Windows Azure adds new features for the holidays

While much of the world will be taking a bit of a break for the holidays, Microsoft has decided to push out some new features for its Windows Azure cloud-based services just before Christmas. The new features include improvements to its mobile services.

In a post on his blog, Microsoft VP Scott Guthrie details the changes and additions made to Windows Azure. In terms of mobile features, users can set up background jobs ahead of time with a new scheduler. Guthrie states:

This new job scheduler capability makes it incredibly easy to integrate background work within your Mobile Service (without having to create or manage a separate VM to run it in).  It can be used by all Mobile Service (even the free-tier level.

This new update also expand Windows Azure Mobile Services to the North Europe region: Previously, it was only available for US users.

Windows Azure has also doubled the number of shared instances that a web site can use from three to six, as shown in the screenshot above. Users can also go up to 10 reserved VM instances. The Windows Azure Management Portal also now supports SQL Data Sync Services.

Finally, the Windows Azure Store, which first launched in a preview form in late October, is now available in more countries other than the US. A list of the countries that can now access the store was not revealed.

Source: Scott Guthrie's blog | Image via Microsoft

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Nice. I've been meaning to look into Azure Mobile Services... It's nice to see them continue to improve it. I guess I'll have to check it out after the holiday.