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Windows Azure will expand in China, Japan and Australia

Microsoft announced that it will expand Windows Azure in Australia, China and Japan in an effort to meet Asia's increasing cloud computing needs. 

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced in Shanghai this week that the Windows Azure Public Preview will be available for sign-up starting June 6. It will be operated by 21Vianet in China.

He also noted that Windows Azure can now be used in two of Japan's sub-regions (Japan East in the Tokyo area and Japan West in the Kansai area) and two of Australia's sub-regions (New South Wales and Victoria). 

This means that China, Japan and Australia can use the Windows Azure cloud computing platform for building, deploying and managing applications. 

Microsoft is looking to tap into a huge market, as Asia's cloud computing market is expected to reach US$16.3 billion by 2016 (excluding Japan).

In other news, Microsoft has decided to take a jab at the iPad (more specifically, iOS' digital assistant Siri) in a new commercial for the ASUS VivoTab Smart 64GB. The commercial pokes fun at the fact that Siri seems to be a "more talking, less doing" sort of assistant that has trouble understanding what you ask it. Meanwhile, a user breezes through several tasks on the VivoTab while Siri attempts to figure out what you want from it. 

Check it out:

Sources: YouTube, technet





"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer






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