This morning Microsoft's chief software architect Ray Ozzie announced that the Windows Azure (opens in new tab) cloud platform will switch to a production service for paying customers on January 1, 2010. On that date, Microsoft will "execute its production systems and billing systems" for the platform. The first month will be free, with billing starting in February 2010.
Reuters reports that Azure was originally launched in October 2008 at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference, and has been in a community technology preview phase since its introduction. "Tens of thousands of developers have participated in the CTP and you've made a tremendous -- a tremendous -- impact on the product," Ozzie said at the Microsoft PDC in Los Angeles.
For the uninitiated, the Azure cloud platform provides web space to store data and also serves as an online platform for software developers to create programs. There's also a subsystem codenamed Dallas which provides a marketplace for public and commercial data, according to Infoworld. Wordpress and Cheezburger Network were just a few listed today at the PDC that currently use Azure.
Microsoft is already behind in the cloud game, trailing Amazon.com and Google, both of which offer cloud-base storage. As a storage solution, Azure will charge $0.15 per GB per month, up to 50 GB.
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