Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference (PDC) began today, and right off the bat we have some solid information about an impending release. Windows Azure will be available to businesses on January 1, 2010. It will be free for the first month as well.
Windows Azure will be an operating system in the cloud. An applications layer will be hosted in a datacenter and developers will be able to write applications for it like they would for any other OS. The cloud service landscape has changed significantly since the Redmond giant started talking about the cloud-based web some four years ago.
The number of netbooks and smartphones has exploded since Microsoft began this endeavor. These platforms may benefit most from technologies like Azure. Can Microsoft make cloud-based services a part of their core business with Azure? Maybe we’ll get some clues during the rest of PDC.
Most of the buzz surrounding Microsoft has to do with the company's next operating system, Windows 7, and what changes to expect over Vista. But a new OS isn't the only thing the software giant has been working on, as the next version of Office is receiving some attention as well.
At next week's Professional Developer Conference (PDC), Microsoft plans to talk about Office 14 (as the next version of Office has been code-named) with attendees, giving them a sneak peek at some of the features. Sure to be a highlight of the discussion is Office 14's ability to run in different modes, online or offline.
"We will rewrite Office to work in a browser," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in an interview with Britain's Computer Weekly.
But while attendees will get a first look at Office 14 - specifically, Office business applications and the software's Open XML file formats, according to the two listed sessions - it doesn't appear they'll be walking home with a copy, so don't fret if you won't be in attendance.