Thoughts on PDC 2008 Keynote

27. October 2008 17:52

Microsoft formally kicked off the PDC event this week with Ray Ozzie delivering the keynote address.  I was fortunate enough to land a seat on the front row.  As expected, some new initiatives were finally unveiled: Windows Azure.  Azure is the new cloud services platform, which has an extremely compelling story.  Essentially, this is an effort to push the hosting of application from inside the enterprise to the cloud.  Don't be fooled into thinking that this is only referring to web applications.  Azure expands well beyond the scope of mere web applications.  It will offer a platform for inexpensively hosting applications, databases, and more.

Based on what has been shown so far, it appears to be a very simple and seamless development experience.  Developers are still capable of locally developing and debugging applications on their desktop.  After the solution is ready to be deployed, you merely have to go to the Azure portal to create an application environment and upload the solution as a package. 

Where all of this stuff starts to get interesting is the scalability aspect.  So, you need to scale your application up for an increased number of users?  No problem.  All you need to do is modify your configuration to specify a higher number of nodes.  Azure takes care of all of the dirty work behind the scenes.  It will be interesting to see whether all of this works as well as advertised.  If it pans out, I can see this as being overwhelmingly compelling for small companies all the way to large enterprises.  Imagine not only the cost savings, but the how much easier it would be to avoid the headaches of setting up your own major infrastructure in house.

However, I still think trust is going to be a major factor.  There are many businesses that are understandably reluctant to let someone else house their data.  It will take some time to build up trust and convince many organizations that this is a viable option.  However, I am starting to believe that the cost savings could be a compelling argument to give it a try.  Nevertheless, security will be a concern at the forefront of this platform.  I am anxious to hear more about the security aspects of the platform later this week.  More importantly,I am incredibly eager to get my hands on the CTP and give it a test drive.

What do you think?  I'd love to hear the comments of others.


10/27/2008 3:02:45 AM #

Nice analysis of the keynote.  My question, how can you write such a coherent post while listening to the rest of the keynote?

Walt Ritscher |

10/27/2008 9:00:10 AM #

John Brandt

Who will be the target audience of Azure?  And how do "they" plan to get the first big implementation uner the belt?

John Brandt |

10/27/2008 3:01:42 PM #


I'm good at multi-tasking. Smile

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I'm a passionate software developer and advocate of the Microsoft .NET platform.  In my opinion, software development is a craft that necessitates a conscious effort to continually improve your skills rather than falling into the trap of complacency.  I was also awarded as a Microsoft MVP in Connected Systems in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

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