March 2012

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Improved Developer Experience, Interoperability, and Scalability on Windows Azure

On February 14, 2012 we announced significant price reductions and a new entry level database option to meet customer needs on both ends of the database spectrum. Today we are passing along additional savings to compute and storage customers. Here are the details:

  • Windows Azure Storage Pay-As-You-Go pricing has been reduced by 12% ($0.14 to $0.125)
  • 6 Month Plans for Windows Azure Storage have been reduced across all tiers by up to 14%
  • Windows Azure Extra Small Compute has been reduced by 50% ($.04 to .$02)

With these changes, a 24x7 Extra Small Compute instance with a 100MB SQL Azure DB costs less than $20 per month. The price of compute and storage continues to be consistent across all datacenters and Pay-As-You-Go customers will automatically see the reduced prices reflected (as of today) on their next bill; there is no action required. Please visit the Windows Azure Blogfor more details.

Windows Azure Marketplace Adds Support for Six Languages and HTML5 Applications

Available in 26 countries around the world, Windows Azure Marketplace is now available in six languages including Japanese, Chinese, French, German, Spanish and Italian. This update enables developers in non-english markets to find and purchase products in their native language. We’ve also enabled HTML5 applications to consume data sets from the Windows Azure Marketplace. This is made possible through OData support for JSON and JSONP. Now developers working in HTML5, getting ready for Windows 8, can pull data from the rich and varied data sets already available in the Windows Azure Marketplace.

Visit the Windows Azure Marketplace page for updated availability and language support details, and check out for details on JSON and JSONP support.

Updated Release of Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows 8 Consumer Preview

This week we released v1.2 of the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows 8 Consumer Preview making it easy for developers to create Windows Metro Style applications that can harness the power of Windows Azure. If you are building Windows 8 Metro Style applications with Windows Azure and have not yet downloaded the toolkit I would encourage you to do so. This video shows how you can use the toolkit to build a Windows 8 Metro Style application using Windows Azure and the Windows Push Notification Service to send Toast, Tile and Badge notifications - all in under 4 minutes.

Migrate to Windows Azure with MAP!

Plan your journey to the public cloud with Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit. The MAP Toolkit’s capabilities will help you securely assess heterogeneous IT environments while enabling the evaluation of workloads for migration to Microsoft’s public cloud platform. The MAP 6.5 Windows Azure migration portfolio analysis feature makes the process easier by providing the ability to quantify and label applications and services in your IT environment for Windows Azure migration consideration.


Moving SQL Azure Servers Between Subscriptions

A new feature has been added to the Windows Azure Management Portal to enable moving your SQL Azure servers between different subscriptions. This feature has been requested by many customers and fulfills multiple scenarios. For example, customers can now move their SQL Azure servers and databases in that server from a trial or introductory subscription to a different subscription that hosts their production services and resources. Read this blog post to learn more

The Windows Azure Claim Provider for SharePoint Project (Three Part Series)

Learn how to build a custom claims provider for SharePoint that uses Windows Azure as the data source through this three-part series of posts by Microsoft Principal Architect Steve Peschka.

Protecting Your Data in SQL Azure: New Best Practices Documentation Now Available

The documentation explains the basic SQL Azure disaster recovery/backup mechanisms, and best practices to achieve advanced disaster recovery capabilities beyond the default capabilities. This new article explains how you can achieve business continuity in SQL Azure to enable you to recover from data loss caused by failure of individual servers, devices or network connectivity; corruption, unwanted modification or deletion of data; or even widespread loss of data center facilities.

Success Stories


GigaSpaces is an application virtualization platform provider, specializing in end-to-end scalability and cloud onboarding solutions for mission-critical application environments. To help customers move mission-critical Java-based applications to the cloud, GigaSpaces worked with Microsoft to develop Cloudify, a solution that simplifies the deployment of enterprise Java applications to Windows Azure.

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The Georgia Archives

The Georgia Archives sought a way to make audio and video recordings easily accessible and searchable on the web. The Archives chose a solution based on the Microsoft Research Audio Video Indexing System (MAVIS) and Windows Azure. It now enjoys improved productivity and faster access to audio and video content for citizens, legislators, and other interested parties, and less work for the Georgia Archives—all with minimal costs and no IT issues.

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