“In advance of one of the most significant waves of product launches in Microsoft’s history, today we are unveiling a new logo for the company.” – Microsoft Official Blog.
25 years later, Microsoft unveils a revamped Corporate Logo.
It had been 25 Years since Microsoft had updated their Corporate LOGO. On Thursday morning i.e. 23rd August 2012, Microsoft unveiled the new Look of their logo. The graphic designers have a split views on it.
Microsoft has a new look. The company just took the wraps off its new corporate branding. Replacing its previous logo is a staunch, four-pane colored window very reminiscent of the grid layout scheme found in Microsoft’s latest products. Microsoft is also spelled in a simple, bond font.
The grid clearly resembles Microsoft’s latest design started with Zune and later adopted in Xbox 360. Windows Phone and most recently Windows 8. It’s clean, simple.
The symbol in the new logo should look familiar. It’s merger of Microsoft Store Logo with Window’s 8.
The Logo which will now be disappeared was 25 years old i.e. since 1987. The current new version of the logo is Microsoft’s 5th corporate logo in 37 years. Also this logo is the first to incorporate the symbol alongside Microsoft name. The previous versions simply had Microsoft written.
As noted by Seattle Times, this latest version includes a subtle nod to the original 1975-1979 logo by connecting the F and the T. As per the poll on Seattle Times, the new logo is more liked by them.
Here below have a look at the previous logos of Microsoft.
Have a look at this video which signifies the new Logo. The video demonstrated the new logo in Digital motion.
“The logo has two components: the logotype and the symbol. For the logotype, we are using the Segoe font which is the same font we use in our products as well as our marketing communications.” – TechNet.
“It’s been 25 years since we’ve updated the Microsoft logo and now is the perfect time for a change. This is an incredibly exciting year for Microsoft as we prepare to release new versions of nearly all of our products. From Windows 8 to Windows Phone 8 to Xbox services to the next version of Office, you will see a common look and feel across these products providing a familiar and seamless experience on PCs, phones, tablets and TVs. This wave of new releases is not only a reimagining of our most popular products, but also represents a new era for Microsoft, so our logo should evolve to visually accentuate this new beginning.” Read More.
General Manager, Brand Strategy, Microsoft
2. Seattle Times
3. Crunch Base
SIRI (Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface) is an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator which works as an application for Apple’s iOS. The application uses a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of web services. Apple claims that the software adapts to the user’s individual preferences over time and personalizes results, and performing tasks such as finding recommendations for nearby restaurants, or getting directions.
What is Siri ?
“Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. Siri is so easy to use and does so much, you’ll keep finding more and more ways to use it.”
Siri was launched first as an application available on Apple’s App Store in the US. It integrated with services such as OpenTable, Google Maps, Movie Tickets and TaxiMagic. Using voice recognition technology from Nuance and their service partners, users could make reservations at specific restaurants, buy movie tickets or get a cab by dictating instructions in natural language to Siri. Siri was acquired by Apple on April 28, 2010, and the original application ceased to function on October 15, 2011.
Screen Shot of SIRI
A Brief History of SIRI
Siri is not Apple’s first venture into voice-activated controls and speech-recognition, although the program makes a few big leaps over the capabilities of VoiceOver, the technology used in Mac computers since OS X 10.4, as well as iPhones since iPhone 3GS. One of the big differences is that VoiceOver was touted as an accessibility feature, meaning it was mostly used by the visually impaired and people who can’t easily operate iPhones (Parkinson’s disease patients, for example), while Siri is meant for the mass market.
Apple did not develop this technology in house. Rather, Apple acquired Siri Inc. in 2010, a company that had developed an iPhone app called Siri Personal Assistant. Sometime after Apple took over the company, the app was pulled from the App Store.
Languages, Accents, and Dialects
The software is technically in beta, so while it’s functional, it does have some limitations. The biggest limitation right now is language support. Currently, you can only use Siri to its full potential when you use American English and you’re physically in the United States. Siri does have options for U.K. English, Australian English, French (France), and German, but if you use the program in any of those language, you can’t search for businesses or locations on a map.
One of the striking features of Siri is that it will improve the more people use it. Siri will be collecting data from users, like their regional accents and dialects and common phrases that people use, and analyzing that information to improve. Additionally, the more you specifically use it, the better it understands your particular accent and characteristics of your speech.
Siri does not support most third-party apps at this point in its development. It currently only works with:
• Phone (to make and receive calls)
• FaceTime (to make and receive video calls)
• Web Search (Safari, Maps, Google)
• Find My Friends
• Alarms/World Clock/Timer
• Wolfram|Alpha (in English only) (for math)
SIRI Features – Apple.com
It understands what you say
It knows what you mean
It helps you do the things you do every day.
It has so much to tell you.
After reading such great features of this technology of SIRI, you would really be tempted to see it’s Demo.
To see the demo how SIRI Works watch the video on the Apple’s Site. Siri Demo
After all this you wish to get one just spend a bit to have Apple IPhone 4s.
Seobloggingtips.com organized one cool giveaway few days ago and gave away domain name to winners, well guess what, its even bigger now. This year end they are giving away 2 domain names (.com) for free and a Free Hosting Account from them for one full year.
Now before we head on for the setup process. This is my 2nd Post in the Blogging Series. I suppose you are pretty much clear about BLOGS from my previous post and aware of its work and uses. In the Introduction to Blogging, i had said that there are two ways you can use wordpress for your blogs. For those who are new to blogging, you should first read Introduction to Blogging article and then turn back here again. Today we will look at wordpress Self Hosted. So for those who choose wordpress self hosted blog. This article will help them to know the things they require to setup their own wordpress powered blog on their own domain and own Servers.
Now you must be thinking why only WordPress and no other blogging Platform. So here’s the answer to your Question?
WordPress is a great script. When people think of WordPress, they think of it as just a simple blogging script like any other. But that is when you get it wrong. WordPress is not any blogging software; it is the BEST blogging software which is FREE. WordPress is simple, and we agree with that statement. But due to its simplicity, it is open to possibilities. We have seen WordPress being used in many ways and by some of the top businesses in the industry. It is a powerful tool with robust features. We have compiled a few reasons why you should use WordPress, in what ways you can use WordPress, and who is using WordPress. Rest you can read here at WPBeginner.com .
If you need full control over all aspects of your blog including the database, themes and plugins you need a self-hosted blog.
Now we have chosen Self Hosted WordPress as we get the entire control over the blog in many ways as Ads, Themes, and Plugins. To understand the difference well read here WPBeginner.com.
Now you need to have some points cleared before you Setup WordPress Blog. Below is the Check list you should have a look at.
It’s very important to have an appropriate domain name for your blog. As domain will help you rank your blog at better place in search engines. Picking the right domain name for a blog is an essential step to success. Think of a domain name as a brand to your website, and like any other product, a blog will be really hard to rebrand if you decide to choose another name. Proper keywords also do matter while purchasing a domain name. To get to know more visit the link .
Now you need a domain registrar from whom you will purchase the domain name. There are hundreds of domain registrars on the web that are offering you domain registration and more. But like many other scams on the web, there are scam domain registrars that disappear every three months, and you get left hanging. Therefore we suggest you get a domain from one of these popular registrars that have been around and have earned a good reputation in the industry. I personally suggest BIGROCK. As they provide good Service. VISIT BIGROCK for all your Web Solutions.
Often people overlook this factor of web host. Before you can have a self-hosted WordPress blog with your very own domain name, you must first select a host for your site. The host is the company that provides the server where your site will be digitally stored on a hard drive and be continually connected to the internet where it can be accessed by billions of internet users. All hosts are not created equally, however, so it pays to learn just a little bit about what you should look for in a quality blog hosting company.
What Specification does WordPress Require?
You will be surprised to hear that WordPress is a very light-weight script and it is compatible with almost all web hosts. The simple requirements that WordPress put forth are:
PHP 4.3 or greater
MySQL 4.0 or greater
The mod_rewrite Apache module
As a matter of fact most Linux web hosts come pre-installed with WordPress, so you won’t have to worry about what WordPress requires.
You should see the bandwidth and web space been provided by the web host you choose for yourself.
What you Need?
As i stated above, WordPress is a very light-weight script for a normal blog account, you won’t need a dedicated server. So don’t get that. Majority of top shared hosting sites are now offering unlimited resource, so take advantage of that. That is all what you really need. But if for some reason, you end up going with a service that doesn’t offer unlimited specs what will you do?
You need to evaluate. How much space you do need on the web. A WordPress site can run well under 100 MB space. If you are offering downloads, and hosting your own images then you will need more space.
Evaluate the bandwidth your site will be using? As a goal of every blogger, you want to hit the Front Page of Digg and other social media networks. When you hit that, you receive a lot of traffic. So how much bandwidth should you get? Start low and upgrade when necessary. There is no point of paying extra for something you won’t use in the early months. Once your blog starts to get influence in the industry then you can upgrade. Visit MihirNaik.com for related article on this topic
WordPress Hosting Plan Components
A standard hosting environment for blog hosting software will include the following components.
Apache web server, which is found on almost 100% of Linux hosting services.
SQL server – usually MySQL which will manage the WordPress blog database.
A mail host, which allows your WordPress site to send email notifications for things like comments, password resets and administrator functions.
Fantastico – allows easy installation of WordPress and many other popular website management tools: Drupal (themes), osCommerce, Moveable Type.
PHP – WordPress runs best on the latest version of php 5+
Web Host’s Reputation
Every host that we mention in this post has earned its reputation in the industry. They are top-notch services. If you decide to go with a service other than the ones that we list in this post, make sure you do an extensive research on their reputation, uptime history, and support reviews.
WordPress Web Host Cautions
These are the primary things to be aware of when looking for WordPress blog hosting:
Windows hosting – WordPress will run on Windows servers, but it can be a hassle and some features like the very important search engine friendly links (permalinks) can be almost impossible. Avoid Windows Servers for WordPress hosting (this has nothing to do with the Windows on your own PC.
Poor support – Before I sign up for any WordPress hosting, I always like to contact support with a question. Just ask “what version of WordPress is your Fantastico currently installing?” if you can’t think of anything else to ask.
If it isn’t the latest version, the blog host may not be the most reliable hosting company.
If it takes a long time for them to respond to your question (more than a couple hours), move along and select another.
Uday Vaswani’s Web Host Recommendation
Below is the list of what we consider to be the Best Web Hosts for WordPress. All of these hosts have an unlimited spec for you.
Bigrock – Our platform powers over 100,000 websites worldwide, makes us one of the most reliable hosting providers globally. We offer Affordable Web Hosting for personal websites, Business Hosting for small business websites and Professional Hosting for large enterprises.
Host Gator – Hosts over 2 million domains and is known as one of the well-reputed web host in the industry. They have plans that will suit all your needs.
Site5 – One of the most popular web hosts that have special plans just for the WordPress community.
Super Green Hosting – A very nice service that is not only WordPress friendly, but it is environment friendly. They have quality customer service and have a good reputation in the industry.
Blue Host – Another reliable web hosting company that has been around for a long time. Blue Host has proven its worth to the users, and it is a legit competitor of Host Gator.
Netspaceindia – An Abit India Group. India’s Fastest Growing Web Hosting and Domain Registration Service
Choose from any of the web hosts above, and we guarantee you that you will not be disappointed.
So I suppose you must have now come to know what all are the requirements for setting up a Self Hosted WordPress blog. My next post will be about how to set up Self Hosted blog on wordpress.org platform and on your own servers and with your domain name. By that time you may buy a server space and domain. Hope this post has given you a bit idea about the requirements of Self Hosted WordPress Blog. So happy blogging. Please give your valuable comments so that I come to understand that I was able to convey the information the right way.
This is my around 20th post on this blog of mine. This is a self hosted WordPress blog. I came to know still many aren’t aware of the Blogging concept. So thought of writing a series of post under the Blogging topic. This is my first post in this series. Hope you will be able to understand what I have tried to convey.
Before I tell you about the title. Let’s just discuss what all blog is about? Many of you still might me having a question what is Blog? What is WordPress, blogger all about? Here are your answers to that entire bit geeky but simple question which arises out in every person who thinks about blogging world.
What is a BLOG?
Blogger – A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world.
Wikipedia – A blog (a blend of the term web log)is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time.
WordPress – “Blog” is an abbreviated version of “weblog,” which is a term used to describe web sites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog features diary-type commentary and links to articles on other Web sites, usually presented as a list of entries in reverse chronological order”
I say or define as “Blog is a daily journal/diary of yours views and thoughts over a particular topic or thing”. So simple!!!
Now have look at this image. This will clear all the remaining doubts about blog.
Software that provides a method of managing your website is commonly called a CMS or “Content Management System”. Many blogging software programs are considered a specific type of CMS. They provide the features required to create and maintain a blog, and can make publishing on the internet as simple as writing an article, giving it a title, and organizing it under (one or more) categories.
Features of a Blog
content is published in a chronological fashion
content is updated regularly
readers have the possibility to leave comments
other blog authors can interact via trackbacks and pingbacks
content is syndicated via RSS feeds
Publishing your voice is easy and free
Develop your community
Now you must have come to know about blog. Now a new question I your mind. Where to blog? The answer is
Top 5 Platform for Blogging ( as per my views)
I personally recommend WORDPRESS. See the reason for it in the below image.Which Blogging Platform Is Best? – WORDPRESS
This video may also help you to understand blog a better way.
Also this is other video you would like to see.
Link :- What is blog ?
Now if you have chosen WORDPRESS as your option for blogging then again you have 2 options in it as
As you know wordpress is an open source blogging tool and publishing platform powered by PHP and MySQL. It is often customized into a content management system (CMS).
So with WordPress.com the hosting and managing of the software is taken care of by the team here at Automatic while with WordPress.org you need to install the software on your own server or with a 3rd party provider.
Let’s now list the benefits and cons of both
First let’s go with WordPress.com
· It’s free and much easier to setup
· Everything is taken care of: setup, upgrades, spam, backups, security, etc
· Your blog is on hundreds of servers, so it’s highly unlikely it will go down due to traffic
· Your posts are backed up automatically
We provide 100+ themes (and adding more every day) which you can modify and edit the CSS, but you cannot run a custom theme*
You can’t hack the PHP code behind your blog*
You can’t upload plugins
Also you can’t have your own domain name
Ability to upload themes
Ability to upload plugins
Own domain name
Complete control to change code if you’re technically minded
You need a good web host, which generally costs $7-12 a month, or thousands of dollars per month for a high traffic site
Requires more technical knowledge to set up and run
You’re responsible for stopping spam
You have to handle backups
You must upgrade the software manually when a new version comes out.
So I suppose you must have decided that you will go for self hosted wordpress blog then it’s really amazing. My next post will be about how to set up Self Hosted blog on wordpress.org platform. Hope this post has given you a bit idea about what all blogs are about. Below are some links of blogging platform where you can create an free account and start blogging too. So happy blogging. Please give your valuable comments so that I come to understand that I was able to convey what I had to convey.
click.to transforms everything in your computer into a hyperlink.
What is click.to ?
Once upon a time, you were forced to awkwardly mark and copy text from one location and paste the text to the (hopefully correct) other location. Pictures to be uploaded had to be located and selected with the internet-browser’s file-dialog. An unwieldy, time-consuming and frequently irritating waste of time. And if the text was in another language, it had to be marked up, copied, and passed through translation-software, before being inserted in its final destination. Now, this can all happen much faster and easier. The advantages of click.to are obvious. Text, images, videos, and other documents which are selected can be sent to other applications with a single click. And the programs can even handle the selection automatically. You might say, click.to transforms everything in your computer into a hyperlink.
Click to new horizons
An eBook. An incredibly intriguing business thriller. The author jumps wildly back and forth between different places of action. You’re completely losing track of the story because you fail to remember whether Hesjövallen lies eastward or westward of Närke and Figeholm. Now – at the summit of suspense – you have to minimize the book-reader just to open the browser and look up the places with Google-Maps? Just to find out where the protagonist is? That would take all the drive out of the story. What to do? A click.to Google-Maps is enough! click.to will do all this for you in a single step. Mark and highlight the name in your eBook with the cursor as usual. Then press Control-C just as if you want to copy the name for pasting it to Google-Maps. But now the symbol for click.to appears next to your mouse-cursor. Hover over the name with your cursor and a drop-down menu appears. Select Google-Maps and the browser opens to display the result of your selection in Google-Maps. Now that you know where the protagonist is, you can simply continue reading after mere seconds of distraction. The hyperlink in the form of a place-name.
Upload pictures to Facebook or Flickr with one click – How to?
The party is over. Loads of birthday-pictures were taken which you’re simply burning to upload to Facebook or Flickr. What you get is a browser-menu that is cumbersome and time-consuming. Especially if you haven’t memorized the directory where they are stored, or if you don’t have your credentials available. click.to approaches this from the other side: mark and select the pictures in the Windows-Explorer then click.to Facebook, click.to Flickr or click.to any other image-processing or picture-hosting service of your choice.
Google, Wikipedia and Co. – one click.to all information
Want to know what ‘Lycra’ is because you found the perfect pullover on the internet? Reading an article about theoretical quantum physics and need to know what ‘deference’ is? – Or you simply want to post a quote to Twitter as-is? click.to makes that a snap. Highlight the desired object, the incomprehensible word or the quote, and click.to Google, Wikipedia or other websites.
Email-Attachments click.to Outlook
How often have you re-sent e-mails because you forgot the attachment? How often did the Explorer-Menu waste your time and test your patience while you where digging for the attachment? Start the e-mail with your attachment! Select your attachment on the desktop or wherever it is stored, click.to Outlook and your E-Mail begins with the attachment. In combination with an Outlook-Indexer, such as Lookeen, the turn-around time in your mailbox is significantly reduced.
Instant News to any topic – click.to Twitter, Digg and Co
You’re surfing the Net and read something you want to know more about? Mark a headline and click.to Twitter, Digg, Mixx or any other news-service to get information. Fast. Stick to the discussion and stay up-to-date.
Archive selected text – click.to PDF
Did you open a text document in Microsoft Word, a picture or other content you want to archive? click.to PDF is enough. The PDF-Document is automatically created and opened. All you have to do now is save it. No more hassle with inconvenient or expensive converter-programs.
Spreadsheets made easy – Tables click.to Excel
Found a table on the Internet or somewhere else and want to work with the data? How about a click.to Excel? click.to automatically detects the table-structure and inserts each value into its own cell. Full use and access to the data with just one click.to.
Off The Cuff Translations – click.to Google Translate
Have a scientific text in German and simply need to decide if this has anything to do with your problem? A business letter lands on your desk from a country you didn’t even know existed? Who can tell you if this letter is important or not? Before you translate the item yourself, or have it professionally translated, simply click.to Google Translate for a simple analysis that should be sufficient and done in a few seconds – thanks to click.to. click.to will prove a valuable time-saving tool.
click.to shopping on Ebay or Amazon
click.to also has functions to search for articles, music, washing machines, and any other object for sale. Highlight the product, music, or object click.to Ebay, Amazon, or any other online shop of your choice, and welcome to the paradise of shopping.
With click.to, it’s back where you came from
Copying between different documents back and forth is sometimes annoying. People who like to work with ALT + TAB and then experience click.to get the shock of their lives – it copies and sends selected texts to exactly where it’s needed. Namely, in the document where you working, Or in the editor, Or in the search box, Or in the e-mail. Clever …
click.to as a precipitating factor
click.to moves all the programs on your computer closer together. The trail, if you will, for the data is shorter because the user is taken through some of the more complicated work. Dealing with text, pictures, single words, films and documents easier, faster and more effectively.
clicks.to create your own links
Separate applications are easy to implement yourself. You don’t even need any programming skills. Searches on particular web sites can be easily supplemented by, “add a new action”. Just try it.
click.to link your own websites
Searches, as well as, the initial opening of Web pages goes twice as fast with click.to. An open Web page that you call-up often, can be added in seconds to your click.to plug-ins by, “Add Own Action”
Crazy ideas? – clicks to your own custom programs
click.to can be combined with every possible program. You want to call in your favorite text editor or paste it into your self-programmed database – you can with click.to. On the Developer Page, there is a lot of information about working with our API and adding your own plug-ins.
Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch gives you a simpler and faster way to create high-quality business applications for the desktop and the cloud. LightSwitch is a new addition to the Visual Studio family.
QUICKLY CREATE HIGH-QUALITY BUSINESS APPLICATIONS
With LightSwitch, you can build custom applications that rival off-the-shelf solutions. Get a head start by using pre-configured screen templates that give your application a familiar look and feel. LightSwitch also provides prewritten code and other reusable components to handle routine application tasks, along with helpful step-by-step guidance. However, if you need to write custom code, you can use Visual Basic .NET or C#. You can deploy to the desktop, browser, or cloud to share your application with others more easily without the cumbersome installation processes.
EASILY ACCESS EXISTING SYSTEMS AND DATA
Applications created with LightSwitch support exporting data to Microsoft Office Excel for fast and easy sharing and reporting. You can also attach your application to existing data sources, which makes it easy to collect, analyze, and reuse information from a variety of data sources including Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SQL Azure, SharePoint, Microsoft Office Access (post-Beta), and other third-party data sources.
BUILD FOR TODAY, PREPARE FOR TOMORROW
With LightSwitch you can create custom applications for the way you do business. Keep your technology and business options open, while building a practical yet scalable application that matches your current needs now and in the future. The pre-built templates and components in LightSwitch are fully extensible, so you can get the specific functionality your application demands. In addition, your application can grow to meet the increasing demands of popular applications using the Microsoft Windows Azure Cloud Hosting option.
EXTEND YOUR APPLICATION WITHOUT HAVING TO REDESIGN IT
With LightSwitch you can create custom applications for the way you do business. Keep your technology and business options open. Visual Studio LightSwitch includes a lot of pre-built components for the most common business application tasks; however, there will be times when you will want more custom functionality. LightSwitch applications are flexible enough to support extensions for templates, data sources, shells, themes, business data types and custom controls. Get extensions from component vendors or develop them yourself using Visual Studio Professional, Premium or Ultimate.
A SIMPLER WAY TO CREATE HIGH-QUALITY BUSINESS APPLICATIONS FOR THE DESKTOP AND THE CLOUD IS COMING ON JULY 26
Domain is prime necessity for starting a self hosted wordpress blog. So, you have to buy a brand new domain for your blog is an obvious thing. But, if you have operated for some time in blogging industry then you will note some wonderful facts and things about choosing right domain for your blog. Here, in this post I am figuring out some topic of which, you should take care if you are planning to start professional blogging for long-term purpose.
So, Here are point wise topic which you should consider while purchasing new domain for your self hosted wordpress blog with long-term professional blogging perspective.
Read the rest here
Things should be taken care of buying a new domain for blog
Azure is a blue-cyan color which resembles the color of the sky and this product is basically used for cloud computing.That’s why, Microsoft named this product as Azure.
Today we are in Web 2.0 Era. Applications today are different from the kind of application we used to create earlier. For example, we have Yahoo, MSN as a company which creates application and also provide the content. But now we have other applications also, where content is driven from the contributor like Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. At the same time, we also wants to create an application which includes lots of unique features, created using different technologies.
So, the idea behind this is that we want to be more connected.Have you ever thought of creating a website and hosting it on the web server so that it will be globally accessible by anyone in the world?
If yes? Then what are the options available for hosting a website???
1) Hosted Server
Hosted Server is a server which you buy on rent basis to deploy your application in hosted server. In the case of hosted server, you don’t have complete control on the server .If you want any service to be used by application, and then you need to inform the hosting service company to provide the same to you
2) On-Premises server
In the case of On-Premises Server, you have the complete control on the server. You are responsible for doing everything even system upgrade. You can use any service you want but at the same time it will be very costly for you to buy the complete server.
Now what if you get all these things under control where somebody else maintains your application and you get time to think about new features for your application. That is where the third and best option comes i.e. using new Microsoft Windows Azure.
Azure Services Platform is an application platform in the cloud that allows applications to be hosted and run at Microsoft datacenters. It provides a cloud operating systemcalled Windows Azure that serves as a runtime for the applications and provides a set of services that allows development, management and hosting of applications off-premises. In the Microsoft datacenters, we have set of virtualized servers available, in which we can host our applications.
Windows Azure SDK is also available using which you can use to create and test applications on your local system and then host the application on the cloud. The Azure Services Platform can currently run .NET Framework applications compiled for the CLR while supporting the ASP.NET application framework and associated deployment methods to deploy the applications onto the cloud platform. Azure also supports third-party tools and languages, including Eclipse, Ruby, PHP and Python. Recently, two new SDK were also introduced to provide support for third-party software’s like Windows Azure SDK for PHP, Java, Ruby etc.
The platform also includes five services — Live Services, SQL Azure (formerly SQL Services), AppFabric (formerly .NET Services), SharePoint Services and Dynamics CRM Services — which the developers can use to build the applications that will run in the cloud. SQL Azure is a Relational Database for the Cloud.
Customers and partners who adopt the Windows Azure platform derive the following benefits:
? Efficiency: The Windows Azure platform improves productivity and increases operational efficiency by lowering upfront capital costs. Customers and partners can realize a reduction in Total Cost of Operations of some workloads by up to 30 – 40% over a 3 year period. The consumption based pricing(Pay as you go model-amount will be charged based on the services used), packages and discounts for partners lower the barrier to entry for cloud services adoption and ensure predictable IT spend.
? Scalability: As Windows Azure follows the Pay as you go model, amount will be charged based on the services used. Besides, during the peak seasons, you can simply increase the no. of instances of servers on which your application is running so that performance does not goes down. Besides, whenever you host your application in the Microsoft Data Centres using Windows Azure, it maintains minimum three copies of your application/data in different servers so that if one server goes down, another server gets activated to process the request of the client. Azure provides built-in hardware load balancing to spread requests across multiple server instances that are part of the same application.
? Agility: Partners and customers can take advantage of development tools, automated service management and global datacenter presence to respond faster to customer needs, focus on their competitive differentiators, and reach new markets.
? Focus: Partners and customers can focus on delivering services and value to their customers – and not on managing technology infrastructure. The Windows Azure platform enables partners and customers to spend less time on operational hurdles and more time focusing on their competitive differentiators.
? Simplicity: Partners and customers can utilize their existing skills in familiar languages such as .NET, Java, PHP to create and manage web applications and services, whether in the cloud or on premises.
? Trustworthy: Partners and customers will receive enterprise class service backed by reliable service level agreements and deep online services experience
For using Windows Azure Services, you need to create a Windows Azure account at http://windows.azure.com
Yes and no. While Azure includes elements of Windows Server 2008 and its sub-systems. Azure OS is a part of a separation of the operating system, infrastructure services and applications so each can be managed separately. That lets users upgrade applications or boost computing resources on the fly. Azure combines with layers of services that live on top of it — infrastructure services such as security and application services — to provide the complete cloud platform.
2) What’s with the name?
Azure is a blue-cyan color which resembles the color of the sky and this product is basically used for cloud computing. That’s why, Microsoft named this product as Azure.
3) What is the difference between Azure and the Azure Services Platform?
Azure is the operating system. The platform is a combination of Azure, the infrastructure services layer and the online applications layer.
4) Do I need to learn how to use new tools in order to develop on Azure?
Microsoft is creating alignment between Azure and its current development tools, Visual Studio, ASP.Net and the .Net Framework. What that means is that developers can use the tools they know in order to build cloud applications. Azure also supports third-party tools and languages, including Eclipse, Ruby, PHP and Python. Microsoft is making Azure SDKs, a set of templates for Visual Studio, available to a select group and later to a wider audience.
5) In which countries is the Windows Azure platform commercially available?
As of April 2010, Windows Azure is available in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, United States, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Please note that the GITCA “24 Hours in the Cloud” round-the-world virtual event focusing on Cloud Computing is scheduled for June 1st. The speakers will be available via twitter to answer your questions [tweet using #24hitC to submit a question]. Please visit http://sp.GITCA.org/sites/24Hours to find out more.
This is a very important community project and GITCA, supported by Microsoft, is acting as the enabler. So this is the community helping the community. As June 1st draws near, GITCA is putting the final touches to the event. GITCA has a great selection of presentations from experienced speakers from around the world. Please go to http://sp.gitca.org/sites/24hours/ugpages/FinalSpeakers.aspx to view the list of speakers and http://sp.gitca.org/sites/24hours/ugpages/FinalSessions.aspx to view the list of sessions.
The first session, keynote by Doug Terry of Microsoft Research (interviewed for IT Manager Connection) and Chairman of the ACM TechPack on Cloud Computing, will start at 9am Pacific Daylight Time [UTC -7]. The event can be accessed via which will go fully live on June 1st.