Microsoft wants to put your business in the cloud

Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft's server and tools business outlined a whole raft of new software and tools at its annual Tech-Ed conference in New Orleans today.

Muglia focused on cloud computing, claiming that Microsoft was in the best position to help companies sort out their approach to the cloud.

"Our job, simply put, is to deliver what customers need to take advantage of cloud computing on their own terms," Muglia said. "Some vendors would have you believe that you must move everything to the cloud now and there is only one way to achieve cloud computing," he said, naming no names.

He went on to insist that Microsoft has more cloud experience than anyone, claiming more than 600 million unique users on MSN, four billion Bing search queries monthly, more than 500 million active Windows Live IDs, 20 million users of the Xbox Live gaming service, and 40 million paid users of Microsoft Online Services across 9,000 business customers and more than 500 government entities.

"Microsoft is unique in that no other solution vendor has the same level of experience and expertise in software and services. We are providing the most comprehensive set of choices available to customers."

Muglia detailed plans for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2, due by the end of July.

New virtualisation tools in SP1 will help Windows Server 2008 R2 users prepare for cloud computing while Remote FX provides a 3-D graphical experience for remote users, and Dynamic Memory enables more control to adjust memory usage without sacrificing performance.

The service pack also will include a series of incremental updates, previously delivered through Windows Update, for both Windows Server and Windows 7 users.

Windows Azure platform receives enhanced features and Microsoft announced an updated Windows Azure software development kit (SDK) with support for Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Visual Studio 2010 RTM support, and IntelliTrace support now available here.

Microsoft announced it will offer spatial data support and access to 50 GB of SQL Azure Database capacity, allowing for higher scalability, flexibility and easier management of applications and services.

Windows Server AppFabric which is released to manufacturing today, is designed to simplify the development and management of composite applications by providing improved speed, scale and high availability through distributed caching capabilities and new tools.

Customers with licences for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (Standard and Enterprise editions) can download Windows Server AppFabric at no additional cost.

Microsoft also announced the availability of a Bing Map App Software Development Kit, allowing developers to create applications built on top of Bing Maps and hosted on Bing.com.

As if that wasn't enough Microsoft also disclosed the full feature set of its forthcoming unified communications platform.

Communications Server 14 features expert search, Office document and application sharing, and one-click meeting access from Outlook, SharePoint and mobile phones, Microsoft said.

Microsoft also announced Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP1 beta is available today for customers to download.