Last week I presented at the Wisconsin Azure User Group for the second time, along with Clark Sell. Our goal was to provide an overview of everything announced at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2009. We made a ton of announcements, and I recommend you check out the Microsoft PDC website for more information, including videos and decks from all the presentations.

Shameless plug: watch my session on migrating applications to the Windows Azure platform with Accenture, CCH, Dominos, and Original Digital – Lessons Learned: Migrating Applications to the Windows Azure Platform.

While I was supposed to only spend twenty minutes talking about updates to the Windows Azure platform, I ended up spending over an hour. There was too much information to share; here’s a short outline:

  • Rebranding of the .NET Services as the Windows Azure platform AppFabric.

  • Microsoft Codename “Dallas”, a content brokerage and discovery platform available as a CTP at commercial launch.

  • Windows Azure platform integration with Microsoft Pinpoint.

  • Enhanced service architectures (i.e. inner role communication, worker roles exposed outside the datacenter, etc.).

  • Enhanced diagnostics in Windows Azure.

  • Ability to use existing NTFS APIs to store data in durable drives in Windows Azure (called Windows Azure XDrive).

  • Administrator privileges in the Windows Azure virtual machines.

  • Deployment of pre-configured virtual machine images while still benefiting from the Windows Azure service model.

  • User-selectable geo-locations for replicas of Azure storage.

  • Secondary indices on Windows Azure tables.

  • Content Delivery Network.

  • Remote terminal server access to virtual machines.

  • Tool for data synchronization called SQL Azure Data Sync, built on the Microsoft Synch Framework and ADO.NET Sync Services.

  • Claims-based access control for REST web services through the Access Control Service.

  • Commercial launch in and paid usage in February, 2010.

  • Datacenter options in USA, Europe, and Asia.

Thanks to everyone for their patience – especially Clark – as I went on, and on, and on …

Don’t forget that you can request and redeem tokens for the Commercial Technology Preview (CTP) at http://windowsazure.com/. This provides you free usages, with quotas, through February 1, 2010.

Here’s the deck I presented:

Thanks to everyone that attended – I had a great time!