Today we are announcing multiple updates to Windows Azure that improve ease of use, interoperability, and overall value.
- New Developer Experience and Enhanced Interoperability
Access to Windows Azure libraries for .NET, Java, and Node.js is now available under Apache 2 open source license and hosted on GitHub, a new Windows Azure SDK for Node.js makes Windows Azure a first-class environment for Node applications, and a limited preview of an Apache Hadoop based service for Windows Azure enables Hadoop apps to be deployed in hours instead of days.
- Easier to Get Started and Simplified Subscription Management
Revamped Dev Centers for multiple languages with helpful content and tutorials, a new sign-up process with spending caps makes sign-up simple, fast and ensures a completely free 90 day trial. View real-time usage and billing details directly from the Windows Azure Management Portal and see expected costs with a simplified pricing calculator.
- Improved Database Scale
Three times the maximum database size for SQL Azure and SQL Azure Federation, a new sharding pattern that simplifies elastic scale-out.
- Better Overall Value
New price cap for the largest SQL Azure databases reduces effective price per gigabyte by 67%, Data Transfer prices in Europe have been reduced by 25%, and Service Bus usage is now free through March 2012.
Windows Azure is always evolving based on your feedback and you can read more details about these updates at the Windows Azure Team Blog
The following videos from Microsoft Channel9 are also very useful