Microsoft continued to push forward in 2009, with its emergence in the cloud computing arena and its donation of source code to Linux. Microsoft's Windows Azure Platform cloud platform offering is set to debut in 2010, and Silverlight 4 development is expected to engage developers by including access to local resources, along with access to Windows 7 APIs and legacy applications.
The Windows Azure Platform includes the Windows Azure operating system, along with a range of services, and also features a relational database, SQL Azure, and AppFabric, which as its name suggests, provides connectivity of on-premise applications to the virtual cloud.
Throughout the year Microsoft has also encouraged developer cooperation by opening Windows Azure to PHP and Java developers, along with its support of the Eclipse Foundation and partners and contributions to the Open Web Foundations' support of Web standards and the establishment of the CodePlex Foundation, which promises to allow open source development on Microsoft platforms.
Software sales didn't take a back seat this year--Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows Server R2 debuted, and BizTalk Server 2009, Microsoft's integration and connectivity server solution, was also released, with BizTalk Server 2009 R2 scheduled to show up in 2010.
Along with these accomplishments, Microsoft's development platform continued to move forward in 2009, with preview releases of SQL Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0 available to the developer community. Visual Studio 2010 is a significant upgrade, with the incorporation of new ALM, architecture and testing tools designed to facilitate automated testing, bug reproduction, software modeling, collaboration and more.
These moves were accomplished with the future of Microsoft's platform in mind, specifically the role that software developers will play in that future. The support that they have shown towards the open source developer community could also be a sign that the company is hoping to be inclusive in that arena as well, which is a good sign for both developers and end users going forward.
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