If you watched the first keynote of PDC08, either at PDC or through the live stream, you have seen the first public unveiling of Windows Azure. In short, it’s our OS for the cloud.


A CTP of the Windows Azure SDK should be available shortly. In the mean time, you can get busy with the “Oslo” SDK that has been released already. Downloadable from the new “Oslo” Developer Center on MSDN.

Of course as a Microsoft employee I am biased about this new, but oh so familiar, platform. So don’t take my opinion, but that of Robert W. Anderson. He writes about Windows Azure:

It is the openness of this platform, the ability of developers to mix and match the different components, and to do it between the cloud and in-premises solutions that makes this such a winner.

This last point is an important one.  Microsoft is in a unique position to help enterprise IT bridge to the cloud.  While I don’t think Amazon and Google will cede that market to Microsoft, their current offerings aren’t a natural fit.

Taking this all together — not forgetting Microsoft’s leading developer productivity story — it looks like a home run to me.

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Microsoft used the keynote in the SOA & Business Process Conference in Redmond to present its vision on the future of Service Oriented Architecture on the Microsoft platform. That vision and the wave of technology that will come with it, is codenamed "Oslo".

MVP Charles Young has a solid write up in a blog post called "Microsoft 'Oslo' - the vNext SOA platform". No need to repeat all that here.

Long time Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley is very critical in her post called "Microsoft talks SOA futures but not dates". Mary Jo ends with "Microsoft has been struggling to prove to the market that it has a real SOA strategy. While the Redmondians are talking the right talk, the company is still a ways away from walking the SOA walk. Will customers wait or run off with other SOA vendors before Microsoft rolls out more than just a piecemeal SOA strategy?"

"Oslo" is obviously a Grand Vision. It will take a couple of years before this next wave of Microsoft technologies will ship. I thought that after the Longhorn reset/WinFX debacle and the "Whidbey" delays, Microsoft would not attempt to align so many technologies again in the future. But it is! "Oslo" comprises of at least:

  • BizTalk Server "6"
  • Visual Studio "10"
  • .NET Framework "4"
  • Systems Center "5"
  • BizTalk Services "1"

Some of the stuff presented reminded me of the grand WinFX, especially WinFS, vision that Microsoft presented at PDC03. We all know that WinFS never RTM-ed, despite enormous effort (many, many man years) put into it by Microsoft. Especially the term "Universal Editor" for the "Oslo" integrated modeling tool gave me the creeps. Sounds too much like: One tool to rules them all. One tool that spans the entire application development lifecycle: from its inception to its deployment.

Here are some screenshots from the new "Universal Editor" modeling tool that was demoed during the keynote:

Microsoft Oslo Universal Editor

Microsoft Oslo Server List

Microsoft Oslo Application Verifier