Microsoft reinforced its commitment to cloud computing as it recently announced the availability of the Windows Azure Platform in the Philippines. The platform includes a cloud-services operating system, a Web-based relational database in Microsoft SQL Azure, and connectivity and interoperability with .NET services.

"For the past 15 years, we've been providing enterprise-class cloud computing services to businesses, governments, and consumers, and we've continued to build the infrastructure to support these services," said John Bessey, managing director, Microsoft Philippines. "Windows Azure creates new opportunities not just for the Microsoft partner ecosystem in the country, but for businesses and developers to drive new revenue through the development of innovative cloud services too."

According to Bessey, the Windows Azure platform delivers a rich development experience, automated service management, and pay-as-you-go pricing backed by service-level agreements and support. Microsoft partners will also benefit from special promotional offers and discounts that will help enable partners to bring solutions to market faster, reduce IT complexity, and increase revenue opportunities.

"In this computing era, solutions are experienced across a variety of platforms, including PCs, phones, and the Web. Windows Azure gives customers choice and flexibility in developing and deploying applications," Bessey said.

Longscale, one of the pioneers in enterprise cloud computing on the Windows Azure platform, revealed how companies today can best maximize the potential of cloud computing.

"We have been working with the Windows Azure team and early-adopter customers across the Asia Pacific since April 2009," said Milinda Kotelawele, CEO, Longscale.

"Over the last year, we have seen our customers' business cases for cloud adoption shift beyond a simple cost justification to one where cloud platforms are used to trial, experiment, and grow new business services. The results have been profound in the way in which companies can now innovate in noncost prohibitive ways. Now, with the official launch of the Azure platform in the Philippines, we look forward to bringing these learnings to our work with innovative Filipino companies," he said.

The European Environment Agency (EEA), one of the global users of Windows Azure, utilizes technology to deliver easy-to-understand information about water and air quality in the region and broaden awareness on the effect of environmental change.

Stefan Jansen, Information Services Head, EEA, said, "This technology gives people the power to understand their environment. They can look at the air quality in their gardens or the water quality at the beach where they want to swim."

Windows Azure gives the EEA developers and service managers the ability to scale up and down seamlessly without complex operational procedures. The pay-as-you-go model also helps EEA save money by paying only for used capacity. Moreover, Windows Azure reduces the need for investment and hardware computers.

"Microsoft has pushed us to the cutting edge of technology. It has given us the courage to position ourselves as a more innovative public service, making a difference at a time of climate change," said Jacqueline McGlade, executive director, EEA.

Microsoft unveils next version of Visual Studio

During the launch, Microsoft also announced the availability of Visual Studio 2010, the latest version of its developer tools and platform that simplify the development process and enable Filipino developers to target new platforms and build high-quality applications.

"With Visual Studio 2010, we are creating opportunities for local developers to create applications for new and existing devices, as well as cloud services," said Dale Jose, developer and platform evangelism director, Microsoft Philippines.

Among the enhancements in Visual Studio 2010 are Windows Presentation Foundation, which supports the use of multiple monitors so that developers can work in a flexible environment. Developers can also use their existing skills to create more types of applications than ever with the built-in support for Windows 7 multitouch and "ribbon" interfaces which deliver stunning applications to end users.

For the first time, developers have integrated access to SharePoint functionality into the Visual Studio integrated development environment. Windows Azure tools make it easy to quickly develop, debug, test, and deploy cloud applications from within the familiar Visual Studio environment. Built-in support for ASP.NET Model-View-Controller gives developers the flexibility to separately update the appearance and core business logic of Web applications.

Moreover, Windows Phone 7 developers will be able to build amazing mobile applications using Visual Studio with integrated phone design surfaces.

To address the growing complexity of software development, Visual Studio 2010 provides powerful tools for the entire team. IntelliTrace, a "time machine" for developers and testers, makes nonreproducible bugs virtually a thing of the past by recording the application's execution history and providing reproduction of the reported bug, enabling the tester to help squash the bug once and for all. This is just one of the many new features that have been added to help with Application Lifecycle Management, representing a quantum leap for anyone using the Visual Studio Team System products from 2005 or 2008.

"Our focus is on delivering innovative tools that make developers more competitive," said Jose. "The new features of Visual Studio 2010 increase productivity and efficiency, and inspire Filipino developers to be more imaginative," he said.

More information about the Windows Azure platform and Microsoft's software-plus-services offering can be found at To download, purchase, or get more information on Visual Studio 2010:

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.


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