PDC ’09 & Your Great Windows Azure Ideas!

It was an amazing week at PDC ’09, chatting with a lot of customers, meeting old friends, hearing all of the cool stuff other Microsoft teams are delivering, and getting time to celebrate with the hard-working Windows Azure Team! Given my role on the Windows Azure Team, the highlight for me was digging in with customers on their reactions to our PDC ’09 announcements and also hearing about what customers want to see in Windows Azure in the future.

At PDC last week we announced that in the future we’ll support scenarios that ISV & enterprise customers in particular will appreciate. This includes solutions that will make it easier for customers to migrate existing applications and give customers greater control over cloud VMs. Specifically, we announced we will: give customers administrator privileges on cloud VMs, deliver facilities for user-driven construction and configuration and platform deployment of VM images, and provide remote terminal server access to cloud VMs. Additionally, it was announced that we will offer customer selectable geo-locations for replicas and secondary indices for Windows Azure Tables. If you want more information, a bit more is available here.

As I’m always looking for new ways to connect with customers, Scott Guthrie’s keynote last Tuesday caught my attention. Scott mentioned that this past summer the Silverlight Team launched a site that allows everyone to post and vote on ideas to make their product better. Since the site went live, customers have posted more than 12,000 votes, and Silverlight 4 will include 9 out of the top 10 customer requested features. A handful of companies have done this well, I like the Starbucks and Dell examples in particular. See https://mystarbucksidea.com and https://www.ideastorm.com/.

In the spirit of opening up another channel where the Windows Azure Team can hear your voice, today we are launching https://www.mygreatwindowsazureidea.com/, a site where you can post your own ideas for new Windows Azure features as well as vote for and discuss ideas posted by the community. To get you started I posted some high-level themes there. If you see something that you need please vote for it and add some comments on what specifically you need and why. Of course, if you need something else, please post it and see what others have to say.

If you want to influence the future direction of Windows Azure and have a direct voice into the Windows Azure Engineering Team please hop on the site and tell us what you need!

Looking forward to hearing from you,


| Mike Wickstrand | Senior Director, Windows Azure Product Planning | Microsoft |
| Email: mikewic@microsoft.com | Twitter: @Wickstrand |Web: https://blogs.msdn.com/wickstrand/|
| Help design the future of Windows Azure, visit mygreatwindowsazureidea.com! |