Microsoft announced a number of new capabilities and services for Windows Azure at its PDC10 conference.
New capabilities and services include:
- Support for Virtual Machine (VM) roles. VM roles will allow users to move their legacy applications to Windows Azure eliminating the need to change code to work within Windows Azure
- Remote Desktop Functionality will finally be offered on Windows Azure. The capability to log into a running Cloud Instance has been standard on most competing PAAS offerings for some time.
- Windows Azure Connect allows users to configure IP based virtual networks between Windows Azure and on premise systems.
- “Extra Small” and “Small” Windows Azure Instances priced from .05 cents per hour per server. With the recent roll-out of competing free usage tiers from Amazon and free ITiS solutions from start-ups like Cloud Share, Microsoft might want to think about offering free usage tiers as well for this market segment.
- Windows Azure Marketplace is billed as an online market for developers and partners to buy and sell, services, training, applications and code components.
Amazon rolls out new functionality for it various Cloud services at a fever pace and the slew of new features for Windows Azure should help Microsoft keep pace in the PAAS space; especially amongst its core Enterprise and Developer users.