Windows Azure: Microsoft’s New Free Windows OS?

Is Microsoft going nuts by releasing a free Windows OS called Windows Azure? I was talking to some computer guys like myself last night and we were amazed with this news. MICROSOFT GIVING AWAY AN OS FOR FREE? Are they kidding? A free Windows OS from one of the world’s most controversial companies? We first thought this was a joke but it’s true. Windows Azure is Microsoft’s new free Windows OS but… for a limited time only. It will only be made available to developers for now so that the Microsoft team can still improve the Windows Azure before its release to the market/public in 2009 (hopefully). It could be released to the public before Windows 7.

According to Microsoft, Windows Azure “is a cloud services operating system that serves as the development, service hosting and service management environment for the Azure Services Platform. Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage Web applications on the Internet through Microsoft data centers.”

To build these applications and services, developers can use their existing Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 expertise. In addition, Windows Azure supports popular standards and protocols including SOAP, REST, and XML. Windows Azure is an open platform that will support both Microsoft and non-Microsoft languages and environments.

Use Windows Azure to:

  • Add Web service capabilities to existing packaged applications.
  • Build, modify, and distribute applications to the Web with minimal on-premises resources.
  • Perform services (large-volume storage, batch processing, intense or large-volume computations, etc.) off premises.
  • Create, test, debug, and distribute Web services quickly and inexpensively.
  • Reduce costs of building and extending on-premises resources.
  • Reduce the effort and costs of IT management.

The Windows Azure SDK can be downloaded at this address:, just copy it and paste it on your browser. If you’re a developer you might want to download the Windows Azure SDK to give it a test run.

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  1. […] when they want their products tested by the public like Beta releases of their new softwares. Windows Azure, a cloud computing operating system (or platform, as others prefer to call it) is one example of a […]

  2. Justin Gill says:

    Hey. Interesting article. However, I wouldn’t call Azure an OS. I think a “platform” might be more appropriate. Calling Azure an OS would be the same as calling Apple’s MobileMe an OS or the Google suite (gmail/google calendar/docs) an OS.

    If you put a nice UI around these online platforms you may get an experience similar to that of Citrix, but I think calling it a full blown OS with the exact same features of Windows is a bit of a stretch.