Microsoft today officially announced the general availability of Windows Azure in China, with that Microsoft becomes the first global public cloud provider in China. Last year, Microsoft launched a public preview of Windows Azure in China to meet the demands of local cloud needs. 21Vianet will be operating Windows Azure for Microsoft in China. In May of last year, we announced that Microsoft Azure would be coming to China, launching a public preview to support the growing appetite for cloud services in this important region. Today, I am pleased to share that Microsoft Azure, operated by 21Vianet, is now generally available for our customers in China. This significant milestone makes us the first global company to make onshore public cloud services available to customers in China, through 21Vianet. To ensure a compliant, enterprise-grade public cloud experience, Microsoft has partnered with 21Vianet within China to deliver Microsoft Azure to our customers ...

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As we reported yesterday, Microsoft has officially announced that they are rebranding Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure. Microsoft did this re-branding to highlight the fact that Microsoft Azure supports broadest set of operating systems, languages, and services of any public cloud not just Windows. Today we are announcing that Windows Azure will be renamed to Microsoft Azure, beginning April 3, 2014. This change reflects Microsoft’s strategy and focus on Azure as the public cloud platform for customers as well as for our own services Office 365, Dynamics CRM, Bing, OneDrive, Skype, and Xbox Live. Our commitment to deliver an enterprise-grade cloud platform for the world’s applications is greater than ever. Today we support one of  the broadest set of operating systems, languages, and services of any public cloud—from Windows, SQL and .NET to Python, Ruby, Node.js, Java, Hadoop, Linux, and Oracle. In today’s mobile-first, cloud-first, data-powered world, customers want a ...

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ZDNet today reported that Microsoft is planning to rebrand its “Windows Azure” services to “Microsoft Azure”. It was also reported that Microsoft will make this rebranding announcement this week, specifically tomorrow (March 25). The rebranding will go live on April 3, on the 2nd day of Microsoft’s BUILD developer conference in San Francisco. I guess this rebranding effort is to symbolize Azure as a cross-platform/heterogeneous cloud solution rather than just a Windows based Cloud service. The rebranding makes sense, given Windows Azure isn’t all about Windows. Azure customers can run Linux in virtual machines on the operating system. Azure users also can run Oracle databases and middleware, and use non-Windows-specific development tools, including Java, Ruby, PHP and Python. Are you happy with Microsoft Azure name? Source: ZDNet ...

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Microsoft had its first Windows Azure conference in India for the past two days. During the conference, Microsoft shared many details about the Windows Azure business in India and their momentum. Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India said, “We are adding over 2000 commercial cloud customers every month in India and these are customers across all industry sectors – banking, manufacturing, healthcare and media, and across large, mid-sized and small companies.” Microsoft said that scalability, reduced costs, flexibility, business agility and speed in new service roll-out are some of the reasons Windows Azure is chosen Enterprise customers.  Microsoft has 10,000 partners and engages with an ecosystem of 1.6 million developers in the country. Windows Azure Enterprise Customers in India include Three leading private banks Five leading auto manufacturers Four leading healthcare organizations Three leading media houses Five leading Indian SIs are also building solutions on Windows Azure for global consumption “Our ...

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Age of Ascent is a Massively Multiplayer Online game that will be released in early 2015. The first of which is a public alpha test of the PvP dogfighting component is going to be done today. The game developers are using Windows Azure for their game backend and attempting for a Guinness World Record on having the greatest number of concurrent players in the same battlezone at the same time. Age of Ascent will soon be attempting to earn a Guinness World Record. Can you tell us more about that? Yes. During the public alpha of AoA’s PvP dogfighting module we’re hoping to break the current world record for Largest Videogame PvP Battle. What does the record currently look like? Don’t other games have millions of players? The current holders are the excellent folk (and players) at CCP Games for Eve Online, with 4,070 players in a single system; a ...

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  At Microsoft’s Federal Executive Forum, an annual event where people from around the federal government gather together to discuss how technology can be used to improve their workflow and others. As we are seeing in the other industries, Cloud computing is a hot topic among Federal agencies too. The popular public cloud services from Amazon, Salesforce, etc, does not suit their needs. As agencies explore moves to the cloud, many may have solutions already in place, and they need a partner who can help them leverage those, lower security risks and reduce training and implementation costs. In some cases, agencies may often be looking at some new combination of private cloud or even public or dedicated community cloud for government. Our hybrid cloud gives complex government environments the flexibility of working with us on their terms and within their architecture choice. Instead of coming to the table with predisposed ideas of what is best ...

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During the commencement of Sochi Olympic games, Microsoft announced its partnership with NBC to stream thousands of hours of content to millions of users. Today, Microsoft highlighted the work they did with Sochi Olympics games. Various Microsoft technologies like Windows, Windows Azure, SharePoint, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft ERP, etc, were deployed to run this huge event successfully. “It is a great recognition and honor for Microsoft Russia to become a supplier of the Sochi Olympics. Microsoft technologies ensured that the innovative Olympic Games in Sochi were organized at the highest level and, in our view, contributed to the establishment of a new technological standard for large sports events organization in Russia and the whole world. The website sochi2014.com powered by Windows azure will give the opportunity to Organizing Commettes of the next Games to benefit from the experience and architectural solutions developed by Microsoft and other technology partners of the Organizing ...

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Microsoft announced Windows Azure services for Japan last year, today Microsoft announced that Windows Azure in Japan East (Saitama Prefecture) and Japan West (Osaka Prefecture), will be generally available later Tuesday. Microsoft highlighted that fact that storage usage for Windows Azure has grown 10x in the last 15 months in Japan along and this Azure Services availability in Japan will serve the purpose well for these customers. Japan’s cloud market has grown considerably in the last few years and this growth is only expected to increase, with the projected 2014 forecast estimated at around $1.6 billion, according to IDC. These new regions will help fulfill the current and future needs of our cloud customers with secure and highly available services that help them grow their business. In addition, they provide local customers the ability to achieve data residency and realize data recovery scenarios, as data will be replicated between the ...

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Scott Guthrie, well known among developers for his red polo shirts, has been promoted to EVP of Cloud & Enterprise. This is now CEO Satya Nadella’s old position. eWeek snagged his first interview since his promotion. Scott talks about Windows Azure, how they worked with Dev division for lots of integration, competing with Azure, unique position Microsoft holds in this game and more. Here is an excerpt from it. How does all this added together set you up to compete with AWS? I think we’re in a good place right now. The team is executing in Agile. We did a bunch of mobile service announcements. It’s kind of nice because it is kind of rapid and it has the team on its toes. And the quality bar goes up. The biggest thing for us is with the things like BizTalk and Active Directory, it shows us getting very pointy with a ...

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Microsoft today announced that they are reducing the price of Windows Azure Storage following Amazon’s announcement regarding this same few days back. Last year, Microsoft made the promise to match up to Amazon for its pricing structure and they are holding on to their promises As you may recall from the April announcement, we committed to match Amazon Web Services prices for commodity services like compute, storage and bandwidth. Effective March 13, customers will see lower prices for Block Blobs Storage and Disks/Page Blobs Storage matching AWS’ prices.  We’re also making the new prices effective worldwide which means that Azure storage will be less expensive than AWS in many regions. Here are the details… We are matching AWS’ lowest prices (US East Region) for S3 and EBS by reducing prices by up to 20% and making the lower prices available in all regions worldwide. For Locally Redundant Disks/Page Blobs Storage we are ...

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In an interview to Financial Times, Brad Smith, general counsel of Microsoft revealed that Microsoft will allow its foreign customers to store their data outside the US to protect it from illegal invasion of US government agencies like NSA and others. Even though many other tech companies are opposing this idea, Brad Smith feels that this has become a necessity following leaks that showed the US NSA had been monitoring the data of foreign citizens from Brazil to across the EU. “People should have the ability to know whether their data are being subjected to the laws and access of governments in some other country and should have the ability to make an informed choice of where their data resides,” he told the FT. “Our entire industry is concerned that some customers outside the US are feeling less confident with [American] online services today,” Mr Smith said. “Technology today requires that people ...

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Microsoft is competing with market leader Amazon in providing cloud services. They are already in price war and delivering reliable and top notch performance is a must have in this business. The cloud pricing scheme differs on performance levels and the new patent from Microsoft researchers revealed a new pricing approach where customers can either bid a price they’re willing to pay or to be quoted a price based on the system’s estimate of the resources needed to deliver that performance. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft delivers this pricing scheme to its customers. Abstract: Described are performance-based pricing models for pricing execution of a client job in a cloud service. Client-provided performance-related parameters are used to determine a price. The price may be a minimum bid price that is evaluated against a bid received from client bidder to accept or reject the bid. Alternatively, the price may be returned ...

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After the NSA scandal broke this summer, revealing that the U.S. spy agency was eavesdropping wholesale on the most popular services on the web, Microsoft turned to five or six of its top engineers for help.  One of them was Mark Russinovich.  It was only natural that Russinovich ended up on the small team of engineers who would decide how Microsoft should respond to the documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. “It gave Microsoft a wake-up call, especially the revelation of tapping inter-data-center connections,” Russinovich says, referring to an October Washington Post story that exposed an NSA sketch, or “slide,” showing that the agency is grabbing data from lines that run between the massive computer centers operated by the likes of Google and Yahoo. “The tapping of public wires going into a data center? That slide was shocking to me, because it’s just so flagrant.” And, yes, he ...

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Microsoft’s Cloud platform Windows Azure is evolving at the rate in which even industry leaders like Amazon are now within the reach in terms of feature parity. Speaking to The Channel, Microsoft’s Windows Azure president Scott Guthrie revealed some interesting information about Azure, how it is evolving, how it compares to Amazon, etc,.  He also said that Skype now runs on Windows Azure, all new storage of SkyDrive goes to Azure, part of Xbox Live is now powered by Azure and Office 365 used Azure’s identity management for authentication. Some excerpts from the interview, “We have more regions than Amazon, we have coverage in places like China that they’re not in,”. “If you want to reach the globe the most, we’re the cloud vendor to do it.” “Every Office 365 customer has a Windows Azure Active Directory login,” he said. “All authentication, all security, all access control for Office 365 ...

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Microsoft today confirmed about their upcoming Build 2014 conference. Build 2014 developer conference will take place April 2 to April 4 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Registration for this event opens at 9 a.m. PT on Jan. 14 at www.buildwindows.com. Also Microsoft has teased us that they will be discussing about the future of Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Azure, Windows Server, Visual Studio and much more at the event. As always, Build is a time to bring developers together to talk about our latest products, platform advances, tools and offerings, all of which come together to create unmatched apps and scenarios. With Windows, developers can create new experiences to reach hundreds of millions of devices on peoples’ desks, in their homes, in their pockets and in their living rooms. At this year’s event, we’ll talk about what’s next for Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Azure, Windows Server, Visual Studio and ...

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  Microsoft today announced the Cloud OS Network, a worldwide group of more than 25 leading cloud service providers who will deliver hosted services built on the Microsoft Cloud Platform, which includes Windows Server with Hyper-V, System Center and the Windows Azure Pack. Many of the members were already Microsoft partners, but Microsoft is now giving them a brand new name to better target customers. The members of the Cloud OS Network are leading service providers who will offer hybrid services that give customers greater flexibility and choice. By making a substantial commitment to the Microsoft Cloud Platform, they are able to deliver tailored infrastructure and application services that meet diverse customer needs. Customers will have greater choice in customization, data sovereignty, security, privacy and service levels. For example, Cloud OS Network partner Outsourcery in the United Kingdom is driving an initiative to provide compliant cloud services for U.K. government ...

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