Almost a year ago, when –among others– the Windows Azure Mobile Services Preview came out, it became evident that Microsoft has a quite old heritage in cloud computing as it is the case that The cloud experience vision of .NET by Microsoft 12 years ago and its delivery now with Windows Azure, Windows 8/RT, Windows Phone, iOS and Android among others [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 16-20, 2012]. Next, with Windows Azure Media Services, an interesting question came up: Windows Azure Media Services OR Intel & Microsoft going together in the consumer space (again)? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 13, 2013]. Then  just in the beginning of this month it was possible to conclude that “Cloud first” from Microsoft is ready to change enterprise computing in all of its facets [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 4, 2013]. The understanding of importance of the cloud for the company was further enhanced by finding a few days later that Windows Embedded is an enterprise business now, like the whole Windows business, with Handheld and Compact versions to lead in the overall Internet of Things market as well [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 8, 2013]. Finally we had a quite vivid example of the fact that Windows Azure is a huge ecosystem effort as well with: Proper Oracle Java, Database and WebLogic support in Windows Azure including pay-per-use licensing via Microsoft + the same Oracle software supported on Microsoft Hyper-V as well [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 20, 2013].

Now we have general availability of Windows Azure Mobile Services, Windows Azure Web Sites, as well as previews of improved auto-scaling, alerting and notifications, and tooling support for Windows Azure through Visual Studio. This made me conclude that Windows Azure is becoming an unbeatable offering on the cloud computing market.

Let’s see now the details which I will base not only on the Microsoft materials but on the first media reactions (also in order to have consistency with my post of yesterday on Windows 8.1: Mind boggling opportunities, finally some appreciation by the media [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 27, 2013]) as well:

Media reactions in the first 15 hours:

Specific reactions:

Windows Azure Mobile Services, Windows Azure Web Sites – general availability:

Microsoft makes Windows Azure services generally available [by Mary Jo Foley on CNET, June 27, 2013 at 1:13 PM PDT, also on the ZDNET] “Microsoft is moving more of its Windows Azure products from preview to general availability. The latest: Azure Mobile Services and Azure Web Sites.”

Windows Azure Web Sites, Mobile Services Now Generally Available [TechCrunch, June 27, 2013]

Windows Azure Mobile Services and Web Sites now generally available [Neowin.net, June 27, 2013]

Microsoft’s Azure Mobile Services & Azure Web Sites hit general availability [VentureBeat, June 27, 2013 9:45 AM]

Microsoft Build 2013: Azure Mobile Services and Azure Web Sites become generally available [Computing News, June 27, 2013]

Microsoft Launches Azure Mobile Services and Azure Web Sites [Virtualization Review, June 27, 2013]

Using Azure Mobile Services and Web Sites for a Mobile Contest pt. 1 [windowsazure YouTube channel, June 27, 2013]

This 2-part video is a walk-through of a Mobile Contest project. It demonstrates how to Azure Mobile Services and Web Sites can be used to create a consistent set of services used as a back-end for an iOS mobile app and a .NET web admin portal. Part 1 covers: Using multiple authentication providers, Reading/Writing data with tables and Interacting with Azure storage for BLOBs

Using Azure Mobile Services and Web Sites for a Mobile Contest pt. 2 [windowsazure YouTube channel, June 27, 2013]

Part 2 covers: Using Azure Web Sites for the admin portal, Integrating with Custom API with cross-platform Push notifications and using Scheduler with 3rd Party add-ons for scripting admin tasks.

Partner support:

Microsoft Adds Engine Yard to its Azure Cloud [SiliconANGLE, June 27, 2013]

Windows Azure: Microsoft Receives Support From RightScale, EngineYard [Talkin’ Cloud, June 27, 2013]

Box releasing new SDK that enable developers to integrate Box into their Windows Phone apps with ease [WPSuperfanboy, June 27, 2013 at 20:56]

Xamarin with Craig Dunn [windowsazure YouTube channel, June 27, 2013]

Xamarin provides a frameword that lets developers buildiOS and Android applicatinos in C#. With Windows Azure Mobile Services, developers can connect those mobile apps by hosting the backend in Window Azure. Mobile Services provides a turnkey way to store data in the cloud, authenticate users and send push notifications. Get started at http://www.windowsazure.com/mobile

Building a Comprehensive Enterprise Cloud Ecosystem [Windows Azure blog, June 20, 2013]

Over the past two decades, Microsoft has worked with OEMs, Systems Integrators, ISVs, CSVs, Distributors and VARs to build one of the largest enterprise partner ecosystems in the world.  We’ve done this because customers – and the industry – need solutions that just work together.  With our partners we built the most comprehensive enterprise technology ecosystem – and, now, we’re focused on the enterprise cloud.

That’s why you’ve seen us work with Amazon, to bring Windows Server, SQL Server and the entire Microsoft stack to Amazon Web Services, and with EMC who owns VMware and Pivotal – key competitors in their respective areas.  We also work with innovative companies like Emotive, with Systems Integrators like Accenture and Capgemini and a host of other partners – large, small and non-commercial – around the world and across the industry.

The need for diverse technologies and companies to work together is clear – and that means competitors are often partners.  To many in the industry that is a given – and it really should be.  The need for technologies to work together is particularly clear in cloud computing – where platforms and services are so incredibly connected they must work together to deliver cloud computing benefits when and how customers want it.

So, it should not be a surprise when we partner with technology leaders who are also competitors.  We partner with these companies (and plan to partner with more) to bring our products & services to as many customers as possible.  We will continue to work across the industry to ensure our products & services work with the many platforms, business apps, services and clouds our customers use.

As you may have heard me say, it’s been an exciting year for Windows Azure – and we are just 6 months in.  Stay tuned – there’s more to come!

Steven Martin
General Manager
Windows Azure

All other:

Microsoft Adds Auto Scaling To Windows Azure [TechCrunch, June 27, 2013]

Microsoft Tweaks Windows Azure With Autoscaling, More [eWeek, June 27, 2013]

Microsoft adds mobile services, auto-scaling to Azure [iTnews.com.au, June 28, 2013 at 6:31 AM]

Microsoft Gives Virtual Machines in Windows Azure a Security Boost [Virtualization Review, June 27, 2013]

Windows Azure To Gain Auto-Scaling, Single Sign-On Improvements [Virtualization Review, June 27, 2013]

Overall reactions:

Windows Azure Now Stores 8.5 Trillion Data Objects, Manages 900K Transactions Per Second [TechCrunch, June 27, 2013]

Microsoft announced at the Build conference today that Windows Azure now has 8.5 trillion objects stored on its infrastructure.

The company also announced the following:

Customers do 900,000 storage transactions per second.

The service is doubling its compute and storage every six months.

3.2 million organizations have Active Directory accounts with 68 million users.

More than 50 percent of the world’s Fortune 500 companies are using Windows Azure.

In comparison, Amazon Web Services said at its AWS Summit in New York earlier this year that its S3 storage service now holds more than 2 trillion objects. According to a post by Frederic Lardinois, that’s up from 1 trillion last June and 1.3 trillion in November, when the company last updated these numbers at its re:Invent conference.

So what accounts for the differene between Azure and AWS? It all has to do with how each company counts the objects it stores. With that in consideration, it’s likely Azure’s numbers are far different if the same metrics were used as AWS.

Nevertheless, the news highlights the importance of Windows Azure for Microsoft, especially as the enterprise moves its infrastructure, shedding data centers to consolidate and reduce their costs.

Microsoft Beefs Up Azure Cloud Platform at Build [PCMag.com, June 27, 2013 02:09pm EST]

Microsoft exec on the Valley’s bias against Azure: It’s ‘running out of excuses’ [VentureBeat, June 27, 2013 6:13 PM]

Microsoft boosts mobile app development and brings Unity3D to Xbox One [Ars Technica, June 27 2013, 11:41pm CEDT] “Build iOS, Android, and Windows Phone apps (and websites) on Windows Azure.”

Microsoft tunes Windows Azure cloud for developers [InfoWorld, June 28, 2013] “At Build conference, company debuts Azure Mobile Services for mobile back-end app capabilities, Azure Web Sites for ‘business-grade’ Web apps”

Microsoft server unit shows off full plate of results [The Seattle Times, June 28, 2013 at 03:30 a.m.]

Microsoft adds 1,000 businesses to its Azure cloud daily – expands focus on mobile apps [Siliconrepublic.com]

Build 2013 Keynote Day 2 Highlights [InfoQ, June 27, 2013]

Server & Tools Business President Satya Nadella opened the keynote this morning with some statistics about Windows Azure and the major Microsoft cloud services.

Windows Azure

- 50% of Fortune 500 companies are using Windows Azure
- 3.2 Million organizations with active directory accounts
- 2 X compute + storage every 6 months
- 100+ major service releases since Build 2012 to Windows Azure

Major Microsoft Cloud Services

- XBox Live 48 million subscribers
- Skype 299 Million connected users
- Outlook.com 1 million users gained in 24 hours
- Office 365 Nearly 50 million Office web apps users
- SkyDriver 250 million accounts
- Bing 1 billion mobile notifications a month
- XBox Live 1.5 Billion games of Halo

Nadella noted the wide variety of first party cloud services that Microsoft supports, and says it is important that they support them as well as provides good learning experience.  In his words, “We build for the first party and make available for the third party.”

Scott Hanselman arrived on stage to discuss the latest for ASP.NET on VS2013.  A big change is the simplification of starting an ASP.NET application in VS2013.  The project types have been reduced to one, “ASP.NET”, and from there the new project wizard lets developers customize their project based on what they would like to create: web forms, MVC, etc.

VS2013 will ship with Twitter’s open source project Bootstrap, and it will be Microsoft supported just like jQuery is now.

An important debugging achievement was demonstrated where browsers can be associated with Visual Studio, allowing for real-time debugging and developing.  Edit code in VS2013, and the browser(s) will reflect the updates.  In this case the demo showed Hanselman editing cshtml, and via SignalR the updates were shown on the his selected web browsers of IE and Chorme.

In another example, Hanselman went to www.bootswatch.com to obtain a new CSS template which he used to overwrite his current file.  Pressing CTRL-ENTER, the browsers reflected this update.

Then Hansleman opened a CSS file to show some new editor tricks.  Hovering over CSS statements, VS has a hover window appear that indicates which browser a particular statement applies to.  Another ability allows VS to trace and view live streaming trace logs from Azure.

Then Hanselman demonstrated his sample website producing a QR Code of a deep link.  He then scanned this on his phone which allowed him to jump into his existing authenticated session, moving from his desktop session to the same screen on his phone.

Satya returned to the stage to announce the general availability of Windows Azure Web Sites, which habe been in preview since Build 2012.  Now it is available with full SLA and enterprise support.

Josh Twist from Microsoft’s Mobile Services came on stage to demonstrate using a Mac to add Azure support to an iOS app.  Twist noted that developers looking to explore Azure can now create a free 20 meg SQL database which in addition to the 10 free web services allowed.

In Twist’s demo, Azure was used to create a custom XCode project that was preloaded with the appropriate Azure URLs for the project being worked on.  This simplifies getting up to speed with Azure development on Mac.  Related to this convenience, Windows Azure Mobile Services now enables git source control so that you do not need to edit code on the web portal.  So if you would rather develop with a locally (VS, Sublime, etc) you can do by pulling the files down from Azure and the push them back when edits are complete.  Twist demonstrated this functionality using Sublime to edit a JavaScript file, and then using a Git push back into Azure.

VS2013 has a new Server Explorer, which is used to browse all of the Mobile Services on Windows Azure for your site/installation.  A new wizard has been added which simplifies adding Push Notification for Windows Store based applications.

Satya Returns to Introduce Scott Guthrie.

The big news is the new auto-scaling on Windows Azure for billing.  Developers can manage the instance count, target CPU, VMs, No billing when a machine is stopped (only pay when the machine is working.)

Per minute billing has been added, for greater granularity.  Preview of Windows Azure AutoScale is now live

Windows Azure

- Active Directory for the Cloud
- Integrate with on-premises Active Directory
- Enable single sign-on within your cloud Apps
- Supports SAML, WS-Fed, and OAuth 2.0

Applications tab shows all apps registered with the current Active directory.  Manage Application to integrate (external) app with Active Directory.  For example, developers can Use Windows Azure AD to enable user access to Amazon Web Services.

Satya describes Office 365 as “…a programmable surface area”

Jay Schmelzer to demonstrated the changes being made to allow/promote Office 365 as a platform.

- Rich Office Model
- Use Web APIs to access
- Extend with Azure
- First class tools support in VS2013
- Office 365 Apps + Windows Azure

Increasing promotion of Windows Azure, MSDN subscribers receive greater discounts and incentives to use the Azure platform.

1. Use your MSDN Dev/Test licenses on Windows Azure
2. Reduced rates for Dev/test licenses up to 97% discounts
3. No Credit card required for MSDN members

Microsoft showcases developer opportunity on Windows Azure, Windows devices [press release, June 27, 2013]

Increasing importance of cloud services

Developers today are building multidevice, multiscreen, cloud-connected experiences. Windows Azure spans infrastructure and platform capabilities to provide them with a comprehensive set of services to easily and quickly build modern applications, using the tools and languages familiar to them.

“Developers are increasingly demanding a flexible, comprehensive platform that helps them build and manage apps in a cloud- and mobile-driven world,” [Satya] Nadella [, president, Server and Tools Business] said. “To meet these demands, Microsoft has been doubling down on Windows Azure. Nearly 1,000 new businesses are betting on Windows Azure daily, and as momentum for Azure grows, so too does the developer opportunity to build applications that power modern businesses.”

Delivering on its commitment to provide developers with the most comprehensive cloud platform, Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Azure Mobile Services. Mobile Services enables developers building Windows, Windows Phone, iOS and Android apps to store data in the cloud, authenticate users and send push notifications. TalkTalk Business, a leading business telecommunications provider in the United Kingdom, chose Windows Azure Mobile Services to create new ways to engage with its customers and serve demand for mobile access.

Microsoft also announced the general availability of Windows Azure Web Sites, which allows developers to create websites on a flexible, secure and scalable platform to reach new customers. With the investments Microsoft has made in ASP.NET and Web tools, Web developers can now create scalable experiences easier than ever. Dutch brewer Heineken is using Windows Azure to power a social pinball game for the UEFA Champions League Road to the Final campaign, with the expectations of millions of interactions scaled on Windows Azure. Heineken exceeded its usage metrics by a wide margin yet experienced no scalability issues with Windows Azure.

[Scott] Guthrie[, Corporate Vice President, Windows Azure] also highlighted Microsoft’s continued enterprise cloud momentum by demonstrating several platform advancements, including previews of improved auto-scaling, alerting and notifications, and tooling support for Windows Azure through Visual Studio. In addition, he previewed how Windows Azure Active Directory provides organizations and ISVs, such as Box, with a single sign-on experience to access cloud-based applications.

Developers can go to the Windows Azure site today for a free trial:http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial/?WT.mc_id=AE37323DE.

Windows Azure: General Availability of Web Sites + Mobile Services, New AutoScale + Alerts Support, No Credit Card Needed for MSDN [ScottGu’s Blog, June 27, 2013 at 10:41 AM]

This morning we released a major set of updates to Windows Azure.  These updates included:

Web Sites: General Availability Release of Windows Azure Web Sites with SLA

Mobile Services: General Availability Release of Windows Azure Mobile Services with SLA

Auto-Scale: New automatic scaling support for Web Sites, Cloud Services and Virtual Machines

Alerts/Notifications: New email alerting support for all Compute Services (Web Sites, Mobile Services, Cloud Services, and Virtual Machines)

MSDN: No more credit card requirement for sign-up

All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note: some are still in preview).  Below are more details about them.

Windows Azure: Major Updates for Mobile Backend Development [ScottGu’s Blog, June 14, 2013]

This week we released some great updates to Windows Azure that make it significantly easier to develop mobile applications that use the cloud. These new capabilities include:

- Mobile Services: Custom API support
- Mobile Services: Git Source Control support
- Mobile Services: Node.js NPM Module support
- Mobile Services: A .NET API via NuGet
- Mobile Services and Web Sites: Free 20MB SQL Database Option for Mobile Services and Web Sites
- Mobile Notification Hubs: Android Broadcast Push Notification Support

All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note: some are still in preview).  Below are more details about them.

Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing [ScottGu’s Blog, June 3, 2013]

This morning we released some fantastic enhancements to Windows Azure:

Dev/Test in the Cloud: MSDN Use Rights, Unbeatable MSDN Discount Rates, MSDN Monetary Credits

BizTalk Services: Great new service for Windows Azure that enables EDI and EAI integration in the cloud

Per-Minute Billing and No Charge for Stopped VMs: Now only get charged for the exact minutes of compute you use, no compute charges for stopped VMs

SSL Support with Web Sites: Support for both IP Address and SNI based SSL bindings on custom web-site domains

Active Directory: Updated directory sync utility, ability to manage Office 365 directory tenants from Windows Azure Management Portal

Free Trial: More flexible Free Trial offer

There are so many improvements that I’m going to have to write multiple blog posts to cover all of them!  Below is a quick summary of today’s updates at a high-level:

From Announcing LightSwitch in Visual Studio 2013 Preview [Visual Studio LightSwitch Team Blog, June 27, 2013]

Sneak Peek into the Future

At this point, I’d like to shift focus and provide a glimpse of a key part of our future roadmap. During this morning’s Build 2013 Day 2 keynote in San Francisco, an early preview was provided into how Visual Studio will enable the next generation of line-of-business applications in the cloud (you can check out the recording via Channel 9). A sample app was built during the keynote that highlighted some of the capabilities of what it means to be a modern business application; applications that run in the cloud, that are available to a myriad of devices, that aggregate data and services from in and out of an enterprise, that integrate user identities and social graphs, that are powered by a breadth of collaboration capabilities, and that continuously integrate with operations.

Folks familiar with LightSwitch will quickly notice that the demo was deeply anchored in LightSwitch’s unique RAD experience and took advantage of the rich platform capabilities exposed by Windows Azure and Office 365. We believe this platform+tools combination will take productivity to a whole new level and will best help developers meet the rising challenges and expectations for building and managing modern business applications. If you’re using LightSwitch today, you will be well positioned to take advantage of these future enhancements and leverage your existing skills to quickly create the next generation of business applications across Office 365 and Windows Azure. You can read more about this on Soma’s blog.

Additional information:
- Announcing the General Availability of Windows Azure Mobile Services, Web Sites and continued Service innovation [Windows Azure blog, June 27, 2013]
- 50 Percent of Fortune 500 Using Windows Azure [Windows Azure blog, June 14, 2013]
- Azure WebSites is now Generally Available [Enabling Digital Society blog of Microsoft, June 27, 2013]
- New features for Windows Azure Mobile Services [Enabling Digital Society blog of Microsoft, June 14, 2013]
- Lots of Azure Goodness Revealed [Enabling Digital Society blog of Microsoft, June 3, 2013]
- BizTalk Services is LIVE! [To BizTalk and Beyond! blog of Microsoft, June 3, 2013]
- Hello Windows Azure BizTalk Services! [BizTalk Server Team Blog, June 4, 2013]
- Windows Azure BizTalk Services – Preview [The Enterprise Integration Space blog of Microsoft, June 4, 2013]
- Business Apps, Cloud Apps, and More at Build 2013 [Somasegar's blog, June 27, 2013]

Day 2 Keynote [Channel 9 video, June 27, 2013] Windows Azure related part up to [01:31:12], click on the link or the image to watch the video

Speech transcript: Satya Nadella and Scott Guthrie: Build 2013 Keynote

Remarks by Satya Nadella, President, Server & Tools Business; and Scott Guthrie, Corporate Vice President, Windows Azure; San Francisco, Calif., June 27, 2013

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome President, Server and Tools Business, Satya Nadella. (Applause.)

SATYA NADELLA: Good morning. Good morning, and welcome back to day two of Build. Hope all of you had a fantastic time yesterday. From what I gather, there were half a trillion megabytes of downloads as far as the show goes in terms of show net, so we really saturated the show net with all the downloads of Windows 8.1. So that’s just tremendous to see that all of you took Steve’s guidance and said, “Let’s just download it now and play with it.” Hopefully you had fun with it, also had a chance to get Visual Studio and maybe hack some of those Bing controls last night after the party.

But welcome back today, and we have some fantastic stuff to show. There’s going to be a lot more code onscreen as part of this keynote.

Yesterday, we talked about our devices, and we’re going to switch gears this morning to talk about the backend.

The context for the backend is the apps, the technology, as well as the devices, experiences that all of us collectively are building. We’re for sure well and truly into the world of devices and services. There is not an embedded system, not a sensor, not a device experience that’s not connected back to our cloud service. And that’s what we’re going to talk about.

And we see this momentum today in how we are seeing the backend evolve. If you look at Windows Azure, we have over 50 percent of the Fortune 500 companies already using Windows Azure. We have over 250,000 customers. We’re adding 1,000 customers a day.

We have 3.2 million distinct organizations inside of Azure AD representing something like 65 million users active. That’s a fantastic opportunity, and we’ll come back to that a couple of different times during this keynote.

Our storage and compute resources are doubling every six months. Our storage, in fact, is 8.5 trillion storage objects today, doing around 900K transactions per second. Something like 2 trillion transactions a month.

The last point, which is around the hypervisor growth, where we’re seeing tremendous hypervisor share growth is interesting. Because we are unique in that we not only are building an at-scale public cloud service, but we’re also taking all of the software technology that is underneath our public cloud service and making it available as part of our server products for service providers and enterprises to stand up their own cloud. That’s something pretty unique to us.

Given that, we’re seeing tremendous growth for the high-end servers that people are buying and the high-end server software people are buying from us to deploy their own cloud infrastructure in support of the applications that you all are building.

Now, of course at the end of the day, all that momentum has to be backed up by some product. And in that case, Steve talked a lot about our cadence and increased cadence across our devices. But when it comes to Windows Azure and our public cloud service, that cadence takes on a different hyper drive, if you will, because we are every day, every week, every month doing major updates. We’ve done over 100-plus major updates to our services from the last Build to now.

In fact, this is even translating into a much faster cadence for our server. We now have the R2 updates to our 2012 that were made available yesterday. So all around, when it comes to server technology and cloud technology, we have some of the fastest cadences, but very targeted on the new scenarios and applications and technologies that you’re building to run these cloud services.

Now, one of the other things that drives us and is at play for us on a daily basis is the feedback cycle of our first-party workloads. We have perhaps the most diverse set of first-party workloads at Microsoft. You know, these are SaaS applications that we run ourselves.

Now, these applications keep us honest, especially if you’re in the infrastructure business, you’ve got to live this live site availability day in and day out. And the diversity also keeps us honest because you build out your storage compute network, the application containers, to meet the needs of the diversity these applications represent.

Take Xbox. When they started Xbox Live in 2002, they had around 500 servers. Now, they use something like 300,000 servers, which are all part of our public cloud to be able to really drive their experiences. Halo itself has had over a billion games played, and something like 270 million hours of gameplay. And Halo uses the cloud in very interesting ways for pre-production, rendering support, gameplay, post-production analytics, the amount of real-time analytics that’s driving the continuous programming of Halo is pretty stunning.

Take SkyDrive. We have over 250 million accounts. You combine SkyDrive with the usage of Office Web Apps, where we have more than 50 million users of Office Web Apps, you can see a very different set of things that are happening with storage, collaboration, productivity.

Skype is re-architecting their core architecture to take advantage of the cloud for their 190-plus million users.

Bing apps that you saw many of them yesterday as part of Windows 8.1 are using the Azure backend to do a lot of things like notifications, which is one of the core scenarios for any mobile apps. And it’s going to send something like a billion notifications a month.

So all of these diverse needs that we have been building infrastructure for, we have this one simple mantra where “first party equals third party.” That means we build for our first party and make all of that available for our third party. And that feedback cycle is a fantastic cycle for us.

Now, when you put it all together, you put what we’re building, what you’re building, we see the activity on Azure, we listen to our customers, and you sort of distill it and say, “What are the key patterns of the modern business for cloud? What are the applications people are building?”

Three things emerge: People are building Web-centric applications. People are building mobile-centric applications. And what we call cloud-scale and enterprise-grade applications. So the rest of the presentation is all about getting into the depth of each of these patterns.

Now, in support of these applications, we’re building a very robust Windows Azure app model. Now, of course, at the bottom of the app model is our infrastructure. We run 18-plus datacenters on our own, 100-plus co-locations. We have an edge network. And so that is the physical plant. But the key thing is it’s the fabric, the operating system that we build to manage all of those resources.

At the compute-storage-network level, at the datacenter scale and multi-datacenter scale. And that really is the operating system that is Windows at the backend, at this point, which in fact shipped even in Windows Server for a different scale unit.

But that infrastructure management or resource management is one part of the operating system.

Then about that, you have all the application containers. And we’re unique in providing a complete IaaS plus PaaS, which is infrastructure as a service and platform as a service capability when it comes to application containers. Everything from virtual machines with full persistence to websites to mobile to media services to cloud services. So that capability is what allows you to build these rich applications and very capable applications.

Now, beyond that, we also believe that we can completely change the economics of what complex applications have needed in the past. We can take both productivity around development and continuous deployment and cycling through your code of any complex application and reduce it by orders of magnitude.

Take identity. We are going to change the nature of how people set up your applications to be able to accept multiple identities, have strong authentication and authorization, how to have a directory with rich people schema underneath it that you can use for authorization.

Integration, take all of the complex business-to-business or EI type of project that you have to write a lot of setup before you even write the core logic; we want to change the very nature of how you go about that with our integration services.

And when it comes to data, there is not a single application now that doesn’t have a diverse set of needs when it comes to the data from everything from SQL to NoSQL, all types of processing from transactional to streaming to interactive BI to MapReduce. And we have a full portfolio of storage technologies all provided as platform services so that your application development can be that much richer and that much easier.

Now, obviously, the story will not be complete without great tooling and great programming model. What we are doing with Visual Studio, we will see a lot of it throughout the demos. .NET, as well as our support for some of the cloud services around continuous development — everything from source code control, project management, build, monitoring — all of that technology pulled together, really take everything underneath it to a next level from an application development perspective.

But also supporting all the other frameworks. In fact, just this week we announced with Oracle that we will have even more first-class support for Java on Windows Azure. And so we have support for node, we have support for PHP and so on. So we have a fantastic set of language bindings to all of our platform support and a first-class support for Visual Studio .NET, as well as TFS with Git when it comes to application development.

So that’s really the app model. And the rest of the presentation is really for us to see a lot of this in action.

Let me just start with our IaaS and PaaS and virtual machines. We launched our IaaS service just in April. In fact, we have tremendous momentum. Something like 20 percent of all of Azure compute already is IaaS capacity. So that’s tremendous growth.

The gallery of images is constantly improving and increasing in size, in depth, breadth, and variety. In fact, if you want to spin up Windows Server 2012 R2, I would encourage you to go off to the Azure gallery and spin it up because it’s available as of yesterday there, and so that will be a fantastic use of the Azure IaaS, and test that out.

So what I want to talk about is websites. We’ve made a lot of investments in websites. And when we say “websites” we mean enterprise-grade Web infrastructure for your most mission-critical applications. Because if you think about it, your website is your front door to your business. It could be a SaaS business, it could be an enterprise business, but it’s the front door to your business. And you want the most robust enterprise-scale infrastructure for it. And we’ve invested to build the best Web stack with the best performance, load balancing built in, elasticity built in, and from a development perspective, integrated all the way into Visual Studio.

So we think that what we have in our website technology is the best-in-class Web for the enterprise-grade applications you want to build.

Now, you can also start up for free, and you can scale up. So maybe even the starting process with our Web, very, very easy.

Now, of course having Web technology is one, but it’s also very important for us to have a lot of framework support. And we have a lot of frameworks. But the one framework that we hold close and dear to our heart is ASP.NET. This is something that we have continued to innovate in significant ways. One of the things that we’ve done with the new version of ASP.NET, which is in preview as part of .NET 4.5.1. is the one ASP.NET. Which means that you can have one project where you can bring all of the technologies from Web forms to MVCs to Web APIs to signal all together.

We also improved our tooling from a scaffolding perspective across all of these frameworks.

You’re all building even these rich Web applications. So these single-page Web applications. And for that, you need new frameworks. We have Bootstrap. You also want to be able to call into the server side, we made that easy with OLAP support, we made it easy with Web APIs. So this makes it much easier for you now to be able to build these rich Web apps.

And Entity Framework. We’ve now plumbed async all the way back into the server. So now, you can imagine if you’re building one of those social media applications with lots of operations on the client, as well as needing the same async capabilities on the backend, you now have async end to end.

So a lot of this innovation is, I think, in combination with our Web is going to completely change how you could go about building your Web applications and your Web technologies.

To show you some of this in action, I wanted to invite up onstage Scott Hanselman from our Web team. Scott? (Applause.)

SCOTT HANSELMAN: Hello, friends. I’m going to show you some of the great, new stuff that we’ve got in ASP.NET and Visual Studio 2013.

I’m going to go here and hit file, new, project. And you’ll notice right off the bat that we’ve got just one ASP.NET Web application choice. This is delivering on that promise of one ASP.NET. (Applause.)

Awesome, I’m glad you dig that. And this is not the final dialog, but there is no MVC project or Web forms project anymore. I can go and say I want MVC with Web API or I want Web forms plus MVC. But there is, at its core, just one ASP.NET.

We’ve got an all-new authentication system. I can go in here and pick organizational accounts, use Active Directory or Azure Active Directory, do Windows auth.

For this application, I’m going to use an individual user account. I’m going to make a geek trivia app. So I’ll hit create project.

Now, of course when you’re targeting for the Web, it’s not realistic to target just one browser. We’re not going to use just Internet Explorer; we’re going to use every browser and try to make this have as much reach as possible.

So up here, I’m going to click “browse with” and then pick both Internet Explorer and Google Chrome and set them both as the default browser. (Applause.)

Now, we’ll go ahead and run our application. And I’ll snap Visual Studio off to the side here. You notice Visual Studio just launched IE and Chrome.

You can see that we’re using Twitter Bootstrap. We’re shipping Bootstrap with ASP.NET; you get a nice, responsive template. We’ve got the great icons, grid system, works on mobile. And that’s going to ship just like we shipped jQuery, as a fully supported item within ASP.NET, even though it’s open source.

I’m going to open up my index.cs HTML over here. You can see we’ve got ASP.NET as my H1. Notice next to multiple browsers, we’ve got a new present for you. You see this button right here? We’re running SignalR in process inside of Visual Studio, and there’s now a real-time connection between Visual Studio and any number of browsers that are running.

So now I can type in the new geek quiz application and hit this button. And using Web standards and Web sockets, we’ve just talked to any number of browsers. (Applause.)

Now, this is just scratching the surface of what we’re going to be able to do. What’s important isn’t the live reload example I’ve just shown you, but rather the idea that there’s a fundamental two-directional link now between any browser, including mobile browsers or browser simulators and Visual Studio.

Now, this is using the Bootstrap default template, which is kind of default. So I’m going to go up to Bootswatch, which is a great website that saves us from the tyranny of the default template.

And I’m going to pick — this looks appropriately garish. I’m going to pick this one here. And I’m going to just right click and say “save target as” and then download a different CSS, and I’m going to save that right over the top of the one that came with ASP.NET.

And then I’ll come back over here and use the hotkey control/alt/enter and update the linked browsers. And you’ll see that right there, the hotdog theme is back today, and this is the kind of high-quality design and attention to — I can’t do that with a straight face — attention to detail and design that you’ve come to expect from us at Microsoft. That’s beautiful, isn’t it? You’ve got to feel good about that, everybody.

I’m going to head over into Azure. And I’m going to say “new website.” You know, creating websites is really, really easy from within the portal. I’ll say geek quiz. Blah, blah, blah, and I’m going to make a new website.

And this is going to fire up in the cloud right now. You can see it’s going and creating that. And that’s going to be ready and waiting to go when it’s time for me to publish from Visual Studio.

Now, I’m going to fast forward in time here and close down this application and then do a little Julia Child action and switch into an application that’s a little bit farther along.

So we’re going to write a geek quiz or a geek trivia app. And it’s going to have Model View Controller and Web API on the server. And it’s going to send JSON across the wire over to the client side. This trivia controller, which is ASP.NET, Web API is going to be feeding that.

This is code that I’m not really familiar with. I can spend a lot of time scrolling around, or I could right click on the scroll bar, hit scroll bar options, and some of you fans may remember this guy. It’s back. And now you’ve got map mode inside of the scroll bar. I can move around, find my code really, really easily. Here is the GET method. Notice that this GET method is going to return the trivia questions into my application here. And it’s marked as async. We’ve got async and await all the way through. So this asynchronous Web API method is then going to call this service call, next question async.

Now, I could right click and say “go to definition.” But I could also say “peek definition.” And without actually opening the source code, see what’s going on in that file. (Applause.)

I could promote that if I wanted to. You notice, of course, I’m using Entity Framework 6, I’ve got async and await from clients to servers to services all the way down into the database non-blocking I/O, async and await all the way down. I just hit escape to drop out of there. So it makes it really, really easy to move around my code.

So this is going to serve the trivial questions. I’m just going to hit control comma, go get my index.cs HTML.

Now, in this HTML editor that’s been completely rewritten in Visual Studio 2013, you notice that I’ve got a couple of things you may not have seen before in an ASP.NET app. I’ve got Handlebars, which is a templating engine, and I’ve got Ember. So we’ve got model view controller on the server and model view controller on the client. So we can start making those rich, single-page applications.

Now, this Ember application here has some JavaScript. And on the client, we’ve got a next question method. This is going to go and get that next question, and I’ve got that Web API call. So this is how the trivia app is going to get its information. And then when I answer the question, I’m going to go and send that and post that same RESTful service. So you’ve got really nice experience for front-end Web developers. That’s the Ember stuff.

Here, I’ve got the Handlebars. This is a client-side template. You can see right off the bat that I’ve got syntax highlighting for my Handlebars or my Moustache templating. And I’m going to go ahead and fire this up, and I’ll put IE off to the side there, and I’ll put VS over here.

And I’m going to log into my geek quiz app. See if I can type my own name a few times here, friends. There we go. And this is going to go and fetch a trivia question. See, it said, “loading question.” And then it says, “How many Scotts work on the Azure team?” Which is a lot, believe me.

You’ll see that that’s coming from this bound question tile. So we’ve got client-side data binding right there.

Now, I need to figure out what the buttons are going to look like. I’ve got the question, but I don’t have the buttons. I could start typing the HTML; that’s kind of boring. But I could use Visual Studio Web Essentials, which takes the extensibility points in Visual Studio and extends them even further.

And I could say something like hash fu dot bar and hit tab. And now I’ve got Zen Coding, also known as Emmet, built in with Web Essentials.

So that means I could go and say, you know, I need a button. And button has a button trivia class, but I need four of those buttons.

And then, again, I hit — you like that, kids? (Applause.) Then I hit refresh, and you’ll notice that my browser is updating as I’m going.

But that’s not really good. I need more information. I really want the text there that says “answer,” and I want to have answer one, answer two, answer three. So I’ll go like that. And then hit refresh, and then we’re seeing it automatically update.

So that looks like what I want it to look like. But I want to do that client-side data binding. So I’m going to take this here, and I’m going to spin through that JSON that came across the wire. So I’m going to go open Moustache, and I’m going to say for each, and again, syntax highlighting, great experience for the client-side developer.

I’m going to say for each option, and then we’ll close up each here. And answer one, just like question title is going to be bound. So I’m going to open that up, and I’m going to say option.title. And then when a user clicks on that button, we’re going to have an Ember action. I’m going to say the action is call that send answer passing in the question and then passing in the option that the user chose.

I just did an update with the hotkey, how many Scotts work on Azure? 42. How old is Guthrie? He is zero XFF because he’s quite old. What color is his favorite polo? Goldenrod, in fact, is my — no? I’m sorry, Goldenrod is the next version of Windows, Windows Goldenrod. So my mistake there.

That’s a pretty nice flip animation. Let’s take a look at that. I’m going to go ahead and hit control comma again and type in “flip.” Go right into the flip CSS. You’ll see that that animation actually used no JavaScript at all. That, in fact, was done entirely in CSS, which can sometimes be hard to figure out, but with Web Essentials, I can actually hover over a rule, and it’ll tell me which version of which browser which vendor prefix supports. (Applause.)

So that’s pretty hot. I’m going to go ahead and right click and hit publish. And because I’ve got the Azure SDK installed, I can do my publish directly from Visual Studio. We’re going to go and load our Azure website. Hit OK. It brings the publish settings right down into Visual Studio. And I can go and publish directly from here.

So now I’m doing a live publish out to Azure directly from Visual Studio. It goes and launches the browser for me.

And I can click over here on the Server Explorer, and Windows Azure actually appears on the side now. I can start and stop virtual machines, start and stop websites; they’re all integrated inside of the Server Explorer.

That’s my website. I can double click on it, and again, while I can go to the management portal, I can change my settings, my .NET version and my application logging without having to enter the portal.

So back over into my app, when I sign in, I know that people are going to be pushing buttons and answering questions backstage. I want to see that. I put in some tracing. So what I’m going to do is right click and say view streaming logs in the output window.

This is the Visual Studio output window. And I’m just going to pin that off to the side. And then as I’m answering questions, and it looks like someone backstage is answering questions as well. I’m getting live streaming trace logs from Azure fed directly into Visual Studio. (Applause.)

Now, you know that <font color=

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