Microsoft Unveils Windows Azure Platform Business Model, Bringing New Revenue Opportunities to Partners Worldwide

NEW ORLEANS — July 14, 2009 — Today, during the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2009, Bob Muglia, president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft Corp., announced the business and partner model for the company’s Windows Azure platform. The platform includes a cloud services operating system, a Web-based relational database in Microsoft SQL Azure, and connectivity and interoperability with .NET Services. The Windows Azure platform delivers a rich development experience, automated service management and pay-as-you-go pricing — all backed by service-level agreements and support.

As noted in Muglia’s keynote speech, Microsoft will offer Windows Azure, SQL Azure and .NET Services for purchase through a consumption-based pricing model, allowing partners and customers to pay only for the services that they consume. Microsoft partners also will benefit from special promotional offers and discounts that will help enable partners to bring solutions to market faster, reduce IT complexity, and increase revenue opportunities.

To support partners’ and customers’ complex business needs, Microsoft introduced a comprehensive, easy-to-understand, enterprise-class guarantee backed by a service-level agreement that covers service uptime, connectivity, and data availability for Windows Azure, SQL Azure, and .NET Services.

Microsoft also announced pricing for the consumption-based model, offering partners and customers a clear and simple pricing structure that uses a few meters to track overall usage and allows for predictable payments without sacrificing flexibility and control. Partners and customers can leverage this type of pay-as-you-go pricing to optimize cloud elasticity and reduce barriers to entry.

As part of the Microsoft Partner Network, partners receive an additional 5 percent promotional discount on Windows Azure compute, SQL Azure and .NET Services. As an added benefit of MSDN Premium, Microsoft also announced that it will provide subscribers with resources to develop and test their cloud-based applications. Microsoft will also provide the development accelerator promotional offer for partners and customers who want to quickly develop and deploy applications with dynamic scaling, predictable pricing, and a deep discount.

“With the Windows Azure platform, we’re focused on delivering the best services platform to create compelling Web applications and services — which enables our customers and partners to quickly develop and deploy compelling solutions,” said Bob Muglia, president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. “What’s unique about the Windows Azure platform is that Microsoft manages the complexity, which allows partners to focus on what matters most for their business — building innovative services solutions and driving new revenue. This can drive down total cost of ownership by up to 60 percent for certain workloads during a three-year period.”

“The Windows Azure platform was the ideal solution for the City of Chicago because the services it provides makes development and deployment quick and easy, and all hosting maintenance is handled by Microsoft. We were able to get it up and running within days to meet the city’s timing needs,” said Cory Chaplin, technology solutions practice lead for West Monroe Partners in Chicago. “The Windows Azure solution provides the power of multiple servers, without the capital investment, and with the ability to expand immediately if needed.”

Windows Azure, SQL Azure and .NET Services will be commercially available at the Professional Developers Conference 2009. Microsoft encourages partners and customers to start building on the community technology preview (CTP) at no cost today. More information about the Windows Azure platform and Microsoft’s software-plus-services offering can be found at

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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