Server and Tools Business President Satya Nadella, amongst others, took the stage at Build today in order to showcase something a bit less consumer-facing: Windows Server 8 and the revised Windows Azure platform. Fret not, though -- this all plays a vital role in how you'll be enjoying Windows 8 in the months to come. A Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview will be made available to coders starting today, enabling devs to concoct Metro-style applications with HTML 5, JavaScript, C#, Visual Basic and C++. We're told that the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview is available today for Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers and will be made available to the public on Friday. Microsoft also announced that Server 8 would provide multi-tenant infrastructure for cloud services, while the Azure Marketplace would expand to 25 new nations in early October. Those hoping to dig deeper can head on past the break (and visit the source links below).
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Microsoft reveals Windows Server 8 and Azure platform

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Microsoft Showcases the Developer Opportunity With Continuous Services At BUILD, Microsoft delivers developer platforms and tools to enable cloud-based experiences across devices.

LOS ANGELES - Sept. 14, 2011 - Speaking today at Microsoft Corp.'s BUILD conference, Server and Tools Business President Satya Nadella outlined a changing world of application development. He discussed the new application patterns across connected devices and continuous services and the opportunity this creates for developers. Nadella articulated why Microsoft's investments will enable developers to drive greater innovation and creativity with these new application patterns.

Nadella announced advancements in several Microsoft technologies, including developer previews of Visual Studio 11, Team Foundation Service (TFS) delivered on the Windows Azure platform and code-named "Windows Server 8," as well as new capabilities on the Windows Azure platform. With these technologies, developers can build the next generation of continuous services that are dynamic, scalable and optimized to connect with the multi-device world.

"Developers have long been the cornerstone of Microsoft's success, and that relationship is now more important than ever," Nadella said. "In today's world of connected devices and continuous services, we are focused on helping developers build the next generation of client applications that are tethered to a back-end cloud."

Complete Set of Developer Tools for Visual Studio

Building on yesterday's keynote demonstrations of Metro style applications for code-named "Windows 8," Microsoft delivered a Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview. The product provides an integrated development experience spanning architecture, code, test and deployment. This release adds support for Windows 8 Metro style applications built with HTML 5, JavaScript, C#, Visual Basic and C++, as well as numerous productivity enhancements for project compatibility, extension management, game development, code analysis, code review and agile testing. The Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview is available today for Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers and available to the public on Friday.

In addition, Microsoft showcased a number of enhancements to its developer tools and technologies, including the following:


A preview of TFS running on the Windows Azure platform, which provides a collaborative Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) environment delivered as a Microsoft-hosted Windows Azure cloud service, making it easier to deploy, scale, operate and access collaborative development projects.


A Microsoft .NET 4.5 Developer Preview, which has focused on top developer requests across key technologies and includes new features for asynchronous programming in C# and Visual Basic, support for state machines in Windows Workflow, and increased investments in HTML5 and CSS3 in ASP.NET.


ASP.NET MVC 4 Preview, which provides new Web tooling capabilities for developers to better manage Web application rendering, and its impacts on business application logic, in different browsers.

Windows Server 8: The Cloud-Optimized Server Operating System

In the context of today's hybrid world of on-premise servers, cloud services and connected devices, Microsoft released a developer preview of the next version of its server operating system, Windows Server 8. Windows Server 8 applies Microsoft's experience building and operating the Windows Azure public cloud to provide a cloud-optimized operating system focused on delivery of applications, interoperability within today's diverse IT environments, high-performance virtualization and strong links to public clouds.

Windows Server 8 provides multi-tenant infrastructure for cloud services with significant enhancements to help reduce the costs of high availability and to automate service management. As an open application and Web platform that shares common management, identity and development tools with Windows Azure, Windows Server 8 empowers developers and IT professionals to deliver services across their choice of private and public cloud environments, or a combination of both.

The Windows Server 8 Developer Preview is available to MSDN subscribers. More insights about Windows Server 8 can be found on the Microsoft Server and Cloud blog.

A Comprehensive Service Platform for Modern Developers

A cornerstone to building next-generation applications is Microsoft's Windows Azure platform, which developers can tap into to power immersive experiences across a range of devices, synthesize massive data sets and cost-effectively scale to reach millions of users. At BUILD, Microsoft showcased new capabilities of the Windows Azure platform, including the following:


Windows Azure Georeplication. Now available, this enhancement replicates Windows Azure Blobs and Tables between two datacenters hundreds of miles apart from each other on the same continent, at no additional cost, to provide additional data durability in the case of a major disaster.


Windows Azure Marketplace expansion. Available in 25 new countries in early October, the Windows Azure Marketplace offers developers a comprehensive market for datasets and finished applications; register on Windows Azure Marketplace today.


Microsoft Translator API. Available today on the Windows Azure Marketplace, the Microsoft Translator API provides machine language translations to developers looking to customize their applications to satisfy the language needs of a global audience.


Windows Azure SDK version 1.5. Advancements to the Windows Azure SDK include better capabilities for developers to build Windows Azure applications, including improved emulator performance, service certificate support, package and configuration management and remote desktop encryption.


Windows Azure Service Bus September Release. Enhancements to the Service Bus improve pub/sub messaging, enable asynchronous eventing to better link applications to occasionally connected devices such as phones and kiosks, and provide improved support for loosely coupled application architectures and advanced intra-app messaging.


Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows 8: Currently available for Windows Phone, Android and iOS, Microsoft is extending its popular toolkits for cloud applications to Windows 8. The Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows 8 provides developers with code samples, documentation and components for building Metro style applications that use Windows Azure for connectivity and notifications.

More information is available at the BUILD online newsroom.

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