Microsoft unveils Windows Azure official launch date
Microsoft has revealed on its new Azure Services Platform site that its cloud-based Windows Azure operating system will "ship" during the second half of 2009. Azure will be free during its Community Technology Preview cycle, and Microsoft will start billing users based on the amount of resources consumed, once it is available for commercial use. No pricing is available yet, though billing will be based upon consumption of various service components. Resource utilization will be measured by standard metrics such as CPU time--measured in terms of CPU hours, bandwidth, storage, and the number of transactions based upon "Gets" and "Puts." In the meantime, Dell announced that it would provide the hardware to run the Azure cloud operating system on an exclusive basis.
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