Digesting The Latest Windows Azure Release Details

azureLogo125I feel like I’m on technology overload this week.  Fresh off of a 5 city US east coast tour delivering the Windows Azure Dev Camp events, I got to listen into Scott Guthrie’s “Learn Windows Azure” live online yesterday.  During the eight hour event, Scott Guthrie, Dave Campbell, Mark Russinovich, and others covered a whole slew of new Windows Azure features.

As a Microsoft tech evangelist who focuses on the cloud, I did have some previous insight to the new stuff.  However, it really did take a full day of content from yesterday’s event for it to become real and sink in.  (Okay… it’s still sinking in.)  I plan to dig into some of the new stuff here on this blog over the course of the next few weeks.  Just a couple of quick things I wanted to share with you in the meantime…

Learn Windows Azure Event

First off, if you missed the “Learn Windows Azure” event, the complete recordings are now available on Channel 9.

Learn Windows Azure Event Recordings on Channel 9

What’s New In Windows Azure?

There are many blog posts popping up around the net with some new and interesting information.  The highest level summaries I could find were two posts from the official Windows Azure team blog.  Check these links for the cliff-notes version of what’s new in Windows Azure (1st link) and more specifically, SQL Azure (2nd link):

Improved Developer Experience, Interoperability, and Scalability on Windows Azure

Now Available: SQL Azure Q4 2011 Service Release

Windows Azure Dev Camps

Today is the last US east coast Azure Dev Camp in Chevy Chase, MD. The content from these events will be posted shortly on our US Cloud Connection site and linked from here on my blog.  At the Azure Dev Camps, Brian Hitney, Jim O’Neil, and myself covered the basics of Windows Azure, and lead a fun lab featuring the game Rock Paper Azure.  If you missed our events, be sure to take the Rock Paper Azure Challenge!  You have less than 4 days left to enter into our Fall 2011 sweepstakes with a $5,000 USD trip to Cancun, Mexico on the line!

Windows Azure Dev Camps Content (Coming Soon!)

Take The Rock Paper Azure Challenge!

Try Windows Azure for 90 Days for Free!

Just about the biggest news of the day yesterday was that getting started with Windows Azure is easier than ever… and worry free.  The sign-up process has been streamlined (translation: a gazillion screens cut down to just a handful!)  The trial accounts now have a spending cap on them, which limits your charges to: $0!  Yes, that’s right.  Free as in beer is free as in beer!  You still need a credit card (to prevent fraud and machines taking over the world), but you can be guaranteed that you won’t ever be charged while kicking the tires.  So, go ahead and give it a spin!

Get Started With Windows Azure For Free NOW!

There you have it… a lot of stuff to check out.  Dig in!

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