January 2013


Announcing general release of Windows Azure Media Services

With the general release of Windows Azure Media Services, you now have everything you need to quickly build extremely scalable, end-to-end media solutions for streaming on-demand video to consumers on any device. For example, you can easily build a media service for delivering training videos to employees in your company, stream video content for your website, or build a premium video-on-demand service like Hulu or Netflix.

Visit the Windows Azure Media Services page for tutorials and how-to articles, and get started using Media Services today. For more information, see ScottGu’s Blog. For details on pricing, please refer to the Media section of the Pricing Details page.

Broadcast push notifications to millions of mobile devices using Windows Azure Notification Hubs

Check out a preview of a cool new capability: Windows Azure Notification Hubs. Notifications Hubs provides you with an extremely scalable push notification infrastructure that helps you efficiently route push notification messages to users. It can scale automatically to target millions of mobile devices without you needing to rearchitect your app or implement your own sharding scheme, and it will support a pay-only-for-what-you-use billing model.

You can read all of the details in Scott Guthrie’s blog.

Recent updates to Windows Azure SDK: .NET 4.5, Windows Server 2012, and more

The latest release of the Windows Azure SDK for .NET contains a number of great improvements. New features include:

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 and Windows Server 2012 (OS Family 3) support in web and worker roles
  • Productivity improvements in Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio
  • General availability of cache for web and worker roles
  • New tooling and client library for storage
  • Tooling and updated client library and for Service Bus

Find full details in the Windows Azure Team Blog.

Accepting applications: Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure

Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure, powered by TechStars, is a program created to incubate startups building in the cloud. Each selected company will receive these benefits and more:

  • An equity investment of U.S.$20,000 from TechStars
  • $60,000 in Windows Azure services over two years

Apply by February 3 to be considered for the spring 2013 class.

Windows Azure Mobile Services rolls out Scheduler, command-line support, and more

In December, Windows Azure Mobile Services added Scheduler, command-line support, and availability in the North Europe data center for Windows Store, Windows Phone 8, and iOS apps. With these additions, you can run server scripts on a preset schedule, use the Windows Azure command-line tools to create and manage your mobile services, and more. Here are some resources you may find useful:

Read about Mobile Services with iOS apps on Chris Risner's blog.

Building Windows Store or Windows Phone Store apps? This contest is for you!

Want to hang out with the Windows 8 Games Studios team at Microsoft Studios, join a coding session, and get a sneak peek at an upcoming game? Publish your eligible apps in the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store from December 20, 2012, through February 28, 2013, for a chance to win the Ultimate Experience!

Microsoft and service providers deliver on the Cloud OS vision together

Last summer, Microsoft introduced our Cloud OS vision. Simply, our strategy is to provide the most comprehensive approach to cloud computing so that our customers can decide the rate and pace at which they will move to the cloud. The intent is to provide a common set of technologies that they can invest in today for long-term value, regardless of how fast they decide to move to cloud computing.

Recently, Michael Park, corporate vice president of marketing in the Server and Tools Business, announced that Microsoft continues to deliver on this vision with Microsoft System Center 2012 Service Pack 1, which allows customers to manage at scale the breadth of technology enhancements brought to market with Windows Server 2012. Cloud hosting providers play a key role in the Cloud OS vision.

Read more on the Hosting Insights blog.


New Windows Azure Mobile Services video series: Getting started with Windows Store apps

Windows Azure Mobile Services provides a powerful turnkey back-end service for your Windows Store, Windows Phone, and iOS apps. In this new video series about getting started with Windows Store apps, learn how to store data in the cloud, light up your apps with push notifications, easily implement authentication, and perform background work with scheduled scripts using Mobile Services.

Watch the series now!

Microsoft DevRadio: Practical Windows Azure with Jim O’Neil (The Basics)

Jim O’Neil kicks off a new seven-part series in which he demonstrates practical ways to understand cloud computing and the various services that Windows Azure offers. In the first episode, he lays out his road map for the series and explains some of the basics of what Windows Azure is, the features, and how you can get started.

Try Windows Azure free for 3 months.!

Success Stories

Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry: Earthquake recovery website keeps citizens informed about vital programs

After the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) in Japan helped support those needing assistance by promoting the sharing of resource information among ministries, agencies, prefectures, and cities. METI worked in cooperation with partner agencies to find a way to connect resources with those who needed them. In January 2012, METI launched the Recovery and Reconstruction Support Program Database solution, powered by Windows Azure. Now disaster victims, companies in disaster-affected areas, local government employees, and others can use a one-stop public service to search through nearly 500 support programs.

Read the full case study.

To ensure users have the richest interactions with their devices, Emotive relies on Windows Azure

“[Windows] Azure gives us massive scalability, global reach, and is very, very secure.”—Dipock Das, Vice President, Products, emotive

Watch the case study video.


Full-function application performance management

New Relic helps organizations and developers manage web application performance in real time. Use Windows Azure with New Relic to make great, easy-to-deploy apps and cost-effectively monitor, troubleshoot, and tune application performance.

Get New Relic free at the Windows Azure Store now!

Cloud database service for MySQL applications

ClearDB is a fault-tolerant cloud database service for your MySQL-powered applications on Windows Azure. Built on top of native MySQL, ClearDB lets you focus on your applications and not on your database. Learn more at ClearDB.com and get started today with your free ClearDB database.

Gain cloud expertise at RightScale conference

Join RightScale at its annual conference for deep cloud content from organizations and experts leading the way in cloud adoption. Whether you are developing a cloud strategy, embarking on your first cloud proof of concept, or optimizing your cloud applications, the RightScale Compute conference delivers the in-depth information that you need.

RightScale Cloud Management enables organizations to easily deploy and manage business-critical applications across public, private, and hybrid clouds. RightScale provides efficient configuration, monitoring, automation, and governance of cloud computing infrastructure and applications.