Microsoft Launches 20th TechEd With Cloud and Tools Push

Microsoft opened its TechEd 2012 conference with a discussion of its updated cloud platform around Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure, along with new Visual Studio tools in Microsoft Team Foundation Server and LightSwitch.

ORLANDO, Fla. €” Microsoft kicked off its 20th annual TechEd North America conference by highlighting its new Windows Server 2012 operating system, its cloud platform and supporting tools.

Microsoft Server and Tools Business President Satya Nadella welcomed a sold-out crowd of more than 10,000 to the era of the cloud operating system infrastructure at the event here on June 11. Nadella described how the cloud OS drives both the modern data center and enables the development and management of modern applications, demonstrating how customers can benefit from this transformation with agility, focus and lower costs.

Nadella also announced updates to Microsoft€™s developer tools and the availability of the next release of Windows Intune, the company€™s cloud-based solution for PC and mobile device management and security.

Windows Server 2012 is a cloud-optimized server OS for customers of all sizes, and Windows Azure, updated with new services and features, delivers both infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) capabilities, Microsoft said. Built to complement each other with consistent development, management and identity, they make it easier to create, migrate, deploy and manage applications across public, private and hybrid clouds.

€œThe operating system does two things: It looks after the hardware, and it provides a platform for applications. The modern data center and modern apps put more pressure than ever on infrastructure to become truly cloud-optimized, and that€™s where Microsoft builds on our legacy with the OS to help our customers,€ Nadella said in a statement. €œMicrosoft is your partner in the transformation of IT because only Microsoft offers the modern, yet familiar, platform that enables you to connect with the cloud on your terms.€

Microsoft said it is already working with customers, such as Aflac, ING Direct and Tribune Company, to expand their data centers into the cloud to scale on demand and help reduce infrastructure costs.

€œDelivering content to thousands of users across multiple devices and platforms requires a level of infrastructure that€™s easier to manage and more affordable with the cloud,€ Denise Schuster, senior vice president of Digital Innovations for Tribune Company, said in a statement. €œWe are currently using various methods to deliver content via cloud services, and we€™re moving our digital content to Windows Azure to help us find new ways to better deliver a targeted, more personalized experience for our customer base.€

Moreover, to ease customers€™ transitions to the cloud, Microsoft underscored the release candidate of Windows Server 2012, recent updates to Windows Azure and the release of Windows Intune. Together, these new releases make it even easier for customers to leverage one modern operating system across public, private and hybrid clouds and manage a multitude of devices connected to those clouds.

Microsoft said Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate (RC), released May 31, provides advancements in storage, networking and scalability that have been drawn from Microsoft€™s experience running public cloud services. Windows Azure is newly updated with preview support for Virtual Machine and Virtual Network, support for Windows and Linux images, and additional support for Java and Python.

Meanwhile, Windows Intune, the next release of Windows Intune, is now available, and includes expanded management and security benefits through mobile-device management and adds people-centric management capabilities and upgrade rights to the latest version of Windows.

Meanwhile, to streamline and accelerate application development and deployment, Microsoft Team Foundation Service, an application lifecycle management tool hosted on Windows Azure, is now even easier for teams to integrate into their development process. Team Foundation Service features collaboration tools, a code repository, and powerful reporting and traceability tools to help teams more effectively manage software development. Beginning today, a public preview of Team Foundation Service is available.

And to help developers and IT professionals build immersive experiences that scale across devices and the cloud, the software giant announced that Microsoft LightSwitch, its easy-to-use development tool for quickly building applications, will now render HTML5. Integrating HTML5 into LightSwitch will enable developers using the tool to target any device or platform supporting HTML5.