3 Screens and a cloud, PDC reveals next steps in S+S

The weather is great here in LA at the PDC conference, 24 degrees, and yes Azure blue skies the perfect setting for the first day keynotes at this high tech event. Lots of very-very technical people around me and it’s clear I needed a hyperGeek submersion to get back on track with the latest trends in application Platform world. And I have to admit it was a bit hard from time to time, but I’ll survive.
Back at the conference It’s amazing to see what has been created in such a short timeframe. It’s only 4 years ago that we started talking about the services transition and that Ray Ozzie (small picture on the left, but huge brains and vision in IT) wrote his “Services Disruption” memo. And it looks that we’re executing on plan.
One year ago at PDC08, Ray introduced Windows Azure as a core component of our “three screens and a cloud” strategy and the technical preview was released to the developers community. Now 1 year later we’re announcing that the first Windows Azure customers are going into production, and that we’re initiating a phased roll-out plan for our cloud OS that leads to customer billing beginning on Feb. 1.
For me one of the most important things to remember from the keynote is that we’re not just going after Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) but are truly delivering on the Platform as a Service (PaaS) promise with Azure. The richness of the platform, the easiness with how it can extend on premise computing to the cloud, how it solves on demand capacity and has incredible elasticity are all components that are ready for business.
During today’s keynote Bob Muglia, President of the Servers and tools business emphasize how Windows Azure has been designed as a cloud OS for the future, yet made familiar for today and using the skills and tools developers are used too so that the learning curve stays low. For example SQL Azure, which has been transformed in the past year, provides customers a true “database in the cloud” or “database as a service” with incredible scale and the same easiness a the on-premise version.
For the real detailed news of today you can browse the press (like DataNews in Belgium) or check out this index of websites:

PDC09 Website that has the keynotes
Engineering Website for the Azure platform
Customer Website for the Windows Azure platform
MSDN Windows Azure Developer Center

Tomorrow is another exiting day here on PDC with a focus on the client side of the 3 screens and a cloud story.