April 26th, 2012 News Thursday: Windows Azure Media Services, Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure, and more Sever and Tools news…


by STB Blogger

Microsoft Announces Windows Azure Media Services

At the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show last week, Microsoft announced Windows Azure Media Services, a new set of Windows Azure-based services that is designed to make creating, managing and delivering media to any device easier. Windows Azure Media Services is a comprehensive media platform that offers a set of ready-to-use media technologies to help content providers and media partners provide digital content to customers in the format they want, when they want it. With support for Microsoft Smooth Streaming, HTTP Live Streaming and Flash media formats, media solutions can be distributed to almost any connected device, from Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Windows-based PCs, to non-Microsoft platforms such as smart TVs, set-top boxes, and MacOS, iOS and Android devices.

It was also announced Microsoft is working with Akamai and delatrae to deliver high definition streaming video of the London 2012 Olympic Games to multiple countries. The Olympic Games produce a high volume of coverage, which will be viewed by millions of fans, in multiple countries worldwide across several time zones and connected devices. It will be the first time a live event of this scale will be hosted and broadcast from a public cloud service, helping broadcasters automatically scale their coverage to consumers.

Customers can visit www.windowsazure.com/media for more information and to sign up for the preview of Windows Azure Media Services.

Startups Apply Now: Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure, Powered by TechStars

Microsoft has announced a new opportunity for startups creating cloud cloud-based services, the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure, powered by TechStars. As part of the program, Microsoft will host ten companies for a three month deep immersion program. Startups accepted into the program will receive an investment of $20,000 managed by TechStars, mentorship from top entrepreneurs, investors, and Microsoft executives, all the resources of Microsoft BizSpark and $60,000 in Windows Azure credit through the Microsoft BizSpark Plus Program. In addition, companies will get free office space, tech training, and support and participate in a Demo Day presentation to angel investors, VCs, media, and industry elites at the culmination of the program. Microsoft is accepting applications for the Windows Azure Accelerator through June 8, 2012. Interested applicants can go here to get started.

Microsoft Takes Home Six Wins in CRN’s 2012 Channel Champs Awards

This week, CRN unveiled the winners of its 2012 Channel Champs awards, recognizing the top IT vendors in the eyes of channel partners. We are pleased to announce that Microsoft was awarded top honors in six categories, including Business Intelligence, Data & Information Management, and CRM Software. Of particular note, Microsoft edged out VMware and Oracle in the Cloud Applications category for the second year in a row, earning high scores on each of the support criteria including pre-sales and post-sales support, evaluation and demo equipment policies, education and enablement, and financial factors.

We would like to thank CRN for the opportunity to participate in these awards. Most importantly, we would like to take a moment to thank Microsoft’s valued partners for your support.

Visit CRN to get more information on the 2012 Channel Champs awards and to view the full list of winners.

Visual Studio Brings Gamification to Windows Azure Development

Thanks to an extension to the Visual Studio Achievements, beginning today developers coding in Windows Azure can now unlock 15 new achievements and earn badges by performing Azure development activities.

More information about the announcement can be found on the Official Microsoft Blog. Be sure to download the extension here and check out the public leaderboard.

Global Foundation Services Refreshes Blog and Website

Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services (GFS) delivers the core infrastructure and foundational technologies for Microsoft’s 200+ online businesses, including the Windows Azure platform. Last week, GFS rolled out a new and improved external web site featuring more information on current approach and forward-thinking content about Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure, in efforts to provide more transparency and information. New content addresses top customer priorities, including:

  • Data Center 101
  • Data Center Efficiency
  • Future Data Center Sustainability
  • Modular Data Centers
  • Operational Excellence (Reliability/Uptime)
  • Server Design Strategy
  • Sustainability in the Cloud

You can read more about GFS at www.globalfoundationservices.com.