Windows Azure General Availability

Today marks a significant milestone.  We are announcing the general availability of Windows Azure and SQL Azure in 21 countries.  Starting today customers and partners across the globe will be able to launch their Windows Azure and SQL Azure production applications and services with the support of the full Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

We’re hearing great feedback from those who are developing and deploying applications and services across the Windows Azure platform.  Since January 2010, thousands of customers have moved from CTP (Community Technology Previuew) to production. Starting today our partners will be able to begin selling their solutions to their customers, helping them to reach new markets and increase their revenue. 

Our partners also include the startup community and today start-ups such as Lokad, a Microsoft BizSpark One partner, are betting on the Windows Azure platform.  Lokad delivers forecasts as a service, which is especially useful in retail and manufacturing industries where efficiency is gained by optimizing inventory.

Lokad had developed a new set of statistical models that deliver highly accurate forecasts. But Lokad quickly realized that those complex models require 10 times more processing power than earlier iterations, and they couldn’t maintain their previous one-hour delivery goals for forecasts.  Lokad moved their forecasting service to the Windows Azure platform to take advantage of the scalable processing power.  They now have the ability to deliver 100 times more forecasts with Windows Azure than they could previously—up to 100 million forecasts an hour.

Today, Lokad is able to compute and deliver forecast data in less than 60 minutes to its entire 300 plus growing customer base, including multinational retailers.  One of Lokad’s first customers to benefit from this scale-out forecasting is, a large European eCommerce company that already has more than 300,000 product references in store, with plans to upgrade to 1 million product references during 2010.   As Oscaro has a high sales volume, they have a higher need for forecast data replenishment frequency. Lokad is able to provide a mixture of daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly forecast reports.  This provides Oscaro with the ability to quickly make strategic decisions regarding inventory and purchase decisions in way that was not previously possible.    

Visit the Windows Azure and SQL Azure blogs for more details. Customers can visit to sign up to start building and deploying cloud applications today on the Windows Azure platform. 


Posted by Doug Hauger
General Manager, Windows Azure, Business and Marketing.

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