Microsoft has unveiled the details of its cloud platform, which will launch at the start of next year, building an online community for developers and resellers to promote their own applications.
The details of Azure have been taking shape over the last year with the vendor using its partner conference a couple of months ago and then its Professional Developers Conference currently taking place in Los Angeles to fill in some of the blanks.
Resellers now know that the launch date is 1 January and that customers will start paying from 1 February. But the other announcement from yesterday's keynote speech at the PDC by Ray Ozzie, chief software architect at Microsoft, was the launch of Pinpoint, an online shop window for resellers to sell their services.
"We are moving into an era of solutions that are experienced by users across PCs, phones and the Web and that are delivered from data centres we refer to as private clouds and public clouds," he said.
Ozzie also underlined the commitment the vendor was making to interoperability with other platforms as well as offering customers a virtual Windows 7 desktop environment and project Dallas that aims to help firms unlock the information in their unstructured data.
Mark Taylor, director of developer and platform evangelism group at Microsoft UK, said that the announcements were coming thick and fast and the response from partners at PDC was positive because most of the gaps in the Azure programme had been filled in.
He added that although it had just been announced the likely process for resellers wanting to get on board with Pinpoint would involve an accreditation and appraisal process but Microsoft would take as much friction out of the process as possible".
Taylor added that the other appeal to developers was not just the chance to sell on their own services and applications but to take advantage of the cloud in the way they approached the market.
"If you think about the promise of the cloud it is highly elastic about how you deploy it," he said.
The PDC conference continues today with more announcements around Azure expected.