If you’ve been curious about cloud-computing and Windows Azure, you might be interested in this new offer from Microsoft. They just started a trial program where you can get a month of compute hours, 3 months of SQL Azure, and 500 Mb of storage for free. Check out the offer at this page, http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/free-trial/default.aspx.
You can also set up a free development environment for creating Azure applications using Microsoft Visual Web Developer Express and the Azure SDK. For instructions on how to do this, check out my earlier post, Windows Azure Training Series – Setting up a Development Environment for Free.
You might also like to work your way through a series of articles I’ve written on using Azure. The links are as follows:
Windows Azure Training Series – Understanding Subscriptions and Users
Windows Azure Training Series – Setting up a Development Environment for Free
Windows Azure Training Series – Creating Your First Azure Project
Windows Azure Training Series – Understanding Azure Roles
Windows Azure Training Series – Deploying a Windows Azure Application
Windows Azure Training Series – Understanding Azure Storage
Windows Azure Training Series – Creating an Azure Storage Account
Windows Azure Training Series – Writing to Blob Storage
Kevin Kell has also written some good articles on using Windows Azure, and he has also posted some videos you might like. Check out these links:
Remote Desktop Functionality in Azure Roles
More Open Source on Azure
Microsoft Azure Does Open Source
Using C++ in an Azure Worker Role for a Compute Intensive Task
Worker Role Communications in Windows Azure – Part 2.
Worker Role Communication in Windows Azure – Part 1.
After you get done with all of that, you might be interested in Learning Tree course 2602, Windows Azure Platform Introduction: Programming Cloud-Based Applications. Whether you end up using Microsoft Windows Azure for a production application or not, it’s certainly worth learning. It’s an incredibly easy-to-use, cost-effective, massively scalable platform for deploying your applications. There’s nothing else available quite as sophisticated. Don’t take my word for it though, check it out.