Not so long ago, some where saying that Microsoft is loosing the cloud computing bandwagon and that they have no idea what to do about it. Well, I'm pretty sure that now those that said it are biting their tongues. Not only that Microsoft has jumped into the cloud computing bandwagon with their Azure platform, but if they continue this way, I'd say that quite soon they will probably lead the market.
How sure am I about it? Nobody can be sure about anything these days, but I can tell you this: after spending time with both Amazon Web Services and Google App Engine, now I am preparing a virtual environment to start looking into Windows Azure.
Leaving aside my personal opinion, I'd encourage you to take a look at what Azure is offering (and what the plans are). Then do keep in mind that Microsoft has always been into integration and interoperability (in the sense that their products were always created to integrate and interoperate with existing ones). Last, but not least add to the mix the Microsoft BizSpark initiative (a program that between other things is offering startups 3 years free licenses to all Microsoft products) and you'll probably have a new perspective of the impact Microsoft will have on the cloud computing market.
Anyways, here are a couple of the latest announcements and presentations from Mix09 just to wet your taste. (nb: Silverlight required. Some of the videos are also available for download.)
- Overview of Windows Azure
- See through the Clouds: Introduction to the Azure Services Platform
- Building Web Applications with Windows Azure
- Windows Azure Storage
- What's New in Microsoft SQL Data Services
- Cloud Computing: What's in It for Me?
- Using the Windows Azure Tools to Build Cloud Services
- Simplifying Distributed Access Control with Microsoft .NET Services
- Mesh-Enabled Web Applications
- Live Framework and Mesh Services: Live Services for Developers
- Connecting Applications across Networks with Microsoft .NET Services
- A Lap around Microsoft .NET Services
Overview of Windows Azure
See through the Clouds: Introduction to the Azure Services Platform
Building Web Applications with Windows Azure
Windows Azure Storage
What's New in Microsoft SQL Data Services
Cloud Computing: What's in It for Me?
Using the Windows Azure Tools to Build Cloud Services
Simplifying Distributed Access Control with Microsoft .NET Services
Mesh-Enabled Web Applications
Live Framework and Mesh Services: Live Services for Developers
Connecting Applications across Networks with Microsoft .NET Services
A Lap around Microsoft .NET Services
I know this is a lot, but I'd strongly suggest to watch some of them in order to better understand why I think that Microsoft is going to be a leader in the cloud computing market.