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Microsoft extends Windows Azure Mobile Services to Android users

Microsoft has announced a new Android SDK for Windows Azure Mobile Services in a bid to make it compatible with Google's mobile OS platform.

Developed by the company's Open Technologies unit with contributions from the Azure team on portal integration and push support, the new Android SDK is now available on GitHub as an open source package.

Microsoft rolled out Windows Azure Mobile Services last year with native support for Windows 8, and after a short while extended it to iOS and Windows Phone 8 platforms.

The new SDK will let developers connect their Android apps to multiple services running on Azure in a scalable environment, Microsoft says. However, in order to enable push notifications for their Android applications, developers must sign up with Google's Cloud Messaging platform.

"We're committed to making it easy for developers to build and deploy cloud-connected applications for every major mobile platform using their favorite languages, tools, and services," Microsoft product manager Miranda Luna said in a blog post.

"And we will continue to make product improvements and pursue partnerships that allow us to keep that promise," Luna added.

Meanwhile, as an extension of this update, the Redmond, Washington-based software giant also expanded Azure Mobile Services support into the East Asia region. With this expansion, now the company has a total of four supported data-centre hubs worldwide, including one each in North Europe, East US and West US.