Microsoft Puts Developer Focus on the Cloud at PDC

At its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2010, Microsoft put its focus on the cloud, showing developers new ways to build apps for the cloud, the desktop and the new Windows Phone 7 platform.

REDMOND, Wash. - At its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2010, Microsoft laid out its plans for how developers can build applications for the cloud.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and the company's tools president Bob Muglia showed how Microsoft is enabling developers to build cloud apps and how the Microsoft platform spans mobile devices, desktops and the cloud.

"Microsoft is combining the power and reach of the cloud with both Web and local device experiences," Ballmer said in a statement. "There has never been a better time for developers to bet on Microsoft."

Meanwhile, Muglia said with Microsoft's Windows, developers can use existing skills to build new Web and enterprise apps.

"Only Windows Azure delivers general purpose PAAS [platform as a service], which allows developers the breadth of services needed to allow them to focus on their applications and not the underlying infrastructure or virtualizing machines," Muglia said in a statement. "Imagine having all of the IT infrastructure, hardware, OS and tools you need to support an app just a few mouse clicks away - it opens up so many possibilities worldwide. We are looking forward to seeing the amazing things our customers will build with our PAAS offering.

Muglia announced two new Microsoft capabilities for Windows Azure: Windows Azure Virtual Machine Role and Server Application Virtualization. Windows Azure Virtual Machine Role gives users the ability to run an instance of Windows Server 2008 R2 running in Microsoft's cloud, making it easier for developers to move applications to the cloud. Server Application virtualization gives developers the ability to transfer application images to Windows Azure, using the underlying management of the platform.

Microsoft also announced several Windows Azure services for developers. Microsoft announced the Windows Azure AppFabric Composition Model to speed the process of assembling services by providing application development and management capabilities. Microsoft also announced the Windows Azure Marketplace, including DataMarket (formerly "Project Dallas"), offering premium and public demographic, financial, mapping and entertainment data and other content, Microsoft said.

Meanwhile, during his keynote at the PDC, Ballmer underscored Microsoft's commitment to HTML5, noting how developers can fuse the full hardware acceleration and site-centric design in Internet Explorer 9 to tap into the power of the PC hardware, transforming their Websites to feel more like native Windows applications.

"HTML5 is the glue that holds all of this together," Ballmer said.

Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft's general manager for Internet Explorer, said Microsoft has seen more than 10 million downloads of IE9 since the beta was released six weeks ago.

Hachamovitch also announced that Microsoft has delivered Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview 6, which features better performance and more standards support. The new preview is available at