In a lengthy article, eWeek's Darryl K. Taft examines the role that the Windows Azure cloud computing service plays in Microsoft's attempts to court developers. For example, the company has improved its tooling. "One of the things I've spent time on since I've been in Azure is focusing on how we have a great developer integration story and take advantage the millions of developers who use .NET and Visual Studio today," said Microsoft's Scott Guthrie.
He added that Microsoft has "a really differentiated dev test offering, with the ability to use your Active Directory credentials to have enterprise access control, to have visual studio integration inside the IDE [integrated development environment], to have the TFS [Team Foundation Server] analytics and the Visual Studio Online browser editing support for Azure apps. Having all that come together is really starting to turn heads."
Also, despite its past disdain, the company has begun to embrace open source technology and to forge some important partnerships in this area. It's also rolled out a ton of new services of interest to the developer community.
Some believe the strategy may work. "Cloud computing is definitely winning developer hearts and minds," said IDC's Al Hilwa.