Microsoft announces Windows Azure

Today at PDC, Microsoft announced its Windows Azure cloud services and platform.

Ray Ozzie introduced the new service in a packed keynote in Los Angeles this morning. Announcing Azure Ozzie said "think of it as Windows in the cloud".

Azure will provide businesses with a set of hosted services from Microsoft that allow developers to build rich web based applications that can scale well. Housed in Microsoft's data centers, the service will initially be released as a Community Technology Preview and free of charge during its testing phase.

Ozzie introduced a new start up named "Bluehoo" which is the latest interactive social networking site based on the Windows Azure platform.

A Bluehoo spokesperson announced that the download and site would be operational from mid-day US ET.

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