Windows Azure

At the Worldwide Partner Conference more details have just been announced around Windows Azure, the Microsoft Cloud Platform.  This short video is a really good and very clear view of what Windows Azure is, and how it works; well worth a quick watch.

Video: What is Windows Azure?

Windows Azure and other related bits (SQL Azure and .net Services) are going to be made commercially available at the PDC Conference in November which is fantastic news.  Pricing has been announced and you can find more information in this post ‘Confirming commercial availability and announcing business model’.

So this is going to mean that projects like the Open Government Data Initiative (OGDI) which host data out of the cloud can be built on a supported and live platform.  I am getting ready for a couple of internal conferences in next two weeks, but once I get back to my desk I am going to do a more in-depth look at the OGDI project and see if we can get some non-US data sets up there.

I am currently collecting links to any public datasets I can find (they are here ), if you have any other ones I would love to know about them.