Microsoft showcases new developer opportunities

Day two's keynote at the Microsoft Build 2013 developer conference focused on the company's commitment to the Windows Azure mobile development program.

Azure Mobile Services and Azure Web Sites move from preview to general availability status. Mobile Services makes it easier for developers to build connected, scalable apps for Windows, Android and iOS, whilst Web Sites makes it simple to create and run webpages. There were also previews of new Azure technologies including Auto Scale, offering the ability to adjust capacity according to customers' needs. Plus a preview of enhancements for Azure Active Directory.

Satya Nadella, president, Server and Tools Business said, "Nearly 1,000 new businesses are betting on Windows Azure daily, and as momentum for Azure grows, so too does the developer opportunity to build applications that power modern businesses".

For .NET developers Microsoft has provided a roadmap to help update core business applications and move towards web apps and cloud environments.

A new advertising developer kit for Windows 8.1 was announced along with a revised one for Windows 8, to enable relevant advertising in Windows apps. Both SDKs are available from There's also a readjustment of ad sizes to target those most in demand.

The release preview of Windows Embedded 8.1 is available from today too. This was demonstrated by Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president and chief evangelist, Developer Platform Evangelism, using the Avis "Select and Go" app running on a Windows Embedded 8 Industry tablet and Windows Embedded 8 Handheld device, illustrating the opportunity for developers to capitalize on the shared Windows codebase.

Several third-party apps were also showcased. These included PayPal's software developer kit allowing payments to be integrated into Windows apps along with developer tools from Adobe and Unity.

Summing up Guggenheimer said, "Whether developing for existing, client/server, or emerging device and cloud application patterns, developers need a platform that offers consistency and flexibility. Only the Windows platform -- spanning Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Azure and more -- meets this need".

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