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Azure will be free the first month and go paid in February 2010

In October of 2008, Microsoft first unveiled its new Azure cloud-based application. The application was offered to developers for free to allow them to test out the service and get ready for the full introduction of the platform. Microsoft also held a contest earlier this year with $5,000 in prizes for several categories to get developers to build applications for Azure.

Microsoft had always said that Azure would be free for a limited time. Reuters reports that Microsoft has now announced that Azure will officially launch in full form on January 1, 2010. For the first month, the service will be free. Starting in February 2010 the service will move to a paid platform.

At its core Azure is a software platform for developers to use to write programs that allow customers to store data and more. Google and Amazon are already offering online services that use cloud architecture. Google has its free online word processing and productivity applications and Amazon has the aforementioned cloud-based storage it sells.

Exactly how much the service will cost on a monthly basis is unknown. Microsoft's Ray Ozzie announced the official launch date for the service at the annual Microsoft software developers conference Tuesday.

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By sprockkets on 11/18/2009 2:59:29 PM , Rating: 2
Sidekick's backend server wasn't running Azure, it was running Sun hardware and Oracle other non-microsoft related stuff.

One possible reason why it took so long with data restoration is because they didn't bother backing up all the data before they did the SAN firmware upgrade. Allegedly Roz Ho, in charge of the Sidekick/"Zune phone" division said to stop the backup since it would take many days to finish and cost a lot of money.

People from Sun and the hardware SAN vendor came in and literally pieced the data back together, manually.

So if this was the reason, Microsoft doesn't deserve any slack whatsoever, because they neglected basic protocol. In the words of agent Q, "Always have an escape route." :)

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