microsoft today introduced Windows Azure, its operating system for the cloud. The OS serves as the underlying foundation of the Azure Services Platform to help developers build apps that span from the cloud to the datacenter, to PCs, the Web, and phones. Cloud-based developer capabilities are combined with storage, computational, and network infrastructure services, which are hosted on servers within Microsoft's global data center network."
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Microsoft Announces Windows Azure, Cloud-Based OS

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  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:26PM (#25536053) Homepage Journal

    Was anyone waiting for this? Or interested in this?

    Anyone?

    Bueller?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jrabbit05 (943335)
      Microsoft moving into services may be good for us all. The giant assuring that Google was ahead of it is the first on a path to think of the consumer and open access, and portability. Hopefully this means proper standards for IE8 and JS3 support?
      • by falcon5768 (629591) <[Falcon5768] [at] [comcast.net]> on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:45PM (#25536223) Journal
        absolutely not. This means proprietary standards developed by Microsoft and given cutsie names. It ALWAYS means that.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I am waiting for Cloud 9.

          • by Teilo (91279)

            But sadly, all you're likely to get is Plan 9 From Outer Space, only this time it won't be so bad it's good.

            Oh, and this is my first posting from my new G1.

        • by twostix (1277166) on Monday October 27, 2008 @11:33PM (#25537361)

          Your Sig -

          "Slashdot, where telling the truth is overrated but lying is insightful."

          You're currently at +4 insightful, you must be lying.

        • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @02:58AM (#25538341)

          What standard is it that they should be following for cloud based services?

          I was unaware there was such a thing.

      • by truthsearch (249536) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:51PM (#25536291) Homepage Journal

        Hopefully this means proper standards for IE8 and JS3 support?

        If Microsoft owns the desktop, browser, server, and data center, what's going to motivate them to follow standards?

        • by symbolset (646467) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:50PM (#25536697) Journal

          If Microsoft owns the desktop, browser, server, and data center, what's going to motivate them to follow standards?

          Erm, you might have a point on the desktop and the browser. Both are shrinking share. Server and data center never was wholly owned. Though they did get some good sports inserted in there, not enough of them will ascend to senior management to make a difference in the long run. They totally owned the laptops for a while but they're losing it on the laptops as netbooks are taking a good chunk. They're losing a bit even on desktops - I hear they just lost all of Russian schools. That's a bite right there. We had a good laugh with their attempts at HPC, but those folks do their own ROI math don'tcha know and they never had a chance there.

          Folks in phones haven't given them much thought since they so publicly cannibalized their first partner there, and phones look like the high volume platform for the next decade. They could OEM systems, but that's a short trip to the grave as the top 20 OEMs deprecate their brand overnight for the sake of their own survival.

          In short, a declining share of a declining market doesn't look good for continued growth. Long term outlook: negative.

        • by Ostracus (1354233) on Monday October 27, 2008 @10:35PM (#25537013) Journal

          Are we still claiming that MS owns the browser? Let alone the server and data center market?

          "what's going to motivate them to follow standards?"

          Being left behind.

      • by zappepcs (820751) on Monday October 27, 2008 @10:34PM (#25537007) Journal

        I don't want to be sounding redundant sounding, but isn't this just another market segment that MS was late to the game for? Who will they buy now in order to compete more aggressively before giving up on it? This is exactly the development model that MS has always used: see what other companies are doing and copy it. In recent years, it has been shown to be a poor model for business, at least where MS is concerned. Yes, they had a couple of successes, but far too many failures to really warrant pinning hope on those few successes bleeding over to cloud computing.

        I'm wondering how they will put DRM on it and keep the entire cloud from becoming one huge spambot. Security doesn't seem to be the strongest part of software coming out of Redmond.

        How can MS moving proprietary spambot software out to the cloud be seen with anything less than trepidation? Seriously?

    • by symbolset (646467) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:40PM (#25536639) Journal

      I cant wait to see how sucktacular it is. All the reliability and stability of Microsoft software delivered through Microsoft's legendary networking skill.

      Friends, the LHC has nothing on this. We're about to see an example of negative energy, when modern physics had all but proved it completely impossible.

    • by MightyYar (622222) on Monday October 27, 2008 @10:10PM (#25536827)

      I, personally, would be THRILLED, if I could sit down at any broadband-connected PC in the world and get the same desktop and files that I have at home. I've played with Ulteo [ulteo.com], and it is close - but clearly needs some time and manpower thrown at it. If there was a mature, polished version of Ulteo that could do what other OSs can do, I'd probably be willing to give up my Macs as well as my Windows/Ubuntu machine.

      Can MS pull it off? I doubt it, but I'm glad that they are trying.

  • by HannethCom (585323) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:29PM (#25536085)
    From what they've said so far, Windows Azure is just Microsoft hosting your applications on their distributed network.

    They were touting all these "great" things, but really that's all it really is.
    • by peragrin (659227)

      exactly it will only work with window's mobile. Think of Azure like the MSFT answer to BeFS of the mid 90's. a perpetual motion project that will always be in the clouds and if they ever finish it might be cool, but will be fscked in all the wrong ways.

    • For all their ISV "partners"....

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      What did you really think cloud computing actually was, under all the marketing? Of course its someone else hosting your applications on their distributed network, that's the entire point.
  • Replacing the BSOD with the ASOD.

    Except with ASOD, you wont know whos SOD it is...

    • by glitch23 (557124)

      Replacing the BSOD with the ASOD. Except with ASOD, you wont know whos SOD it is...

      Just what I was thinking, but I figured out what SOD stands for: Sky of Death. It is a stretch but Azure is blue so I figured we could actually keep BSOD and now it just means Blue Sky of Death since we are talking about a cloud now. A BSOD "out there" will send a message to your computer to display a BSOD locally.

  • Not going anywhere (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Iamthecheese (1264298) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:34PM (#25536145)
    Considering the source of this software, one can be pretty sure of this lifecycle:

    Phase one: deployment by thousands of small businesses, the poor schmucks.
    Phase two: serious security and compatibility problems go exploited and unreported. Those in the know start to advise against use of the software.
    Phase three: Patching attempts by Microsoft. Cracking attempts by crackers. Either: Massive advertising campaign by Microsoft OR Microsoft puts out Version 2 with bug fixes and advertises that.
    Phase four: more patching by Microsoft. More cracking by crackers. Microsoft comes out a with Service Pack. New Ubuntu does everything this product does, but faster and more securely.
    Phase five: fewer and fewer companies use this product, but it enjoys a long half-life as companies fail to stop using it.
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:58PM (#25536355) Homepage

      I thought "those in the know start to advise against use of the software" happens minutes after the announcement that it's being developed.

      Yes, I'm flattering Slashdotters by referring to them as "those in the know".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Or ...

      Phase 1: Deployment of hundreds of small businesses, no major advantages
      Phase 2: a few killer applications emerge
      Phase 3: the whole thing is hyped and MS cashes in
      Phase 4: FOSS community accuses MS of monopolization and some other clichees
      Phase 5: the whole thing becomes common practise, FOSS starts to develop and lags 5 years behind on everything

      The replies here become predictable, to use an understatement. It suffices to add one word in a post to get a completely polarized set of comments.
      • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:41PM (#25536645) Homepage Journal

        It'll take baby-steps and corrections along the way, but so far this is the first real attempt at it.

        Wrong. No Microsoft paycheck for you.

        Google, Sun, Alexa, Amazon, GoGrid, Skytap, 3tera, Apache Hadoop, 3Par -- these companies/projects have all been doing cloud computing -- some for as long as the last 5 years. Microsoft is the johnny-come-lately here.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          Ehr, wrong !

          The examples you give are merely load-balancing servers which have been dubbed with cloud. If you look at the specs you'll see they use Microsoft & Linux servers.

          OS != server
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jeevesbond (1066726)

        I mostly agree with your excellent reply. However:

        Phase 5: the whole thing becomes common practise, FOSS starts to develop and lags 5 years behind on everything

        I already have a FOSS 'cloud based' OS. It's a Debian server, with no X or desktop environment, accessible over the Web. The applications hosted on it have HTML/Javascript/CSS front ends and use PHP/Python/Perl/MySQL on the back end.

        Cloud computing may or may not be a bubble, but whichever way you turn and twist it someone has to start. It'll take ba

    • by Renderer of Evil (604742) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:18PM (#25536497) Homepage
      Phase 6: Pay Kramer $150 to appear in 2 commercials with Steve Balmer
  • by waferbuster (580266) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:37PM (#25536169)
    According to Wikipedia, "Azure is a blue color, halfway between blue and cyan. Commonly it refers to a bright blue, resembling the sky on a bright, clear day."

    So, now we can look forward to seeing a soothing Azure Screen of Death.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by waferbuster (580266)
      "Dude, what's up with your computer?"
      "Oh, it's just having an Azure Seizure. The mouse will start working again in a few seconds."
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Alioth (221270)

      The irony is that they called their cloud computing initiative after something without clouds. An azure sky is a cloudless one!

  • Ok (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daimanta (1140543) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:38PM (#25536175) Journal

    - It's slow(duh, connecting to the internet and such)
    - You have no privacy (MS knows all)
    - You have no control (MS controls all)
    - You have no guarantee (MS decides when you are allowed to use it)

    I'm sold

    • Re:Ok (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lilfields (961485) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:32PM (#25536575) Homepage
      But when Google offers this, it's brilliant!
      • Re:Ok (Score:4, Insightful)

        by glwtta (532858) on Monday October 27, 2008 @10:52PM (#25537101) Homepage
        But when Google offers this, it's brilliant!

        I never understood why "using past experience to form an opinion about a company" is such a terrible, terrible idea.
        • Re:Ok (Score:5, Insightful)

          by prockcore (543967) on Monday October 27, 2008 @11:36PM (#25537399)

          because around here that's all they use to form an opinion.

          Anytime MS does something good, the story gets tagged itsatrap.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by leomekenkamp (566309)

            Anytime MS does something good, the story gets tagged itsatrap.

            Would you be so kind as to give examples where Microsoft did something good (as in an ethical and moral point of view that is prevalent in the western world), those deeds were reported on slashdot and tagged itsatrap?

            My memory may be bad, but I cannot remember seeing one action from Microsoft that I classified as morally or ethically just. Neutral maybe, and loads and loads of immoral stuff for sure, but good behaviour...

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by glwtta (532858)
            Anytime MS does something good, the story gets tagged itsatrap.

            Well, how long is it supposed to take to work through the bad faith accumulated over several decades of them raping the industry? That's even assuming they are actually at the point where things are improving, rather than still contributing to the problem.

            So yeah, if you behave like a jackass, people won't trust you, even if you didn't behave like a jackass today.
  • by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:40PM (#25536183)

    I've been writing Windows apps since 3.1. Microsoft couldn't write a decent API if their lives depended on it. They manage to take simple concept, and bury under layer upon layer of useless complexity. Too often their documentation doesn't give examples, and the only way to find out what something does is it sit around and experiment with it. Take the absurd DirectX: you *have* to use it, but even today it takes pages to get a window on the screen and the documentation is useless. Remember Microsoft OLE? Such a simple thing made so hard. I want to code in as few a lines as possible. I don't want to write pages of COM declarations. Worse of all is their DirectShow - put a video on the screen. It's a mess of pins and connectors. Ugh!

    Although I'm a Windows programmer by training, I've been spreading my wings and it's nice to use APIs that are simpler and more elegant. I can write code to do what I want to do, instead of wasting days with my nose buried in absurdly thick reference books trying to understand what they were trying to do. It's like the people at Microsoft who spend their time writing APIs never have to actually use one.

    So Microsoft Cloud? No, thanks. Cloud may turn out to be another flash-in-the-pan fad, but even so I'd rather use a cleaner API by someone else. Microsoft have a lousy track record. Thanks, but no thanks.

    • Microsoft couldn't write a decent API if their lives depended on it. They manage to take simple concept, and bury under layer upon layer of useless complexity.

      I think they may have caught that one from Digital.

    • by sleeponthemic (1253494) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:35PM (#25536605) Homepage

      Cloud may turn out to be another flash-in-the-pan fad

      May? From the moment it was named, it was predestined to become nothing more than a scourge of sane people and a fantastic technological lubricant for the "sexually attracted to techterms" IT managers across the globe.

      • by syousef (465911) on Monday October 27, 2008 @11:29PM (#25537337) Journal

        From the moment it was named

        Don't you mean re-named? It's just the thin-client model being sold under yet another name.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          It's just the thin-client model being sold under yet another name.

          That or timesharing. Or clustering. Or all of the above.

          I'm getting a bit tired of people just throwing a buzzword of last week to try to explain the buzzword of this week...

          It's a bit like claiming texting is just email being sold under yet another name. I've been known to do this, to make a point about the price -- but even when the analogy fits, the circumstances are different, and that does matter.

          In this case, the thin-client model is often bandwidth-heavy and requires special client software. These "c

    • Disclaimer: this is coming from an ardent mac user....

      what about directx?

      I've expressed continuous vexation at the lack of video game portability because people keep building them off the dx9 api.

      I'm told by /.'s resident graphics devs that, essentially, Dx9 is to them what MacOS X is to power users, and that opengl was clunky, and falling behind.

      Assuming that was not fud, I'd say MS made one good api.

    • by symbolset (646467) on Monday October 27, 2008 @10:06PM (#25536811) Journal

      Microsoft couldn't write a decent API if their lives depended on it.

      Microsoft's APIs are seamless, coherent and reliably engineered. They are flexible enough to enable seamless integration of all their apps into every aspect of the operating system in such a way that they seem to be part of it. They even build into the APIs current developers of their apps need to implement various features.

      Although I'm a Windows programmer by training,

      Oh. You mean the APIs they let you use. Never mind.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by blake182 (619410)

      So Microsoft Cloud? No, thanks. Cloud may turn out to be another flash-in-the-pan fad, but even so I'd rather use a cleaner API by someone else. Microsoft have a lousy track record. Thanks, but no thanks.

      You're implying that there's an invariant API they're using to get this done, and presuming that it's going to follow the design of everything before it. They're not stupid -- they see the number of platforms currently in use, and they've made it a point to explicitly say that supporting rails, Python and PHP is on the roadmap. So as much as you might bitch about the prior desktop APIs (I'm with you there), I'm not sure that a completely new service will necessarily take a wrong turn, especially if compatib

    • Here's a reason why (Score:4, Interesting)

      by melted (227442) on Monday October 27, 2008 @11:43PM (#25537445) Homepage

      >> They manage to take simple concept, and bury under
      >> layer upon layer of useless complexity

      This is a very astute observation. As a MSFT veteran, I can tell you why this happens. Microsoft as a company does not value simplicity. Simplicity in design is perceived as a lack of technical skill and therefore considered a weakness. It has to be uber-super-insane architecture starting right from V1, and it has to be so complex that it'll only be useful by V3, and even then only by people who already know a lot of the other equally grotesque Windows APIs. Otherwise people won't get promoted.

      The most recent and most dramatic example of gross overengineering so far is Avalon, AKA WPF. I bet the same is true of Azure, knowing that it comes from Windows and there are a bunch of very senior people in the org. Which is why I predict that it will be an epic fail.

  • Security boundary? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by argent (18001) <peter@NOsPam.slashdot.2006.taronga.com> on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:41PM (#25536199) Homepage Journal

    What's the security boundary between customers based on? Virtual machines?

  • Frankly... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by edalytical (671270) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:43PM (#25536209)

    ...I'm sick of the "cloud". I like the idea of syncing data over the net, but I hate the idea of having to be online to do work. Worse yet, I hate the idea of using web-based interface. They all work differently, they all look different and frankly they suck. It's hard for them to be open source, they're hard to extend and hard to deploy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Cloud computing as defined by IEEE is where your data is permanently stored on a server somewhere on the internet and then cache it locally as needed on a computer, smartphone, etc.. If you are a larger company that hosts your own data centers and have control over your own network, there maybe some merit to this.

      But for most consumers I think they are looking for something similar to Mobile Me or similar type application where you cache the item online temporarily (whether that be hours, days, weeks, wha

    • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:32PM (#25536581) Journal
      You might not be interested in the cloud, but the cloud is interested in you.
    • Re:Frankly... (Score:4, Informative)

      by adpowers (153922) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @01:51AM (#25538099)

      Well, then, it is a good thing you don't know what the hell you are talking about.

      This offering from Microsoft isn't about a web based office suite or webmail, it is foundational web services that allow businesses and developers to build websites and services while offloading the heavy lifting (such as writing distributed systems or load balancing). The primitives Microsoft is offering are similar to those Amazon already has: storage, database, compute, queueing. In general, you don't access these through your browser.

      This isn't some new AJAXy Web 2.0 website. "The Cloud" is about outsourcing the building blocks of software--database, storage, compute--to someone else and paying for exactly what you use. Instead of buying your own machines, managing the fleet, and building or buying scalable software, you pay for a service and someone else takes care of all of that for you.

      It is like the transition to the electric grid. Instead of paying for a generator and diesel upfront, you just pay for what you use from the electric company, and benefit from their economies of scale. This is utility computing.

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:45PM (#25536227) Homepage

    BizTalk plus .NET, add a little FrontPage, a dash of Silverlight and mix it all up on a hosted server. For some reason I just had flashbacks to the Bass-o-Matic on SNL.

  • by diamondsw (685967) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:50PM (#25536273)

    ...it's not an OS in my book. It may be an excellent (hmph!) network API, but it is not an operating system of any kind.

  • It is NOT A NEW OS (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It is a new interface to a hosted platform for your .net apps, sharepoint, dynamics CRM and SQL server which will surely be running on clusters of good old server 2003 and 2008.

  • The Advantages? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SageMusings (463344) on Monday October 27, 2008 @08:53PM (#25536313) Journal

    1. Can turn off access to any application, at will.
    2. Can force upgrade$, even when perfectly happy with an older version of an application.
    3. Can nickle-and-dime you for every piece of the OS, similar to purchasing your car one bolt at-a-time.
    4. Over tax our still not-ready-for-prime-time broadband.

    Gosh, how the hell does this benefit me in anyway? I am not an automatic MS-basher like some people here but I'm quickly learning.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PapayaSF (721268)

      You forgot: 5. No piracy. (You can't pirate apps or an OS hosted in the cloud, can you?)

      Of course, that's not a benefit for you, but I'm sure Microsoft sees it as a benefit.

  • by adamruck (638131) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:20PM (#25536511)

    Does this explain all the bullshit slashdot articles about cloud this and grid that? I hope this turns into microsoft bob 2.0.

    If you run a business, you have to know DAMN well that your data is:

    1) private and secure
    3) available to your apps
    4) backed up

    How can you do that if your data is "in the cloud"? The SLA isn't worth the paper that it is written on if your business goes down for a week because something went wrong with "the cloud".

    • by Freaky Spook (811861) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:38PM (#25536625)

      How can you do that if your data is "in the cloud"? The SLA isn't worth the paper that it is written on if your business goes down for a week because something went wrong with "the cloud".

      Supporting small business I've seen some down right foolish and stupid decisions made on IT, placing cost over their data security.

      Most cloud services offer business access to applications and services they could not afford if they put the software on site and I see it as no different to a SMB deciding to spend 5K on a new server and ignore the extra 5K for a backup system to support it.

      Some business owners will understand the risks, and some will either not care or go for the bottom line with cost.

    • by lysergic.acid (845423) on Monday October 27, 2008 @11:23PM (#25537297) Homepage

      but cloud storage done right would provide more redundancy/reliability/uptime than most small businesses could manage on their own. that's because multitenancy and centralization of data storage allows small businesses to share a large resource pool that none of them could afford on their own. this includes:

      • higher level of reliability through multiple redundant sites
      • higher peak load capacity
      • massive scalability
      • increased efficiency & better utilization of resources (like distributed computing)

      having your data stored locally doesn't guarantee reliability or prevent things from going wrong. why do you think most small businesses go with shared hosting rather than running their own web server? if you're a large corporation and can afford to pour money into server/network maintenance then maybe it'd be better to have direct control over your data. but Google, Amazon, and perhaps even Microsoft can guaranty better uptime and reliability than the average small to medium sized business.

      after all, how often have you needed to access your Gmail or Yahoo! mail account and couldn't because their server was down? and how many times were you unable to access your webmail account because of a local network/computer problem? at least with cloud computing if you have business partners or affiliates that need shared access to your data and your office network goes down, or your internet connection craps out, they would still have access to the data and be able to continue operations.

      local data storage isn't a magic bullet against natural disasters, human error, or hardware failure. at least cloud architecture is designed to account for these contingencies.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Deanalator (806515)

      Um, if the cloud is inside your corporate network, you have significantly lower risk of data loss if things like laptops are stolen.

      Also, it seems that the stricter control on software deployment would greatly reduce the risk of viral outbreaks etc.

      If Microsoft does it right, they could make a much safer environment for enterprise workstation deployments. Google offers their services as internal appliances for enterprise customers, so what makes you think that Microsoft wouldn't do the same?

  • Remember: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TuaAmin13 (1359435)
    Windows, not walls.

    You can look, but you can't touch.

    That's not really your data you're downloading from the cloud, it's a copy provided to you by the grace of the service provider.
  • Is the cloud made of vapor?
  • which they didn't choose, because then people would think everyone was saying "Windows Blew", which it does.

  • Bypass. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by geckipede (1261408) on Monday October 27, 2008 @09:52PM (#25536719)
    I may have missed the point of this, but it really looks to me like an attempt to give windows a package manager without ever having to admit that any other package managers were a good idea.
  • A company that makes billions a quarter is going to pump out a lot of stuff. ...and it is going to pump out a lot of crap.

  • by Marrow (195242) on Monday October 27, 2008 @10:39PM (#25537031)

    The term to indicate a room is under some form of electronic surveillance, especially used by British intelligence services

    Actually, I think they got that from "Edge of Darkness" mini-series.

  • by speaker4thedead (193887) <sam.walters@gmail.com> on Monday October 27, 2008 @11:46PM (#25537463)

    So... Basically MS has finally created an operating system so freakin' big that it won't fit onto a single computer?

  • Marketing, not tech (Score:3, Interesting)

    by technomom (444378) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @05:53AM (#25539097)

    This looks to me like more of a marketing announcement where they take a bunch of previously available product and put it under one particular brand. Yeah, there's a few more things in there but mostly that's glue.

    -- Windows Azure, for service hosting and management and low-level scalable storage, computation, and networking.
    -- Microsoft SQL Services, for database services and reporting.
    -- Microsoft .Net Services, which are service-based implementations of .Net Framework concepts such as workflow. .Net Services previously was called BizTalk Services. "The services themselves, we found, were actually more identifiable to the .Net community than BizTalk," said Steve Martin, Microsoft senior product management director in the companyâ(TM)s Connected Systems Division.
    -- Live Services, for sharing, storing, and synchronizing documents, photos, and files across PCs, phones, PC applications, and Web sites.
    -- Microsoft SharePoint Services and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Services for business content, collaboration, and solution development in the cloud

    So, they're taking BizTalk, Sharepoint, Live, a bunch of point features in SQL Server and a few other warmed over things and calling them "Azure". Whoopee. They've invented a brand. Wake me up when they have something new.

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