Update: 10/27/08 1:30pm MST - Added link to Windows Dev Pro PDC 2008 coverage.

This morning at the Professional Developers Conference 2008 (PDC2008), Microsoft unveiled its cloud computing platform solution: Windows Azure. Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie described the Azure Services Platform as Microsoft's approach to providing a software plus services model to personal and business computing needs.

In a statement supporting the Azure framework unveiling at PDC2008, Ozzie said:

"Today marks a turning point for Microsoft and the development community. We have introduced a game-changing set of technologies that will bring new opportunities to Web developers and business developers alike. The Azure Services Platform, built from the ground up to be consistent with Microsoft’s commitment to openness and interoperability, promises to transform the way businesses operate and how consumers access their information and experience the Web. Most important, it gives our customers the power of choice to deploy applications in cloud-based Internet services or through on-premises servers, or to combine them in any way that makes the most sense for the needs of their business.”

According to J. Nicholas Hoover over at Information Week, Ozzie also used his keynote to give credit to the pioneering work of Amazon in the cloud computing space, particularly with their work on their Amazon EC2 platform. Here's Hoover's take on Ozzie and Amazon:

In fact, though Microsoft was already working on this project before Amazon announced EC2, Ozzie said that the entire industry owes credit to Amazon. It's an admission that Microsoft will really have to bring it if they hope to beat out the platform-as-a-service pioneers. "In some ways, we're all standing on their shoulders," he said, before going on to talk about how what Microsoft is doing is much broader than what Amazon did by offering access to raw computing power as a service.

  • Read Paul Thurrott's initial take on the Windows Azure news here.
  • See Executive Editor Sheila Molnar's perspective on Windows Azure over at Windows Dev Pro here.

Editors from Windows IT Pro are covering the event, and our own Paul Thurrott will be live-blogging from the PDC at the Winsupersite.com. You can also check out a live streaming video feed of the event at the PDC2008 website here.