Press Trust of India / New Delhi March 08, 2010:

Microsoft India today announced the commercial availability of its Windows Azure platform, an Internet-scale cloud services platform, which will help it provide software, platform and infrastructure services to businesses through cloud computing.

Cloud computing refers to a new generation of computing that utilises distant servers or on-demand self-service Internet infrastructure for data storage and management.

“With businesses increasingly looking at cloud computing to bring in higher efficiencies, it is natural for us to extend our strength and expertise of the past 15 years in the cloud space and offer the value of our experience to customers,” Microsoft India Managing Director Rajan Anandan told reporters here today.

Over the last two years, Microsoft has already launched various solutions in the country like hosted Dynamics, Office Web Apps, Microsoft Online Services and Windows Server, as part of its cloud strategy for enterprises.

The Windows Azure Platform is a cloud platform offering that provides a wide range of Internet services that can be consumed from both on-premises environments or through the cloud.

“All of our popular products are already cloud-ready, and we have a clear future roadmap to provide anytime, anywhere access across diverse devices spanning computer, mobile and the Internet,” Anandan said.

More than 50 partners, including HCL Technologies, Wings Info, Cerebrate and CDC Software, are developing commercial applications and solutions on Windows Azure platform.

Cloud computing is a more cost-efficient form of data storage and computing as everyone uses it only for the specific use and pays only for the usage, which in turn allows the device to use smaller and more efficient chips that consume less energy than standard computers.

In other words, cloud computing works on pay-as-you-go principle as one uses it only according to ones need and delivers common business applications online which are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on servers located elsewhere.

Cloud computing is broken up into multiple segments including cloud infrastructure, cloud platforms and cloud applications among others.